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Short-term rentals: The Municipality of La Pêche in Canada (2019)

Feb 2, 2019

The Municipality of La Pêche are currently (2019) drafting regulations for short-term rentals

The Municipality of La Pêche, located in the Outaouais administrative region, north-west of the City of Gatineau, includes nine village clusters, namely Alcove, Duclos, East-Aldfield, Farrellton, Lac-des-Loups, Lascelles, Rupert, Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham and Wakefield.

During the regular meeting of the Council on August 6, 2018, elected officials tasked the Urban Planning and Environment Department with developing a municipal regulation on short-term rentals (31 days or less). Rentals through platforms such as Airbnb fall in this category.

Current municipal regulations make no distinction between short-term rentals (a form of temporary occupancy) and long-term rentals (a permanent residence). The goal of this new effort is not to make the increasingly popular form of accommodation illegal, but to regulate it. By regulating short-term rentals, the Municipality will be able to protect public safety, prevent disturbances, ensure compliance with potable water supply and wastewater management requirements, protect access to affordable housing, and promote tax equity.

The Urban Planning Department’s initial work on the issue has brought to light several important aspects that will need to be considered in the new regulation:

  • Short-term rentals can be considered commercial accommodation, because the property rented (house, cottage, etc.) is not the renter’s primary place of residence.
  • This type of accommodation is not permitted in residential or resort areas anywhere within the municipal boundaries, except for areas where “tourist accommodations” such as bed & breakfasts are allowed.
  • Commercial (or tourist) accommodation establishments are only permitted in certain areas zoned for commercial use and services.
  • A number of concerned parties, including property owners, business people, and citizens’ associations, shared their comments for and against with the Municipality, and most would like to be involved in the regulation development process.
  • The new regulation will have to go through the public consultation process before it is adopted and comes into force.

A draft regulation is currently being written, taking into account the many comments received, the relevant laws, recent precedent, and comparable regulations adopted in other municipalities in Québec.

The draft regulation is expected to be submitted to the Municipal Council in December and undergo public consultation in early 2019.

November 20, 2018


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