By Monica Kucharski

If you are an Airbnb registered host, are thinking of becoming one, or are, conversely, on the side of the opposition to short-term rentals in Mississauga, these recently approved city council regulations should be of interest to you.

In a nutshell, these by-law amendments allow Mississauga homeowners to rent out their primary residence, but with some conditions.  The main ones are that the rental term cannot be longer than 28 days, the person who rents out must have legal ownership of the home, and in case of condos, short-term renting such as Airbnb is subject to respective condominium boards’ feedback.

Councillors ordered a review of short-term accommodations like the Airbnb in Mississauga after a few complaints of “party houses” in some parts of the City.  Complaints involved loud music, noise, garbage, and, in one case, gunshots outside an Airbnb home.

“The proposed amendments to the Zoning By-law represent a balanced approach to regulating short-term accommodations in Mississauga,” said Ed Sajecki, commissioner, Planning and Building. “They clarify how residents can share their principal residences with others, while limiting the potential impacts on housing availability and affordability. They also provide some additional protection to buildings and neighbourhoods.”

For Saugans concerned about potential annoyances from Airbnbs in their neighbourhoods, not to worry, you’ve got recourse.  Effective nuisance by-laws have been in place in Mississauga for a while, such as The Noise Control By-law 360-79 and Debris and Anti-Littering By-law.

Generally, once a nuisance complaint is filed against a homeowner, they are notified of a City investigation that will lead to a court appearance and a potential fine of $5,000 if they fail to address the problem and remedy the situation within a certain timeframe.  (The complainant is kept anonymous in the initial stages of the process.)

That official City notification alone should put a lot of fire under rogue Airbnb hosts to propel them to prevent any loutish or disturbing behaviour in their homes — or structure their offer so it yields better vetted guests!