Short Term Rentals – Do We Need Them in Pelham?

What is a Short-Term Rental (STR)?  A short-term rental is often referred to as an STR, transient rental, or resort dwelling unit.  A short-term rental is a home, apartment or condo that is rented for as little time as one evening up to one month.  Usually short-term rentals are occupied for a few days at a time. An example of a short-term rental is Airbnb.

There are some advantages of a STR to a homeowner; for example, extra income, flexibility, as well as possible tax deductions.  However, the homeowner also needs to consider the safety, security, legal and accessibility requirements for renting out their property.

For the neighbours of the STR units, there do not appear to be any benefits. Neighbours in STR areas have complained about the constant coming and going of different people on a regular basis, noise, deterioration of the rental property, safety, security and unwanted changes to their neighbourhood, and even loss of property values for those living next to a STR.

In the appropriate areas such as tourist sites, and/or commercial areas, STRs provide financial benefits to small business. If established in residential areas, they have the potential to be disruptive to the residents in the area.

Pelham’s current counsel has asked Town staff to review the issue of STRs and report back with recommendations on how to handle STRs and provide a draft by-law and zoning regulation to ensure they can be monitored and controlled.

What can you do?

  • Inform yourself on STRs and ask questions of the candidates before the October 22, 2018 election.   
  • Attend the All Candidates meeting to be held on October 10, 2018 at E.L. Crossley High School.
  • Watch for the Town’s Notice of Public Meetings on Short Term Rentals and attend the meetings.  Public Meetings are anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Become informed and involved!  It is up to all of us to show we care about the future of Pelham.  

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