In January 2019, we shared the results of our Short Term Rental (STR) Survey and advised that we would meet with the City of Langford to discuss our findings. The objective was to create awareness and ask them to consider creating Short Term Rental bylaws, to help address some of the negative issues which arise from STR.
We met with 3 City of Langford officials in March 2019; Director of Planning (Mathew Baldwin), Manager of Municipal Enforcement (Lorne Fletcher) and Councillor Lillian Szpak.
We presented our results and had a thorough discussion of the concerns which were raised by our residents.
Even though they were attentive and supportive of STR issues, the conclusion reached by the City is as follows;
- There is no evidence that STR is a problem, as they receive no complaints specifically about this issue directly from residents.
- There is no evidence that licensing is effective at reducing Short Term Rental.
- Notwithstanding the fact that other communities are imposing controls, there are legal challenges in instituting bylaws that control rental terms and conditions due to the Residential Tenancy Act and Local Government Act.
- The additional budgetary costs required to implement and monitor bylaws is not something that can currently be justified.
- There are active by laws to deal with some of the problems which arise from STR.
- They will nevertheless bring our concerns and the results of our survey at a Council meeting.
Since 80% of our survey respondents feel that the City of Langford should create bylaws to control STRs, it may be more effective if there is more than one voice reiterating the issues. Therefore, we encourage you to bring any issues relating to STR directly to your Councillor Lillian Szpak (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We also encourage you to use the current bylaws as a tool if STR issues such as noise, garbage, parking, security becomes a problem.
Noise Abatement bylaw:
Noise Evidence Log:
Unsightly Premises bylaw: Accumulations of debris or garbage at a property are managed under this Bylaw:
Even though the City is not taking decisive action on licensing STR, we have escalated awareness of the issue at City Hall. The BMCA will continue to stay current on province wide action and continue to bring awareness to the City.
January 19, 2019 email excerpt:
RE: Bear Mountain Community Association (BMCA) Short Term Rental Survey
In September, the BMCA conducted a survey to determine how residents felt about Short Term Rentals (STR) on Bear Mountain. STR in this case is defined as renting for a period less than 30 days at a time, ie. Airbnb or VRBO.
Thank you for participating in the survey. The response rate of over 50% was tremendous!
The survey revealed the following;
- # of respondents who;
- offer their residence for rent (3%)
- use STR while travelling (47%)
- have experienced negative impact (54%) specifically;
o parking (39%);
o noise and disruptions (40%);
o property damage (19%);
o security (21%);
o garbage (22%);
o erosion of neighborhood feel (38%);
o devaluation of property (25%).
- have experienced positive impact (8%)
- believe that STR activity should be controlled through specific STR bylaws (80%)
Due to the overwhelming number (80%) who believe that the City of Langford should create bylaws to control STR, the BMCA will share the results with the City and discuss the concerns of our residents. We will update you on the results.
In the meantime, there are existing Bylaws to deal with most of the STR issues.
We will shortly be sending you an email summarizing these Bylaws and including links to further information.