Cottage owners relieved to be able to rent their properties after the provincial ban is lifted
LONDON, ONT. – Ontario cottage owners who rely on summer bookings feel a sense of relief after the province lifted its ban on short-term rentals.
“When I got the email Thursday night it was great news because you know things are going to start now,” said Mark Hiepleh, cabin owner in Port Stanley, Ont.
Hiepleh spent Sunday preparing his Bessie Street property for rental, two days after the Ontario government lifted COVID-19 restrictions on short-term rentals of cottages and other accommodation.
Economic Development Minister Victor Fedeli made the announcement on Twitter Thursday afternoon after the province ended non-essential short-term rental operations due to COVID-19 exactly two months ago.
“Short-term rentals, including lodges, cabins, cabins, homes, condominiums and bed and breakfasts will be allowed to resume operations in Ontario starting June 5 at 12:01 am,” the Minister tweeted. .
Under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act, short-term rentals – defined as 28 days or less – can currently only be rented to those in need of emergency accommodation. .
The order was placed on April 4, but hotels, motels and student residences were still allowed to continue operating.
I know there are a lot of people who need this income and that there are a lot of people who want to rent the place, ”Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Thursday during a press conference.
On the west side of Port Stanley, a sense of relief for cottage owners Chuck Wickens and Kara Deshaw who have two rental properties.
“It was very concerning, but this news is going to make our summer now,” Deshaw said.
The couple say they will do a deep cleaning after each weekly rental, and ask their guests to bring their own groceries and belongings.
“All of our renters will bring their own sheets, pillows and towels,” Deshaw said.
“We will also have our tenants sign a contract stating simply that the chalet is sanitized to the best of our ability and that they take over all responsibility when renting with us.”
Ontario Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod says the industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. She encourages people to support local businesses and vacations in the province.
CTV spoke to the mayors of three seaside towns in the region. None of them are against short-term rentals, as long as precautions are taken.
They want to keep the number of positive cases low, as Southwestern Public Health only has three ongoing cases of COVID-19.
“We want people to come from London, Hamilton and Toronto, but we also want them to be very careful,” said Dave Mennill, Elgin County Reeve and Mayor of Malahide Township.
Deshaw and Wickens understand why the province has been waiting two months to allow rentals and plan to limit the size of the gathering in the chalet and ask guests to use social distancing.
“With everyone coming from out of town, we really want to make sure we don’t spread COVID-19 to the community of Port Stanley,” Deshaw said.
Hiepleh says her “housekeeper” is very good, and after the guests leave, she should be able to clean the entire 1,500 square foot chalet within hours.
He adds that lifting the restriction is good not only for the tenants, but also for the economy of the village.
“We have people from all over Ontario and sometimes from the United States,” says Hiepleh.
“They bring a lot of money to the village, go to shops, restaurants and pubs, so good news, while waiting for the news of the beach which will be open soon.”
The Elgin County emergency operations team will meet on Monday, and Mennill is hoping the beaches could get the green light to open by next weekend.