Short and mid term rentals are a necessity in Welland
Short term rentals supports needs of local Welland residents by providing them with more affordable housing options that actually meet their housing needs where hotels, motels and bed and breakfast do not.
For example, those local Welland residents who require housing as a result of insurance claims and consequently temporary and/or lengthy housing requirements as a result of fires and floods of their existing homes and/or construction delays (i.e. resident sold their home but new home builder is delayed on completing their new home and/or closing date of their new home where they will be moving too is a couple of days/weeks/months after closing of their current home) hence exposing locals to becoming homeless in the interim.
Short term rentals also offers more affordable housing needs for out of town workers who require accommodations of several days, weeks or even months whereby regular hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments are unable to meet their requirements or their budgets (i.e. contractor needs to come to work in Welland for a month and brings their family with them and/or team of contractors requiring housing for a month where a fully stocked and furnished short term rental provides full kitchens, bathrooms and multiple bedrooms, whereas most hotels/motels do not offer these.
Also short term rentals meet groups/teams of contractors to book several hotel rooms instead of what they need (a larger unit that can accomodate all of them at once) for lengthy periods of time, thereby making hotel stays cost prohibitive and even then do not meet their mid-term housing needs.
Tourists also prefer the more superior accommodation options when visiting Welland and Niagara Region with their families and young children. Short term rentals best meets their needs as many such accomodations include multiple bedrooms (for privacy), fully stocked kitchens, laundry facilities, outdoor spaces, BBQ's, etc., whereas most motels/hotels do not offer most, if any, of these and/or are too small to accomodate their needs and/or to cost prohibitive to what such tourists require.
Furthermore, most visitors would favour staying in nice family oriented neighbourhoods while in Welland, rather than the downtown core and/or industrial and/or areas further away from residential zones of the city where motels/hotels are typically located, some of which are sketchy areas and neighbourhoods.
Visitors to the city would highly likely and unanimously favour staying in a safe place/neighbourhood that they can call their home away from home (such as residential zones) while visiting the city and all it has to offer. Limiting short term rentals to only designated city downtown core areas is therefore a bad idea.
Providing tourists and short term guests to Welland with short term rental options, especially where traditional hotels and motels are ill equipped or just to expensive to meet their needs, would therefore make Welland more attractive as a destination bringing more business to Welland local businesses and would further facilitate growth to Welland's economy.
Simply put, short term rentals provide options to displaced locals in need of temporary and/or mid-term housing, out of town travelers and contractors and yes, tourists as well.
Indeed, most tourist accomodations are limited to the summer months almost exclusively, whereas few come to the city for the other 8 months of the year.
Conversely, displaced locals and contractors, divorcee's, residents impacted by insurance claims and constructions delays all require more affordable housing alternatives not offered by traditional hotels and/or motels throughout the year, which is why there is substantial need for short and mid-term rental accomodations alternatives to the traditional hotels/motels accomodation options and these are in high demand by both locals and out of towners alike.
Any of the potential negative impacts indicated above are mainly mitigated by short term rental hosts doing their proper screening prior to accepting any reservation.
Indeed, the last thing that short term rental operators want is hosting any party animal guests who are either disrespectful of their properties (their investments) or the neighbours around them.
Furthermore, short term rental units do not reduce availability for long term rentals (this is just one of the myths rather than facts that people assume with short term rentals). They only serve a niche portion of the market that is currently underserviced or unable to be served by traditional hotel/motel accomodation options.
I would highly encourage City of Welland staff to obtain feedback from the local police and fire departments who will undoubtedly attest that they receive substantially less complaints from short term rental operations than long term rental and owner occupied properties. Indeed, complaints from local residents and neighbours of short term rental operators in close proximity to their own homes tend to be rare and exceptions to the rule rather than being rooted in any facts or any semblance of reality.
Indeed, unlike long term/straight rentals or even owner occupied residences, since short term rentals are not governed under the residential tenancy act, any issues that could arise can be much more expediently dealt with and resolved.
Whereas as with long term rental tenants, landlords are bound and find themselves at the mercy of the Landlord Tenant Board, lengthy delays in getting hearings and/or any resolution with respect to potentially disruptive and/or irresponsible and/or dangerous long term tenants/owner occupied neighbours who the city or the authorities cannot simply ask to move or put their homes on the market.
Conversely, with short term rentals, these all such issues can be resolved within only a couple of hours or less to 24 hours, since local police and fire departments have the power to enforce such discretions immediately as opposed to potentially several months as long term rental landlord are bound under the residential tenancy act and have no choice but to deal with the rules and process outlined thereon, not to mention the typical lengthy delays when dealing with the Landlord Tenant Board with respect to long term tenants which are considered civil matters that can take months if not years to resolve. And good luck trying to get a disruptive/disrespectful owner occupied resident to move out and sell their home.
Short term rentals also do not increase affordable housing supply (which is also a common myth). Indeed, short term rental operators are not competing with long term rental operators, nor are short term rentals expected to replace long term rentals. Short term rentals only accomodate a niche in the market place that neither long term rentals, motels, hotels and/or B&B's simply either do not or are unable to provide.
Indeed, for most short term rental operators, it would make no sense in running their properties as anything other than short term rentals as they would not be able to make a business case of operating them as long term rentals.
As such, especially given property real estate prices today, there is no decrease to affordable housing stock (yet another myth) as a result of short term rental operators, since short term rental operations, cost and business dynamics are very different from long term rental provider operations and business dynamics. Comparing one to the other is like comparing apples to oranges and if the city decides to outlaw short term rentals it should not expect any increase to long term affordable rental stock in the city whatsoever as a result.
If the city wishes to outlaw or restrict short term rental accommodations they should then also look to outlaw long term straight rentals as well, as that is where the bulk of all neighbor complaints and issues are.
Many people have their opinions with respect to short term rentals. The key is to focus on facts rather than any fiction/personal opinions which are not based on facts.
The city should instead look at allowing and regulating short term rentals to both facilitate a peaceful and harmonious co-existence of short term rentals, long term rentals and owner occupied residents alike while offering a boost to the local economy, local businesses and providing all types of temporary, long term and permanent housing options and needs of residents and visitors alike.