The number of Hastings Highlands homes being advertised as short-term rentals jumped 40 per cent from 2020 to 2022.
That figure was shared in a report to the municipality’s council earlier this month, triggering a discussion on how the changing industry should be managed.
Mayor Tony Fitzgerald called the rise an “interesting conundrum”, while summarizing both the pros and cons that his councillors expressed.
One councillor noted a rise in rentals is good for the economy, while others expressed concern about increased risk, as sometimes owners don’t communicate to their renters about how to follow their municipality’s bylaws.
The report also noted that more than 220 Hastings Highlands properties are being advertised on short-term rental online platforms, a figure Fitzgerald called “surprising.”
The report was for information purposes only and councillors agreed to discuss the matter more at a Strategic Planning meeting scheduled for Dec. 1
Several cottage country municipalities, including Madawaska Valley, have called on senior governments to better regulate the cottage rental industry, amid a growth of more brokerage companies.