Dysart OKs company to monitor STR compliance

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dysart gave the nod to Granicus Canada Holdings to ensure short-term rental property owners comply with rules that will regulate the industry in Haliburton County.
The contract is the fruits of a recent Haliburton County request for proposals to monitor and ensure rental compliance solution for short-term rentals in each lower tier municipality.
Township council heard Jan. 23 that fees associated with Granicus’ services would be fully recovered by STR licensing and registration fees.
Granicus offers an annual subscription service and the pricing model is driven by the volume of STRs to be monitored.
Dysart would pay an average of $43,688.17 annually over three years. Based on an estimated 515 STR properties in the municipality, the cost works out to about $85 per STR annually.
“The first year is going to be the most expensive because there’s basically a setup cost and those type of things,” said Karl Korpela, Dysart’s chief building official.
The STR bylaw will be drafted with sufficient fees to cover Granicus’ licensing and monitoring cost and the township’s administrative costs and inspection fees.
Granicus will be responsible for surveillance monitoring of STR operators on vacation host websites.
They will handle registration and compliance monitoring. They will notify noncompliant STR operators of infractions and the resulting consequences and communicate with municipal staff about noncompliant STR operators.
Granicus will also be responsible for collecting the much-contested municipal accommodation tax (MAT). And they will follow up with hosts who are not remitting fees and notify municipalities of those delinquent hosts.
The contract also entails that a phone line and online portal be established for customer service questions.
“They’re going to be the ones taking in complaints, even after hours, and notifying the responsible person to act and deal with it,” Korpela said.
It was made clear in the RFP that each municipality will be responsible for all required bylaw enforcement and inspections.
Korpela said it could take about six months for the county and Granicus to have everything set up and ready to go.