I am a long-time homeowner in Canmore. Over the years, I have seen my corner of this town I call home change in ways that are making day-to-day life challenging for me and my family and other long-time homeowners in our community.
Increasingly, the properties around us are being purchased and then rented out. Like many towns around the world that are tourist attractions, ours is challenged in providing reasonably priced rentals all while some people are making great profits by exploiting the situation with little to no concern about community building.
Landlords ought to be held to standards that ensure responsible tenancy.
For example, many people who are new to Canmore may not be aware of attractant bylaws, safe backyard fire practices, or the Town’s noise bylaws that are in place for good reasons. Landlords should ensure the people they rent to are aware of these guidelines that help create safe and enjoyable communities.
Some property owners are indeed responsible and do care about the impact their investment has on others. But some, like in our neighbourhood, are pushing boundaries and using the housing challenges as excuses for short-term stays in areas that are not zoned for it.
The consequence for long-time residents can be dire. Imagine feeling like you are living next to a hotel because you’re being woken up more nights than not from a sudden influx of different people coming and going who, as short-term stays, hardly have being a decent neighbours at the top of mind? And worse, then having to prove this is happening to get it resolved? The onus, it seems, is on the people that bylaws are in place to protect.
There really ought to be better oversight of second homeowners that rent out properties – whether they represent businesses that are providing staff accommodation or individuals who are benefiting from their investment.
It would be terrific if all residential property owners cared about our community but sadly, as we’ve learned the hard way, this is not the case.