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RMOW takes legal action against property management company

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After years of discussions, negotiations and anger over illegal nightly rentals, the municipality has taken the first legal steps against a property management company.

Council is considering bringing proceedings against Whistler Platinum Reservations Ltd. for a permanent injunction, and entering into a consent order for a permanent injunction restraining Whistler Platinum from advertising, managing or renting residentially zoned properties contrary zoning bylaws.

A recent investigation into Whistler Platinum Realty showed the company was renting its residentially zoned properties for short-term leases.

This is contrary to the municipalities zoning bylaws.

Council has endorsed a policy of strict enforcement of the tourist accommodation provisions in the zoning bylaws.

"This is one of the area I would like to see us embark on more," said acting mayor Ken Melamed at the March 4 council meeting.

"I see this as one of the critical foundations of the affordability strategy."

Other renters who are zoned for tourist accommodation properties must pay a premium to be considered for this type of zoning. Those renters and other locals say it is unfair that non-zoned properties are getting away with illegal renting.

Council has drawn up a Consent Order that would prevent Whistler Platinum from advertising, managing or renting residentially zoned properties against the zoning bylaw.

In staff’s recommendation to council it states that the Consent Order is "a good precedent for future enforcement against other tourist accommodation booking agencies that may also be in violation of the Zoning Bylaw."

The Order contains restrictions on residential rentals, stating that they must be rented for a minimum of two months.

Whistler Platinum Realty has indicated they are willing to enter into the Consent Order.

Council was also considering a business licence review of the company.

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