Vaughan looking to fast track Airbnb rules in wake of weekend shooting

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The City of Vaughan may be looking to fast track new rules surrounding short term rentals in the wake of this weekends fatal shooting at an Airbnb rental.

One man was shot to death and a second was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound after neighbours tell CityNews a fight broke out followed by loud bangs around 3:30 a.m. Saturday at a house on Timber Creek Boulevard, near Major MacKenzie Drive and Highway 27.

Police have yet to identify the victim, except to say he is in his 20s.

One man was taken into custody for fleeing the scene. York Regional Police aren’t calling him a suspect, saying only his involvement is under investigation.

Neighbours say the house has been on the market for quite some time and has been used as an Airbnb. In the past there have been noise complaints and calls made to police.

Area councillor Marilyn Iafrate says residents shouldn’t have to live in fear in their neighbourhood due to these short term rentals.

“I’m just looking forward to getting a grip on this because it’s getting rampant and right now it’s a free for all, and it’s not fair,” she tells CityNews.

“We need to have zones established, at the very least where you can or can’t. We also have to be fair. If people are looking to rent a home for business in the city for a month or two, we don’t want to prohibit that but having major parties is not acceptable.”

Iafrate adds they are looking at taking a page out of Toronto’s recent decision to regulate short term rentals.

“Based on complaints, we are trying to fast track this. …Airbnb’s, or short term rentals, were never meant to be in neighbourhoods.”

In a statement provided to CityNews, the City of Vaughan says it is currently undertaking a comprehensive review about regulating short-term rentals.

“Safety always remains a leading priority for the City of Vaughan. Processes and best practices are being examined to ensure that under any new potential rules brought forward, short-term rentals will be inspected, licensed and safe for the public.”

Airbnb says it has removed the home’s listing from its service and tells CityNews it has launched their own investigation, part of which will look at who was staying in the the home at the time of the shooting.

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