Proposed limit has Trent Lakes summer rental cottagers concerned

·2 min read

The Municipality Trent Lakes is considering restricting the maximum number of people permitted to attend a rental cottage to eight, which could have a significant impact on the local economy, says Kathy Schreiber.

Schreiber has been renting a cottage, which accommodates 16 people, in the township with her parents, siblings and their children for the past four years.

She says they support businesses in the area throughout the duration of their stays.

The township’s decision, which will be made in May or June, could potentially draw away thousands of renters, Schreiber said.

The Kawartha Cottage Rentals online rental service organizes cottages by number of bedrooms, allowing interested renters to see how many cottages there are that have seven or six bedrooms, for example, she said.

“If you just look at that website, and I’m making an assumption now because I don’t know that they’re all in the township, but let’s say on that website that there’s 50 rentals that are advertising more than eight for July and August, let’s call that eight weeks,” Schreiber said.

“So, 50 rentals times eight weeks is 400 rentals of … let’s call it an average of 10 people. That’s 4,000 people and the township is planning on popping the news to in May or June, and I’m not including the landlords now.”

She said she doesn’t believe changing the number of individuals allowed at a rental cottage will help improve some of the mayor’s concerns surrounding renters.

“Basically, what I heard her (the mayor) say was that renters are a problem, they’re disrespectful to neighbours, and they leave garbage around. I think that’s a little bit what her lens is and that’s a very prejudicial lens to have,” Schreiber said.

“I don’t think that respect should be defined by whether you pay rent or a mortgage, I think respect should be defined by the person that you are.”

At this point in time, it would be difficult to find another cottage to rent, she said.

“With COVID, bicycles have sold out, skies are pretty much selling out, and cottages are selling out. Even back in August, they were renting for this coming summer,” Schreiber said.

Going to the rental cottage each summer is important to Schreiber and her family, she said.

“My mom and dad, for them, it’s everything. They’re so happy when they see all of their family together and they’re happy when they see us together. But it’s also huge for us. I mean, it’s a big deal,” Schreiber said.

Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: mlentz@peterboroughdaily.com

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner