OREA wants province to intervene in registration spat with travel council

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TORONTO — The Ontario Real Estate Association is calling on the province to intervene in an alleged push from the Travel Industry Council of Ontario to force realtors to register as travel agents if they want to arrange short-term rentals for Ontario clients.

In a letter to Minister of Government and Consumer Services Todd Smith, OREA chief executive Tim Hudak asks Smith to have his staff sit down with all of the sides and come to an agreement that doesn’t force realtors to register with their own regulatory body and TICO.

Hudak’s letter says he has heard TICO has been sending letters to realtors threatening legal action against brokerages that work with Ontario clients arranging short-term accommodations and don’t register as travel agents.

Hudak claims such registration is a “needless piece of red tape” and complains that it will create thousands of dollars in costs, waste considerable time and cause aggravation for realtors.

Hudak’s letter says the push for forcing realtors to register is occurring because TICO and the Travel Industry Act define short-term rental properties as accommodations offered to travellers for 30 days or less. TICO says realtors can only handle leases that fall under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Hudak is suggesting TICO puts its campaign to get realtors to register as travel agents on hold.

The Canadian Press