ANTIGONISH: Town staff is fielding questions about the recently approved lodging home by-law.

During January’s regular meeting of Antigonish Town Council, members held a public hearing then gave second reading to a by-law regarding lodging homes, or homes with five or more bedrooms with the rooms being rented out separately. The by-law prohibits more of those homes from being constructed, and requires current lodging homes to register with the town.

“I know we’ve had many inquiries,” said Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher. “There’s been one landlord in particular that has been inquiring that wants to get a jump on making sure that his units are up to code, and just wondering what he has to do to make sure they’re in good shape. He’s wanting to get his registered pretty quickly.”

About 90 such structures exist in the town. The owners had six months from the time the by-law came into effect to register their properties. Registering them will trigger an inspection.

“We’re hoping that we’ll start to see some names coming in now,” she said. “We’re just at a stage now [where] we’re getting a lot of inquiries. We’re had a lot of interest from municipalities outside of Antigonish as well. It’s something that all municipalities are concerned about, especially university towns.”

Boucher called it a balancing act between providing good, safe housing, while also maintaining the integrity of neighbourhoods. She said the town has yet to receive any complaints about the by-law.

Boucher previously said the major stakeholders – those being the landlords association, home owners that are renting out multiple rooms, and university students – will have to get educated on the implications of the new by-law.

She added the town is ready to work with all the major stakeholders to make sure that everybody complies.

For more on the new lodging by-law, check out: