If you currently own a property that is used for short term rentals like Airbnb it is important that you are up to date on the new City of Toronto regulations. The city has passed zoning bylaw amendments intended to regulate short term rental operators. The new rules apply to homeowners and tenants who want to rent rooms or homes on short-term basis. The regulations restrict short-term rentals to a homeowner’s principal residence.
There are currently 21,000 short-term listings in the city. Research has determined that as many as 5,000 homes in Toronto have been permanently converted to short-term accommodations and about 30% of all listings are not in the primary residence of an operator. Individuals who operate a short term rental that is not in their primary residence will be the most affected. People can rent up to three bedrooms in a unit for an unlimited number of nights per year up to a maximum of 28 days per stay or their entire home for a maximum of 180 nights per year.
Short-term rental companies will be required to be licensed with the City of Toronto. They will be required to pay a one-time licence application fee of $5,000 and an ongoing fee of $1.00 for every night booked through the company. Licensees will be required to ensure that all listings have valid registration numbers.
Individuals wishing to partake in short-term rentals in their homes will be required to pay a registration fee of $50 per year and post their city-issued registration number in all advertisements. They will be required to pay a 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax on all rentals that are less than 28 consecutive days.
Licensing of short-term rental companies and registration of operators will begin in spring 2020. Current and prospective short-term rental operators will have three months to register. During this time, the City will educate the public on short-term rental rules, encourage operators to register their short-term rentals, and work with companies to ensure compliance with the licensing rules.
By summer 2020 all short-term rental operators will need to be registered. The City will take enforcement actions against short-term rental operators that are not registered or are not following the rules. Registered short-term rental operators will also be required to start paying the 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax on a quarterly basis.