City of Toronto adopts new short term rental regulations

On December 7, Toronto City Council adopted recommendations to create a new bylaw for short term rental regulations in the City of Toronto. Coming in the wake of debate between renters, landlords, and Airbnb, the new newly adopted regulations create a framework that serves to protect housing supply from being channeled into hotel-style accommodation.

Toronto City Hall. Photo by Jérôme Decq via Flickr Commons.

The new regulations will allow a property owner or tenant to participate as an operator (host) of a short-term rental in their principal residence, where they may share up to three bedrooms, or rent their entire residence on short-term durations but for no more than a total of 180 days a year. Short term rentals are rentals that are offered in periods of 28 consecutive days or less, and are typically facilitated through short-term rental companies (platforms) such as Airbnb.

“These regulations do the right thing in the right way. They strike a balance that embraces new technology and allows short-term rentals while protecting communities,” said Mayor John Tory. “I’m proud City Council has found a way to regulate short-term rentals in a way that will keep housing affordable.”

The new regulations will take effect June 1, 2018. City staff will create an online registration system for short-term rental operators, and will meet with with short-term rental platform companies to provide guidance on implementation of new regulations.

Toronto homeowners and tenants who wish to share their principal residence and become a short-term rental operator will be required to register with the City through a new online registration system for an annual fee of $50.

Short term rental platform companies, such as Airbnb, will require a license from the City. The initial application fee will be $5,000 and an annual licensing fee based on $1 per night booked through the platform.

The City is taking steps to accommodate people’s desire to participate in home-sharing arrangements as both guests and hosts, while balancing the need to maintain rental housing stock and avoid commercialization of residential neighbourhoods.

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