City of Toronto registration of short-term rentals to launch September 10

This September, the City of Toronto will launch a new online registration system for short-term rental operators who are renting their homes on a short-term basis for a period of less than 28 consecutive days.

Beginning September 10, 2020, short-term rental operators will need to start registering with the City in order to operate in Toronto. Registration is a necessary first step to allow the City to effectively administer the new rules applicable to short-term rentals. People who are currently renting their home on a short-term basis, or planning to do so, must be registered by December 31, 2020. After this date, all new operators will be able to register on an ongoing basis and must register prior to short-term renting their homes.

Registration for short-term rentals and related payment processing will be available online. People can learn about the rules and view more details on the government identification and the information needed for registration at https://toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.

In Toronto, short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s zoning bylaws and the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals bylaw:

  • City bylaws permit short-term rentals across Toronto in all housing types in residential zones and the residential components of mixed-use zones.
  • People can short-term rent their principal residence only. This is the residence where they live and where the address is used for bills, identification, taxes or insurance.
  • Both homeowners and renters in any housing type (for example house, apartment, or condominium) are allowed to short-term rent their home.
  • People can rent up to three bedrooms in their principal residence for an unlimited number of nights per year or their entire home for a maximum of 180 nights per year.
  • People can host a short-term rental in a secondary suite (for example a basement apartment) or a laneway suite, as long as the suite is their principal residence.
People can short-term rent their homes in Toronto only if they are a registered operator. A valid City-issued registration number must be included in all advertisements and listings.

Registered short-term rental operators will need to start collecting and remitting the four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on a quarterly basis starting January 1, 2021. More information on how to collect and make the MAT payments will be provided in fall 2020.

The City will also require short-term rental companies to obtain a licence from the City in order to carry on business in Toronto. A short-term rental company is any company facilitating or brokering short-term rental reservations online and receiving payment for this service, such as Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com. The City is currently working with short-term rental companies on the licensing process and more information is available on the City’s website.

On December 7, 2017 and January 31, 2018, Toronto City Council approved the regulations for short-term rentals. The City’s zoning bylaw amendments to permit short-term rentals as a use were appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

On November 18, 2019 the LPAT issued a ruling that dismissed the appeals and upheld City Council’s adopted zoning bylaw amendments for short-term rentals. Since November 2019, the City has worked to implement the short-term rental rules. Despite further delays resulting from the redirection of resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is now ready to launch the short-term rental registration portal.

With the registration for short-term rental operators beginning in September, over the next few months, the City will educate the public on the rules, encourage operators to register their short-term rentals, and work with companies to ensure compliance with the licensing rules.

The City continues to respond to short-term rental issues on a complaint basis. Residents can contact 311 to report issues related to short-term rentals, such as noise, waste and concerns if others are renting homes that are not their principal residence.

More information about short-term rentals can be found at https://toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.

Quotes:

“This is good news for Toronto residents and a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating short-term rentals and maintaining the peace and quiet of our neighbourhoods.  This system will provide crucial oversight of operators and ensure that they are held accountable and only operate within their principal residences.”

- Mayor John Tory

“We have been fighting for balanced rules for short-term rentals, and with the rules now in action, we have an opportunity to give people the flexibility to short-term rent their homes for extra income while minimizing impact on the availability of housing. We are making progress – the launch of the registration system for short-term rentals will be another important milestone in our efforts to provide long-term rental housing options for residents.”

- Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, (Ward 9 Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee

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