Toronto Opens Registration for Short-Term Rentals

by Chris on September 14, 2020

The City of Toronto announced that it is now accepting registrations to permit short-term rentals. The process has been on hold while lawmakers were dealing with the pandemic.

Registration began September 10. Any person who currently is offering short-term rentals or plans to do so must complete their registration by December 31, 2020. If a person wishes to apply after that date, the registration must occur prior to offering the short-term rental.

The new registration requirement stems from a bylaw passed in December 2017 which placed restrictions on short-term rentals, including a provision that only principal residences qualify for rental of under 28 consecutive days.

However, the bylaw was appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by owners of rental properties intended for short-term rental only.

In November 2019, opponents to the bylaw lost their appeal, and the rule was allowed to take effect. Further delays in implementing the bylaw came after the pandemic caused the city to redirect resources.

The bylaw allows rentals in all housing types in both residential and mixed-use zones. However, only primary residences qualify. Tenants are allowed to register their homes as short-term rentals. Landlords who oppose that action should seek legal counsel and may need to update their tenancy agreements going forward.

Renters in secondary suites can apply as long as it is their principal residence. Up to three bedrooms can be rented for an unlimited number of nights. Rentals of the entire home are limited to 180 nights per year.

Hosts wishing to rent short-term must include their city-issued registration number in any ads or listings.

In addition to seeking registration, hosts are required to collect and remit a 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax. Payments must be made quarterly beginning January 2021.

Listing platforms such as Airbnb and companies offering short-term rentals are required to obtain a business licence from the City of Toronto.

Over the next several months, city lawmakers say they will focus on educating the public on the new registration process. The City will continue to field complaints regarding specific short-term rental properties through a 311 hotline.

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

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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