Toronto Licensing and Registration Regulations for Short-Term Rentals

Author: Carleton Grant (City of Toronto)

Date: 14 November 2017

Why did we select this article?

This report recommends a registration and licensing program for short-term rental activity in Toronto. It recommends that anyone doing a short-term rental in their home must register with the City and any companies that facilitate short-term rental activity, like Airbnb, must be licensed. Therefore, it provides a good example of compliance to short-term rentals regulations.

Key findings 

The recommended short-term rental regulations were developed based on the following principles: permit people to rent their homes for short periods; minimize negative impacts on housing affordability and availability; enable greater diversity in tourism accommodations; maintain community stability, including in vertical communities; minimize nuisances; and create regulations that are fair and easy for people and companies to follow. This report recommends that a bylaw governing short-term rentals be enacted to include that:

• People who want to advertise or offer short-term rentals in their homes must be registered with the City. 

• People may rent their entire home while they are away for a maximum of 180 nights per year. 

• People may share their home for an unlimited number of nights when renting up to three rooms and/or one secondary suite.

• People must post their City-issued registration number in all advertisements for their short-term rental.

A separate Municipal Code Chapter in the city of Toronto has been established for short-term rentals, defining short-term rental companies which are subject to regulations (and the relative stakeholders involved). In addition, the main guidelines for registering and de-registering a company, with the general licensing provisions and fines criteria are provided.