Operators of short-term rentals in Toronto must register prior to December 31, 2020
Lawyers should be aware of the new short-term rental rules in the City of Toronto in order to advise clients who may be buying a property with the intent of short-term rental. Only registered operators can short-term rent in Toronto. The valid City-issued registration number must be included in all advertised listings (in the format: STR-0000-XXXXXX).
Short-term rental operators are people renting their homes or rooms for a period of less than 28 consecutive days. To continue short-term renting, current operators must be registered by December 31, 2020. Future operators will be able to register on an ongoing basis but must do so before short-term renting their homes.
If an operator does not comply with the regulations, they are guilty of an offence and if convicted may be liable to pay a fine of up to $100,000. Additionally, they may be liable to pay a special fine that a court deems is greater than any revenue that they may be gaining from their business; as well as a fine of up to $10,000 for each day the offence continues. They may also be charged a fine under 19 new offences.
All registered operators must comply with the regulations, including collecting and remitting a four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on all rentals that are less than 28 consecutive days.
The registration and renewal fee are presently $50 per year, payable only by valid credit card.
It should be noted that the first phase of the Airbnb City Portal directly connects local governments to the Airbnb platform, providing real-time details about specific rentals and remitted tourist tax revenue. This is a pilot project in a number of cities and at this time Toronto is not included. Other short-term rental companies may provide the same functionality. It is easy for cities to monitor advertisings for compliance or follow-up on complaints from neighbours. All short-term rental companies are required to obtain a licence to operate in Toronto.
For further information, including the regulations, an operator`s guide and registration see https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/rental-housing-standards/short-term-rental/short-term-rental-operators-hosts/ or the by-law adopted by the Council of the City of Toronto May 24, 2018 by By-law 613-2018, which came into effect on November 18, 2019
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