Toronto to begin enforcing short-term rental bylaw more than two years after it was first passed
The exterior of City Hall in downtown Toronto is seen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, August 25, 2020 1:09PM EDT
Torontonians who choose to rent out their homes on platforms like Airbnb will soon have to register with the city, bringing an end to more than two years of legal wrangling.
City council adopted a series of new regulations for short-term rentals back in January 2018 but the bylaw was immediately challenged in court by a group of landlords and was never actually enforced.
In November the Local Planning and Appeal Tribunal ruled in the city’s favour, noting that the new rules are “in the public interest.”
That decision paved the way for the city to begin actually enforcing the rules, which also stipulate that landlords can only rent out their primary residence on a short term basis and can only do so for a maximum of 180 nights a year.
In a news release issued on Tuesday, the city said that after “further delays” related to the redirection of some resources during the COVID-19 pandemic it is now ready to launch its registration portal for short-term rental operators, which will be the first step in enforcing the bylaw.
It says that starting on Sept. 10 short-term rental operators will be able to register with the city online.
Once they do so they will receive a registration number which must be included in all advertisements and listings.
The city says that there will be an initial grace period and all short-term rental operators will have until Dec. 31 to register.
“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 release notes.
Under the city’s short term rental bylaw, registered operators will have to start collecting and remitting a four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax to the city on a quarterly basis as of Jan. 1.
Short-term rental companies will also have to obtain a licence from the city in order to continue operating.