Mandatory Registration of Short-Term Rentals Officially Begins in Toronto

short-term rentals
Photo by Christopher Lin on Unsplash

Beginning today, the City of Toronto has launched a new online registration system for short-term rental operators who rent their homes on a short-term basis for a period of less than 28 consecutive days.

As of Thursday, September 10, short-term rental operators must register with the City in order to operate legally in Toronto. Operators are now only allowed to rent their principal residence on a short-term basis.

A principal residence is the residence where they live and the address used for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance. Additionally, registration for short-term rentals must be completed online.

READ: Mandatory Registration Coming for Toronto Short-Term Rentals Next Month

For those applying, registration is a mandatory step to legally rent out homes for short-term stays and now a valid City-issued registration number must be included in all advertisements and listings.

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.

When registering online, short-term rental operators need government-issued identification to demonstrate that they are over the age of 18 and to show evidence of principal residence. Only an Ontario Driver’s Licence or Ontario photo card that shows the address are accepted. Operators also need to provide the City with information, including:

  • Contact information and address;
  • Details of the short-term rental, including a description of the type of building in which the rental is located and which parts of the home operators will short-term rent; and
  • The name and telephone number of an alternate (emergency) contact who will be available 24 hours a day during rental periods.

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.

The City of Toronto says it 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.

“Registration is a necessary first step to allow the City to effectively administer the new rules applicable to short-term rentals,” said Mayor John Tory.

“Staff has created an innovative, customer-focused, end-to-end digital registration experience as part of the City’s modernization efforts to make services easier to use and more accessible. The registration service is setting a new standard for a positive customer experience and will be improved further based on feedback.”

The registration fee of $50 must be paid online using a valid credit card and the registration process is contactless and can be completed in a matter of minutes online.

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