The City of Toronto will be able to regulate how properties are listed on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb. That was the result of a decision this week from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) upholding Council’s approved short-term rental bylaws from 2017. Those rules had been on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.
In recent years, the popularity of online short-term rental sites has had several undesirable impacts on local neighbourhoods. They have reduced the number of available rental properties driving up prices, facilitated the practice of land speculation, led to less stability in local neighbourhoods, and even created specialized “party houses” in some locations.
The new City bylaws will have a number of requirements:
1) Any online short-term rental listings must register with the City of Toronto and include a registration number on the listing. This will help the City track owners and principal ownership and know who to speak with if a problem arises.
2) Any short-term rentals must be the principal residence of the landlord. An entire home can be listed for up to 180 days or up to three rooms in a home can be listed throughout the year. An investment property cannot be listed as a short-term rental.
3) All short-term rentals will be subject to the 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax now levied on local hotel rooms.
When implemented, the City’s bylaws won’t fix all of our housing concerns, but by making those listing properties more accountable to the City and their neighbours, it is expected that many existing concerns will be greatly improved. It is also expected that this may return upwards of 5,000 units to Toronto’s rental market.
For more information, including key points of the new regulations as well as links to Council decisions, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/shorttermrentals.