Toronto to move forward with regulation of short-term rentals

by Steve Randall on 19 Nov 2019

Plans to regulate the short-term rentals market in Toronto will go ahead following the dismissal of an appeal.

It means that short-term rentals through platforms such as Airbnb will be allowed in all housing types across the city but only in homeowners’ principal residences.

Secondary suites are also permitted to be used for short-term rentals but only where it is a principal residence.

Companies such as Airbnb will be required to pay $5,000 per year to the City plus $1 for each night booked through their platforms.

Those doing short-term rentals will also have to pay a new Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) of 4% on all rentals that are less than 28 consecutive days.

"This is good news for Toronto residents and a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating short-term rentals and keeping our neighbourhoods liveable,” said Mayor John Tory. “When we approved these regulations in 2017, we strived to strike a balance between letting people earn some extra income through Airbnb and others, but we also wanted to ensure that this did not have the effect of withdrawing potential units from the rental market.”

Right balance
The Mayor added that he believes the policy achieves the right balance in falling more on the side of availability of affordable rental housing and the maintenance of reasonable peace and quiet in Toronto neighbourhoods and buildings.

The City of Toronto approved the regulation of short-term rentals of homes in December 2017 and January 2018; but an appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal followed.

On November 18, 2019, the Tribunal dismissed the appeal, allowing the City to proceed with its plan. Further details are expected in December.

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