The blog of
Sinistar
Housing

Short-Term Rentals in Ontario: Rules and Regulations in 2022

By Nathan Guss|8 min|September 2022

The Government of Ontario has a flexible approach to short-term rentals that gives a great deal of leeway to cities and towns. Read more to find out what rules and regulations may apply to local hosts.

Last updated: September 28, 2022

In Ontario, the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act give cities broad authority to regulate short-term rentals. Cities can decide where they are allowed, how they are taxed, and what licences hosts need. This lets communities manage the impact of the booming short-term rental market.

If you’re interested in leasing a property on a short-term basis, check with your municipality about local bylaws and whether you need a permit. There may be regulations on the number of guests and overnight stays allowed per year, for example. Local specifics vary and are constantly evolving, so it’s always a good idea to thoroughly research how it works in your city.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s how 3 municipalities in Ontario manage short-term rentals.

Toronto

In Toronto, a temporary rental unit is defined as a home rented out for less than 28 consecutive days. This definition excludes hotels and motels.

Eligibility to Register

All temporary rental units must register online with the City of Toronto. You’ll need a valid Ontario driver’s licence or Ontario photo card with the address of your primary residence, a credit card and the name of an emergency contact person available during rental periods.

Many types of housing are eligible, including the following:

  • houses
  • rooms in homes
  • apartments
  • basement apartments
  • condominiums
  • units on a residential property including a house (laneway suites)

If you want to rent out a condominium or a unit in an apartment complex, check your association’s bylaws first. You might find that short-term rentals are regulated or prohibited in your building. That said, you don’t need to be a homeowner to take part in the home-sharing economy in Toronto. Renters can rent out their homes but need to check if they can do so under the terms of their lease.

Importantly, the rental home must be your primary residence. The city defines a primary residence as a home where you live and the address you use for bills, taxes and insurance. Dwellings that are part of a larger property—attached units, laneway suites, duplexes, basement apartments and so on—can be rented out, but they must be your primary residence. Second homes and investment properties may only be rented out long-term. Homes that are not in residential areas are also ineligible.

Taxation

Operators are required to collect and remit a 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax. You’re required to file an online report and make payments quarterly regardless of whether the housing was rented out. If you list your property with a short-term rental platform and they have signed an agreement with the city, they can take care of charging and paying the tax. However, you still must file a quarterly report.

Number of Guests and Nights

Once you’ve registered with the city, there are some specific regulations on how many people you can host and for how many nights. Operators can rent an entire home for up to 180 nights per year. There are no limits for room rentals, but you can rent out no more than 3 rooms. You must keep records about the number of nights and the price paid. You also need to keep track of whether you rented out the entire home or individual rooms.

Ottawa

Ottawa has a new bylaw for short-term rentals of less than 30 days. All hosts must now register with the city when renting out temporary housing.

Applicants can register by sending an application form or applying online. You will need to prove that the property is your primary residence with the address on your Ontario driver’s licence or identification card. Renters must provide written consent from their landlord. You will also need to submit proof of insurance and sign a declaration that you are aware of and will comply with all short-term rental bylaws. Currently, the registration fee is $110 for a 2-year permit.

Eligibility

You must be at least 18 years old and reside in an area where the zoning bylaw doesn’t prohibit bed and breakfasts. In urban areas and rural villages, you can rent out your principal residence. The City of Ottawa defines a principal residence as the home with the address that appears on your Ontario driver’s Licence or ID card.

In rural areas outside villages, owners of second homes can apply for a separate cottage rental permit. They may rent out a vacation home, apartment suite or coach house. Ottawa residents can apply for 1 short-term rental and 1 cottage rental permit.

Taxation

The City of Ottawa requires short-term rental operators to collect and remit a 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax. Payments must be made to the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA) monthly. Smaller establishments can ask the City of Ottawa for permission to make quarterly reports. You must file a report even if you didn’t have any guests.

Insurance

Hosts must have an insurance policy (homeowner’s, condominium or renter’s insurance as the case may be) with at least a million-dollar limit of liability.

Numbers of Guests

Depending on the size of the home, you may host up to 10 guests with a maximum of 2 people per bedroom.

Huntsville

Like its big-city counterparts, the popular cottage destination of Huntsville has specific bylaws in its Short-Term Rental program for rentals of 28 days or less.

Eligibility

Residents and property owners can participate in the Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) program if their home is in one of the designated areas. Applying for a licence requires proof of ownership, a certificate of insurance, a waste disposal plan and site drawings. The town will inspect the property to ensure that it meets the fire code and other regulations. The yearly licence fee is $500.00 for a primary residence and $750 for a secondary residence. Future hosts can submit their application online.

Taxes

In Huntsville, anyone renting out a home for 30 days or less must collect the 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax. These funds must be paid to the town monthly.

Insurance

When applying for a licence, potential hosts must provide an insurance certificate with the policy’s rental clause highlighted.

Number of Guests

Like the other two examples, you cannot host more than 2 guests per bedroom. However, a room with a pullout couch or Murphy bed can count as a bedroom.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Although sifting through details of licencing processes and regulations may seem daunting, short-term rentals can be a real boost to your income—much more so than long-term rentals.

To generate maximum income with minimum hassle, why not list your home with Sinistar?

Sinistar lets you offer your home to insurance companies to house disaster victims.

Join the largest community of hosts for disaster victims today.

Try hosting

Share this article

Read more

Home Insurance

By Nathan Guss|9 min|November 2022

Choosing the right temporary home after an insurance claim

Needing to relocate after home damages can be stressful. But sifting through the dizzying assortmen...

Housing

By Nathan Guss|6 min|November 2022

How to find temporary housing

Have you been forced to leave your residence after a fire, water damage or other unfortunate event?...

Housing

By Nathan Guss|8 min|September 2022

Short-Term Rentals in Ontario: Rules and Regulations in 2022

Last updated: September 28, 2022 In Ontario, the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act give cities ...

Home Insurance

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|6 min|December 2021

7 pitfalls to avoid after a loss

A disaster is a major ordeal to go through. Not only do you have to clean, replace or restore your ...

News

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|19 min|December 2021

Careers: becoming a residential claims adjuster

Are you interested in the profession of residential claims adjuster? We asked two professionals, Ma...

Housing

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|6 min|December 2021

How to make your accommodation more inviting

Competition can be fierce in the temporary rental market. To stand out as a host, your accommodatio...

Housing

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|6 min|December 2021

How to prepare your home for a temporary rental

If you're just starting out in the temporary rental business, you may be wondering how to meet the ...

Home Insurance

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|8 min|November 2021

What to do after a disaster if you are insured

After a disaster, making a claim to your insurer can be stressful. But now is not the time to be ha...

News

By Isabelle Ladouceur-Séguin|3 min|November 2021

Top 10 plumbers in Montreal

Updated: 23 November 2021 After a water leak or any other plumbing problem, it's best to call in a ...