The City of Toronto is cracking down on short-term rentals.
Effective November 2019, the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals bylaw came into effect, under which, short-term rental operators -- including those running Airbnbs -- are subject to a 180-day maximum allowance, meaning they are permitted to rent their properties for no more than 180 days per calendar year.
The bylaw was enacted with the intention of limiting short-term rental activity in Toronto to principal residences, preventing the proliferation of "ghost hotels,” and protecting critical rental stock by maintaining access for tenants to long-term accommodations. Short-term rental operators were given until December 31, 2020, to comply with the new bylaw.
Now, the City is making good on its promise to investigate and penalized any cases of non-compliance.
In a statement to STOREYS, a City spokesperson explains that a compliance team has been tasked with monitoring data from short-term rental companies with regard to the breaches of the 180-night maximum allowance.
“If operators are not compliant with this requirement, the City issues a 'takedown' notice to remove short-term rental listings, and the short-term rental company informs the operators of the reasons their listings were removed,” the statement goes on to say. “Operators are responsible for monitoring the total number of nights (whether on one platform or across multiple platforms) their short-term rentals are rented out and ensuring they are compliant with the bylaw. Failure to comply with the bylaw may lead to the revocation of an operator's registration.”
According to the City’s website, violating this particular rule can also result in a $700 fine.
In addition, the City's compliance team is actively removing any listings without a valid registration number, using data discovery techniques and working closely with Airbnb and Booking.com. This is in addition to investigating complaints of non-compliance reported to 311.
The fine for failing to properly register a short-term rental is $1,000. The fine could increase to $100,000 if operators are issued a summons to court and convicted.
The City of Toronto defines a short-term rental as “all or part of a dwelling unit rented out for less than 28 consecutive days in exchange for payment.”
A full list of regulations, as well as the penalties for non-compliance, can be found on the City’s website.