Toronto Airbnb hosts must register with the city starting in September

From September onward, people renting their units on sites like Airbnb will have to register online with the city


As of September 10, short-term rental operators in Toronto must register with the city.

The online registration system will apply to anyone renting their home or residence for 28 days or less on platforms like Airbnb, and should help crack down on landlords flouting the rules.

The city has been trying to implement stricter rules for short-term rentals since passing a bylaw in January 2018.

After defeating an appeal from landlords who wanted to block short-term rental regulations, Toronto set a spring 2020 deadline to implement a licensing and registration system. That deadline came and went as the city dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Short-term rentals were banned until early June. But some downtown condo residents complained that people were renting units anyway or throwing loud parties.

Anyone renting their place on a short-term basis or planning to do so must be registered by December 31, 2020.

After that, all new operators must register before entering the short-term rental market. They’ll also have to follow rules on what kind of housing qualifies for short-term rentals, time limits and advertising.

“We have been fighting for balanced rules for short-term rentals, and with the rules now in action, we have an opportunity to give people the flexibility to short-term rent their homes for extra income while minimizing impact on the availability of housing,” says deputy mayor Ana Bailão, chair of Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee. “We are making progress – the launch of the registration system for short-term rentals will be another important milestone in our efforts to provide long-term rental housing options for residents.”

The city has launched a site for online registration, as well on info on regulation, bylaws and requirements for renting. Find it at toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.

In February, a coalition of housing advocates, residents and hotel workers called Fairbnb found that more than 7,300 Airbnb listings don’t comply with the city’s rules, which was exasperating the rental vacancy rates.

The affordable rental housing crisis has become even more urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many renters struggling to pay rent and many risking eviction.

@trapunski

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