New rules for short-term rentals take effect this week to ensure operators only rent out their primary residences for a period of 28 straight days on short-term rental sites like Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com.
Now, as a first step towards compliance, operators will need to register their home online with the City of Toronto in order to achieve “crucial oversight” as Mayor John Tory called it.
Registration begins September 10. People who are currently renting their home on a short-term basis, or planning to do so, must register by December 31, 2020. After this date, all new operators will be able to register on an ongoing basis, but prior to short-term renting their homes.
People can learn about the rules and view more details on the government identification and the information needed for registration on the City’s website.
Once registered, a valid city-issued registration number must be included in all advertisements and listings. Registered short-term rental operators will need to start collecting and remitting the four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on a quarterly basis starting January 1, 2021. More information on how to collect and make the MAT payments will be provided this fall.
Toronto will also require short-term rental companies to obtain a licence from the city.
The City is currently working with these companies on the licensing process. Over the next few months, the city says it will also educate the public on the rules, encourage operators to register their short-term rentals, and work with companies to ensure compliance. For now, Toronto continues to “respond to short-term rental issues on a complaint basis.” Residents can contact 311 to report related issues, such as noise, waste and concerns if others are renting homes that are not their principal residence.
“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,” said Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão.