On December 7, the Toronto City Council passed legislation to regulate the short-term accommodation rental industry, allowing rentals only in one’s principal residence. Secondary suites will not be allowed. This means that the commercial side of Airbnb’s hosts – those running multiple suites and homes – will no longer be allowed to operate under the platform of Airbnb. This will also apply to any other rental platform similar to Airbnb.
Now two large cities, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as the province of Quebec have taken strong legislative positions to limit the use of short-term rental platforms – a move that many other cities and provinces can follow.
This new law means that those offering short-term rentals must register with the city and will be required to post the registration number with their online listing. Additionally, entire-home rentals will be capped at 180 nights per year.
Importantly, the Toronto regulations include an enforcement piece and a regulatory framework for short-term rental companies, like Airbnb, which will ensure platform accountability. This means that the platform owner will be responsible for removing short-term rental listings that do not comply with the new rules. This is of critical importance and a key component that needs to be included in every jurisdiction.
Congratulations to the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association, led by Tony Elenis, and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, led by Terry Mundell. Through direct letters and participation in various stakeholder meetings and public hearings, their contributions and efforts played a pivotal role in ensuring that fair rules and regulations were put in place for the hotel sector.
The AHLA has made recommendations to the Government of Alberta, and will continue to seek a level playing field and ensure the safety and comfort of guests, hosts, and neighbours.