Airbnb Toronto

Toronto could soon make it harder to use Airbnb

Airbnb-lords could be in for some serious headaches next year in Toronto if city council decides to go forward with a new set of proposed rules for short-term rentals.

A report published this week by the city's Licensing and Standards Committee recommends that a "registration and licensing program" be mandated for all short-term rental activity Toronto.

The rules, if approved, would require anyone renting out short-term space within a home to register with the City for annual fee of $50.

Companies that facilitate such short-term rental activity (namely the popular U.S. lodging broker Airbnb) must also pay a one-time licence application fee of $5,000, plus a licensing fee of $1 for each night booked through the company.

That may not sound like a lot of money for a company valued at $31 billion, but data obtained by city staff shows that there were a total of 988,378 nights rented short-term through Airbnb in Toronto last year alone.

Those dollars can add up fast.

As for the people who are comfortable renting out their homes to strangers (homes they must own, under the new rules), they will only be allowed to rent an entire home while they are away "for a maximum of 180 nights per year."

This rule is presumably meant to crack down on Toronto's many unregulated "ghost hotels" – or, as the city report puts it, to "minimize the negative impacts on housing affordability and availability."

The proposed regulations will go before the City Council for final approval next month.

Lead photo by

Airbnb


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