The City of Toronto has recently announced that the registration system for short-term rental operators or hosts will launch on September 10, 2020. Homeowners who rent their principal home or condo on a short-term basis (a period of less than 28 consecutive days) must register with the City by the end of year and renew annually.

In addition to registering and paying the annual fee of $50/year, operators must post the City-issued short-term registration number on all advertisements and listings, provide safety information to guests and collect and remit 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax on all short-term rentals. Violators may be convicted of an offence and fined up to $100,000 and up to $10,000/day for each day the offence continues. Short-term rental companies also must register and follow the City’s regulations.

Operators should note that registration with the City doesn’t authorize an operator to short-term rent in a condo that prohibits such rentals. Condominiums may impose stricter rules and prohibitions on short-term rentals. At all times, owners and residents of condo units must follow the condominium’s declaration, by-laws and rules.

What this registration system does provide is operator accountability in addition to the rule enforcement system under the Condo Act. For example, condos can soon check advertisements and listings for a City-issued short-term registration number as a first step in its enforcement. Further, Toronto residents can contact 311 to report issues related to short-term rentals, such as noise and concerns that people are renting homes that are not their principal residence.

Many condos struggle with regulating short-term rentals and the negative impacts on their communities. This mandatory registration system will hopefully aid those condos in enforcing rogue operators who often adopt different aliases to escape detection and continue to skirt the rules.