Airbnb License in Canada

airbnb license in Canada

By The Hospitable Team

If you own a property in a popular tourist destination in Canada, renting it out to travelers on sites like Airbnb and its alternatives can be a great way to earn extra income. But before you turn your home into an Airbnb, you need to research Airbnb regulations in Canada and find out what requirements hosts must meet to ensure compliance.

Remember that Airbnb rules require hosts to comply with all applicable laws and don’t allow hosting on the platform without permission and/or the appropriate licenses. This article will provide general information about getting an Airbnb license in Canada and licensing procedures for STR hosts in some Canadian provinces and cities.

What Is an Airbnb License in Canada?

An Airbnb license is a ‘business license’ that allows you to rent out your property as a short-term rental and legally operate a business. Many local governments in Canada require hosts to register and obtain a license before they list their properties on Airbnb and start accepting guests, and failure to do so can result in legal issues and penalties.

Obtaining all the necessary licenses and permits will give you peace of mind to focus on providing a memorable experience for your guests and growing your business. Running a short-term rental requires significant commitment, but automating your daily tasks using vacation rental software like Hospitable can make your life much easier and allow you to scale faster.

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How to Get an Airbnb License in Canada

So, how do you get a license to start an Airbnb in Canada? The process of applying for a short-term rental license involves several steps.

First, you need to find out whether you are eligible to operate a short-term rental and what supporting documentation you need to provide to apply for an Airbnb license. Many local governments have sections on their websites explaining the process of applying for a short-term rental business license and providing relevant forms.

If you can’t find information about licensing requirements and application procedures online, contact your local municipality’s planning department or bylaw enforcement office directly. They can provide the necessary details about licensing requirements and rules that apply to your situation.

You’ll need to register on your local STR licensing platform, submit your application and supporting documentation, and pay a licensing fee. Keep in mind that you are required to renew your license annually.

Do You Need an Airbnb License in Ontario?

It depends on where your property is located. In some municipalities in Ontario, hosts may need to obtain a license or permit to operate a short-term rental like Airbnb. The specific requirements vary depending on the local regulations that govern short-term rentals set by municipal governments. Your municipality may also have other requirements you need to understand relating to zoning, noise, safety, and other matters, so you should contact them directly for more information.

Airbnb License in Toronto

In Toronto, people renting their homes or rooms on a short-term basis, for less than 28 consecutive days, need to register with the City. Remember that you can rent out your property in Toronto short-term only if it’s your principal residence, which means you can’t legally run more than one short-term rental.

The City’s regulations also require all short-term rental companies that facilitate short-term rental reservations online to receive payment for this service (for example, Airbnb and Booking.com) and to obtain a license to operate in Toronto.

You must register your short-term rental in Toronto yourself. Registration and payment for your short-term rental need to be completed online.

When registering online, you need to provide the following information:

  • A valid government-issued identification (ID) which includes your address—only Ontario Driver’s License or Ontario Photo Card are accepted.
  • Contact information and address—your name and address on the registration must match your government-issued ID.
  • Details of your short-term rental, including a description of the type of building your rental is located in and which parts of the home you will short-term rent.
  • Name and telephone number of an alternate (emergency) contact who will be available 24 hours a day during rental periods.

You are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of $55.35 in 2024, and starting January 1, 2025, the registration fee will increase to $375.00.

After you provide your information and make payment, the City will validate the information and review your application.

Starting September 30, 2024, you may be required to attend an in-person interview with City staff at a designated location and provide any information or documents related to your registration or application as requested.

If your application is approved, a registration number will be generated and emailed to you. You must post the valid City-issued short-term registration number on all your advertisements and listings.

Airbnb License in B.C.

As of May 1, 2024, new requirements exist for operating a short-term rental in B.C. They limit short-term rentals in some areas to the host’s principal residence plus one secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit on the same property. You can find the list of communities where the principal residence requirement applies on the British Columbia government website.

Local governments may have more restrictive short-term rental bylaws depending on local needs. They may require hosts to obtain a business license, for example, the City of Victoria and Vancouver. Then, hosts must display the local government business license number on the short-term rental listing. The province also requires short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo to share data and remove listings without business licenses.

Airbnb License in Vancouver

All short-term rental operators in Vancouver must have a business license and include their license number in all online listings and advertising.

A short-term rental business license can only be issued to a person for their residence property. That means that in Vancouver, you can legally rent out on Airbnb only one property, which is your principal residence, and get one short-term rental business license. If you are a tenant and/or live in a strata, you must obtain written approval to have a short-term rental in your home.

Before applying for an Airbnb license, you need to confirm that your property meets safety requirements and is equipped with smoke alarms, working fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. You also need to review your insurance policies and cover any costs or damages from operating your short-term rental business. It’s also important to review all relevant City bylaws relating to noise, parking, collecting and disposing of garbage, and follow them.

You can apply for a short-term rental business license in Vancouver online. In 2024, you’ll need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $70 and an annual fee of $1,000. They will contact you within five days of applying for your license to verify your application.

The Bottom Line

Short-term rental laws and business licensing may be tricky and subject to changes at any time. So, if you’re considering starting an Airbnb in Canada, check your local government’s official website. There, you can find more information about whether you need an Airbnb license for your property and what taxes you must pay. If you have any questions, the best move would be to consult a local lawyer to ensure you’re fully compliant with any laws in your area.

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