Airbnb Regulations in Canada

airbnb regulations in Canada

By The Hospitable Team

Considering starting an Airbnb in Canada to make extra money? Owning an Airbnb can be a lucrative real estate side hustle. That’s why thousands of Canadians are renting out their primary residence or secondary property on Airbnb or another OTA platform to get additional income.

But before you jump to listing your house, apartment, or cottage on any short-term rental website to offer self-catering accommodation, you should understand what you’re getting into.

It’s important to research local short-term rental laws and regulations to ensure you’re allowed to host on your property. Let’s take a closer look at some province- and city-specific Airbnb regulations in Canada that hosts must follow to operate in their listings legally.

Airbnb Regulations in Canada

Canada’s Short-term rental regulations vary from location to location, and each city has its own set of rules. Navigating them can be challenging, yet it’s imperative for remaining compliant and becoming a successful Airbnb host.

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Regarding vacation rentals, Canada’s legislation is not as strict as in some other countries. Yet, in recent years, local governments across Canada have strengthened regulations to limit short-term rentals to address the housing crisis and increase the availability of long-term rentals.

British Columbia Airbnb Regulations

British Columbia has introduced new rules restricting short-term rentals in 65 B.C. communities starting May 1, 2024. The Province has implemented a provincial principal residence requirement, which limits short-term rentals to:

  • The host’s principal residence
  • Plus, one secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit on the same property

This requirement applies across B.C. in municipalities with a population of 10,000 and over and smaller neighboring communities. But you should remember that local governments can have more restrictive short-term rental bylaws, depending on their local needs.

Many local governments, for example, in Victoria and Vancouver, require hosts to obtain a business license to operate a short-term rental. In such cases, short-term rental hosts must display a valid business license number on their listing starting May 1, 2024.

You can find more information about regional district business licensing on the B.C. Regional district business regulation webpage.

Airbnb Regulations in Ontario

In Ontario, the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act grant cities broad authority to regulate short-term rentals. Cities can decide where short-term rentals are allowed, what licenses hosts need, and what taxes they must pay.

For example, in Toronto, you can only rent out your principal residence on a short-term basis (for less than 28 consecutive days), which means you can’t legally run more than one vacation rental. You can rent up to three bedrooms in your principal residence for an unlimited number of nights per year or the entire home for a maximum of 180 nights per calendar year.

Hosts must register with the city of Toronto and pay a non-refundable registration fee online, and they must also renew short-term rental registration every year. STR hosts must collect and remit a 6% Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on rental revenues, filing quarterly online tax reports and payments.

Quebec Airbnb Laws

For years, Quebec has had one of the strongest laws in Canada to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. Hosts were required to register with the provincial government and display that number on the listing, or they could face fines. But the rules weren’t adequately enforced. 

In 2023, Quebec’s new tourist accommodation law came into effect. People who want to rent their primary or secondary homes to tourists for 31 days or less must acquire registration numbers from Quebec’s tourism industry regulator. This requirement also applies to STR hosts in the Montreal area.

OTA platforms like Airbnb are prohibited from displaying listings that don’t have a registration number and a proper certificate issued by the province. Short-term rental platforms also have to verify the validity of registration numbers. Individual hosts who display false or inaccurate registration information face fines of up to $50,000.

Alberta Airbnb Regulations

The province allows municipalities to set their own rules for short-term rentals. For example, in Calgary, a short-term rental is defined as providing temporary accommodation for compensation in a home or a part of a home for periods of up to 30 consecutive days.

According to the Business License Bylaw, hosts in Calgary must obtain a short-term rental business license and may apply for it online or in person at city hall. The city has a two-tiered licensing system for short-term rentals:

  • Tier 1 is for hosts offering 1 to 4 rooms for rent
  • Tier 2 is for hosts who want to rent out 5+ rooms.

All Airbnb hosts must have a separate short-term business license for each rental property. Effective April 11, 2024, all licensees must undergo a fire inspection for their STR property before the business license will be issued.

Nova Scotia Airbnb Rules

All short-term rentals in the province, including residential homes, condos, apartments, cabins, tiny homes, and rooms, must register annually with the Tourist Accommodations Registry. Hosts must add registration numbers to their listings, and OTA platforms like Airbnb must list only short-term rentals with a valid registration number.

You must complete your application registration and pay your annual fee online. After you submit your completed registration form and payment, the Tourist Accommodations Registry will email you a receipt and registration number. 

Please note that the information in this article is not intended as legal advice; it offers a general overview of Airbnb regulations in some provinces in Canada. If you have questions about Airbnb regulations in your city, contact your local government or consult a local lawyer to ensure you’re fully compliant with any laws for your area.

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