As the ban on short-term rentals amid the COVID-19 pandemic lifts, the City of Toronto says they must continue to comply with bylaw.
On Thursday, the Province of Ontario announced that short-term rentals would be allowed to resume operations beginning Friday, following an amendment to an order under the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and are now considered an essential business.
In a release, the City of Toronto said that short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s Zoning By-laws and Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals Bylaw and “any resumption of operation must be in accordance with these bylaws.”
Under the City’s bylaws, people can host short-term rentals in their principal residence only – both homeowners and tenants can participate.
It states that short-term rentals, defined as any rental that is for a period of less than 28 consecutive days, are permitted across the city in all housing types in residential zones and the residential component of mixed-use zones.
Those who live in secondary suites and laneway suites can also participate, as long as the secondary suite/laneway suite is their principal residence.
Short-term rental companies are required to be licensed with the City of Toronto in order to carry on business, and short-term rental operators (people renting their homes on a short-term basis) will be required to register with the City.
Before the declaration of an emergency in Toronto, the City was moving forward with a phased approach to implementing the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals By-law, which came into effect in November 2019.
But as City services have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resources have been redirected to emergency response, this impacted implementation timelines for short-term rental regulations.
The City says it is currently working to determine new implementation timelines, and it continues to respond to short-term rental issues on a complaint basis.
On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford confirmed that the ban was being lifted, and that “a lot of people need that income and a lot of people want to rent a place.”
On April 4, the province banned short-term rentals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the ruling stated that short-term rentals were only permitted for individuals “who are in need of housing during the emergency period” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.