City of Ottawa Planning Three-Year Trial Zoning Amendment Respecting Short-Term Rentals

The City of Ottawa has published a proposal to amend the City’s zoning by-law to temporarily regulate short-term rentals in the City (for a three-year “trial period”).

Members of the public are invited to make submissions by January 31, 2021.

The Application also includes the following:

If you have received this notice because you are the owner of a building within the area of the proposed development, and the building has at least seven (7) residential units, it is requested that you post this notice in a location visible to all of the residents.

In addition, Section 25 of the Condominium Act states as follows:

Notices under the Planning Act

25. A corporation that is served with a notice under the Planning Act shall, within 15 days of being served, notify all persons whose names appear in the record of the corporation required by section 46.1 or are required by that section to appear in that record that it has been served with a notice under that Act and shall make a copy of the notice available for examination by them. 

SO: If a condominium corporation has received the Notice from the City, you should provide a copy to all of your owners (per Section 25 of the Condominium Act). ALSO:  Even though condominium corporations are not the “owners” of the buildings, it is probably wise to post the Notice (as requested by the City), if your condominium contains seven or more residential units.

For purposes of condominiums, the City’s key proposed provisions (in relation to short-term rentals) appear to be as follows:

  • A short-term rental is a rental of the whole of an existing residential unit for a period that is less than 30 consecutive nights.
  • The purpose of the rental is to provide temporary rental accommodation for the travelling public.
  • A short-term rental is only permitted where the rental premises serve as the principal residence of the landlord; and
  • It cannot be a bed and breakfast, hotel, cottage rental or vacation apartment.

We had hoped that the City might include a provision stating that “in the case of a condominium, the short-term rental must be permitted by the governing documents of the condominium”. The City hasn’t yet included such a requirement, but perhaps, following consultation, we may see such an inclusion.

In any event: Condominium corporations have their own rights to regulate and control short-term rentals, separate and apart from any restrictions in municipal by-laws.  For instance, condominium corporations may be able to pass and/or enforce provisions (respecting short-term rentals) in their Declarations or Rules… but this of course depends upon the governing documents of the particular condominium.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on condominium law!