City Regulation of Short-Term Rentals – What Should Condos Know?

As our readers likely know, new City regulation of short-term rentals has been in progress for some time. Yesterday, a special joint meeting of the Community and Protective Services Committee and the Planning Committee was held, and both Committees ended up recommending (to City Council) that the City pass proposed new by-law amendments to regulate short term rentals in the City.  Our own Nicole Robinson attended the joint meeting and made submissions about the need to recognize the additional rights of condominium corporations when it comes to short-term rentals.

The proposals must still pass Council.

Again, we were in attendance, and thought we’d highlight a few things specific to condominiums for our readers.

1. Condominiums will still have authority to regulate short-term rentals.

Condominiums have authority to regulate short-term rentals in their communities by virtue of the Condominium Act, 1998. The City’s new Short-Term Rental By-law won’t impact this authority.

2. Condominiums will have a special permitting process.

Under the new regime, which will be in effect for a pilot period of 3 years, hosts will have to apply for a permit in order to rent their principal residence out to short-term rentals (meaning rentals for 30 nights or less).

For condominiums where short-term rentals are prohibited, you will be able to proactively register your declaration, by-laws, or rules that prohibit short-term rentals. Where a prohibition is registered, no short-term rental permit will be issued by the City for that property. More information is to follow regarding this registration process.

3. The new by-law means better enforcement options.

Once this new regime is in effect, the enforcement powers that are included will mean more options for condos that face issues with short-term rentals. More help will be available (from the City) where it is suspected that a rental is being operated without a permit, or where nuisance or compliance issues arise. For example, in some cases fines may be imposed by the City, or the City will be able to suspend, revoke, or place conditions on permits.

4. Still more to be seen

We’re still waiting to see exactly how this will be implemented in communities where short-term rentals are permitted, but restricted. For instance, where a condominium’s governing documents establish caps on short-term rentals or permit only SOME types of short-term rentals, how will these restrictions “dovetail” with the City’s new regulations?

We will keep our readers updated as we learn more, but for now, it appears likely that condos will be able to seek enforcement action by the City where a host breaches the condo’s rules respecting short-term rentals. In any case, it is our recommendation that you register your condo’s rules on short-term rentals (with the City) once that option is available.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on the regulation of short-term rentals!