Short-term rentals: new rules begin in Ottawa

People who operate Airbnbs and other short-term rentals in Ottawa must now have permits and can only rent their primary residence under new rules that come into effect today.

Enforcement of the city’s short-term rental bylaw, aimed at cracking down on so-called “ghost hotels” that only operate for short-term visitors, begins today.

The city council approved the new rules last April. However, the Ontario Short-Term Rental Association appealed the settlement to the Ontario Planning Tribunal, which delayed its implementation.

The court dismissed the appeal.

People who want to rent out their home must apply for a city-issued permit, which costs $110 for two years. They can also only register on registered platforms through the city.

The rules also allow any landlord, condominium association or housing cooperative to prohibit short-term rentals in their properties.

The regulations define a short-term rental as a home that is rented for less than 30 consecutive nights.

The rules came after reports of noise complaints and other issues in neighborhoods with a higher concentration of short-term rentals. Housing advocates say cracking down on these units will also help improve the city’s housing stock.

Some cabins in rural areas are exempt from the principal residence rule, but they will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

You can check out the city’s new short-term rental regulations here.

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