A short-term rental company is any company facilitating or brokering short-term rental reservations online and receiving payment for this service (such as Airbnb and Booking.com). All short-term rental companies are required to obtain a licence to operate in Toronto.

In addition to standard City of Toronto business licensing requirements, short-term rental companies must provide the following information:

  • business address or address for service in Ontario
  • name, phone number and email address of person responsible for responding to all City communications
  • details of how the company will remove advertisements for a short-term rental if its operator has not registered with the City
  • details of the company’s procedure for dealing with problem operators and responding to complaints.

Applicants are required to pay a one-time licence application fee of $5,000 and an ongoing fee of $1.00 for every short-term rental night booked through the company. The application fee is subject to an annual increase and is non-refundable.

In order to be licensed, a short-term rental company must:

  • ensure that all listings have valid registration numbers, in the format: STR-0000-XXXXXX
  • provide a process for removal of listings that do not have valid registration numbers, and a procedure for dealing with problematic operators and responding to complaints
  • keep the following records:
    • name, address and registration number of the operator/host
    • number of nights rented as a short-term rental
    • nightly and total price charged for the short-term rental
    • rental type (entire home rental or just room rentals)
  • maintain records of the number of short-term rental listings or advertisements it removes from its platform
  • execute an agreement with the City governing the collection, use, retention and transmission of operator information
  • communicate about the City’s bylaw to all operators listing or advertising their short-term rental with the company, as requested by the City

Applicants can download the application for short-term rental business licence and email mlsbusinesslicence@toronto.ca to receive instructions on how to submit via secure file transfer.

If companies do not comply with the regulations, they are guilty of an offence. If convicted, they may be liable to pay a fine of up to $100,000.

Companies may also be liable to pay a special fine that a court deems is greater than any revenue that they may be gaining from their business; as well as a fine of up to $10,000 for each day the offence continues. Companies may also be charged a fine for the following offences:

Offence Fine ($)
Failing to licence a short-term rental company 1000
Advertising, facilitating or brokering an unregistered short-term rental 1000
Failing to remove a listing for an unregistered short-term rental 1000
Failing to keep complete transaction record for 3 years 1000
Failing to keep record of removed short-term rental listing 1000
Discriminating based on enumerated ground 500
Refusing to serve a person accompanied by a service animal 500
Failing to notify the City of a change in licensing information 400
Failing to report non-compliance with screening criteria 300
Making a threat or reprisal for participation in a public process 300
Making a threat or reprisal against unlicensed business 300

Registered short-term rental operators will be required to start collecting and remitting the four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on a quarterly basis from January 1, 2021.

More information on how operators can collect and make the MAT payments themselves or via the company will be provided in fall 2020.

Short-term rental company licences must be renewed annually.

A renewal notice, identifying any documents required to renew the licence, will be mailed to the address on file.

If a short-term rental company fails to renew its licence according to the bylaw, the licence will be cancelled, and the company will have to reapply.