A raft of proposed measures to regulate short-term rentals in Toronto will go before the city’s Executive Committee today.
The proposals, laid out in a staff report tabled last week, would make services like Airbnb register with the city and pay a licensing fee. Those who use the app to rent out their homes would also have to register with the city.
The rules would also limit short-term rentals to people’s primary residences, meaning that owners would not be allowed to rent out income properties for a term of less than 28 days.
Speaking with reporters Monday, Mayor John Tory said the new measures aim to help balance new technologies with the existing needs of residents and neighbourhoods.
“We have to deal with these emerging technology issues as they change the way we do business and live our lives,” Tory said.
Tory said the new measures are intended to “protect neighbourhoods, push more rental units back onto the market wherever possible and level the playing field for hotels and short-term rental providers which is still permitting an active short-term market to operate.”
The measures come amid ultra-low vacancy rates that make it difficult to find a place to live in Toronto. They are also meant to stop condo buildings from being turned into de facto hotels.
Last week, Airbnb issued a statement welcoming the report and saying it would need time to examine the proposals in more detail. The executive committee is expected to hear the company’s detailed input today when it considers the proposals.
Any recommendations the committee adopts would still have to go before a full session of city council to be approved.