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What to know about proposed licensing of Airbnb in Toronto

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee will discuss Monday a staff-proposed licensing and registration system for short-term, Airbnb-style rentals.

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee will discuss on Monday a staff proposed licensing and registration system for short-term, Airbnb-style rentals in Toronto.

JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee will discuss on Monday a staff proposed licensing and registration system for short-term, Airbnb-style rentals in Toronto.

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee will discuss on Monday a staff proposed licensing and registration system for short-term, Airbnb-style rentals in Toronto.

Q. How will it work?

A. Staff proposes that short-term rentals only take place in a dwelling where a person resides. Operators will be required to register with the city and self-certify that the address is their primary residence. A registration number must appear in the on-line listing.

Q. How many principal residences can a person have?

A. One. And only people, not corporations, can register.

Q. How will the city know for certain a rental unit is a principal residence?

A. Once registered, licensing staff could request that the operator provide proof of principal residence. That could include producing government-issued identification featuring the operator’s name and address, the operator’s lease, or personal tax documents.

Q. Which other jurisdictions limit short-term rentals to a principal residence?

A. City staff identified eight: Denver, Los Angeles (proposed), New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Vancouver (proposed).

Q. Some cities have limited the number of nights a property can be rented. Where are they?

A. Of the jurisdictions reviewed by staff, Los Angeles (proposed), New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco have night caps in place.

Q. Is Toronto proposing a night cap?

A. No.

Q. How does the city define short-term rental?

A. A short-term rental is any rental of a residential unit lasting up to 28 days in a row.

Q. Does Toronto propose permitting short-term rentals only when the operator is home?

A. No. That is, however, a requirement in New York City and Santa Monica.

Q. How much does city staff propose operators pay to register?

A. Annual fees between $40 and $150.

Q. How much short-term rental tax will operators pay?

A. Currently under review, though a 10 per cent short-term rental tax is being considered.

Q. What is the next step after executive committee meeting?

A. Staff will hold further public consultations before draft regulations go to council later this year.

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