Proposed Airbnb Rules Would Require Host to Live at Listed Property

Mayor John Tory supports proposed changes

Airbnb, it’s a good game if you can get it. Home owners have been making good money off of investment properties by listing them on Airbnb, but that could all change if city hall elects to approve new regulations proposed by Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department.

The proposed rules were released Monday following a lengthy consultation period. If approved, the rules would prohibit people from listing units that they don’t reside in. We could also see the implementation of a registry of people operating a short-term rental unit.

The idea behind excluding owners from listing investment properties that they don’t live in is an effort to make more long-term rentals available to Toronto residents. So, in short, it would be fine for a home owner to list a property if they plan on vacating it for short periods, but it must be their primary residence. Toronto is currently locked in rental shortage, and the Municipal Licensing and Standards department’s regulations could help correct the shortage and escalating rental prices.

The proposed changes have the support of mayor John Tory.

“I think what we’ve done here is we’ve tried to achieve a balance between this kind of availability for tourists and others, and the needs of people for permanent housing and the need for stable neighbourhoods,” Tory said in a press conference on Monday.

Additional proposed regulations include formally licensing short-term rental companies like Airbnb and changing zoning bylaws to create “short-term rental” designation.