Oakville Will Regulate Airbnb and Short-Term Rentals

Short-term accommodations - such as Airbnb - and bed and breakfasts are going to regulated in Oakville.

Town council has given the green light for amendments to local zoning bylaws, and a new licensing bylaw to licence, regulate and govern these uses.

“Council’s objective is to protect the livability and vitality of our communities,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

We believe these new regulations will help us maintain community character and create accountability in the home-sharing market.”

The term “short-term accommodation” typically describes rentals that occur over a short period of time — less than 30 days.

The zoning bylaw regulates the types of properties that homeowners can rent as a short-term accommodation, and effective Nov. 1, the new licensing bylaw will require rental companies and rental hosts to be licensed with the town in order to operate.

The town’s zoning by-law amendments now recognize short-term accommodations and permit them within a variety of residential areas, subject to obtaining a licence.

In order to operate a short-term accommodation, the new by-law requires that a certificate of occupancy and a $237 per year license be obtained; that the accommodation be operated by the person(s) whose principal residence is the dwelling in which the rental unit is located, and that one additional off-street parking space be provided.

Short-term accommodations aren’t allowed within the same dwelling as a bed and breakfast establishment, a lodging house, a private home daycare, or a daycare.

As for bed and breakfasts, the new regulations would permit three lodging units within a bed and breakfast - up from two, to create more equity in the market between short-term accommodations and bed and breakfasts.

The term “short-term accommodation” typically describes rentals that occur over a short period of time (e.g. less than 30 days). Popular online platforms such as Airbnb, Flipkey and Homeaway facilitate bookings and payments for short-term accommodations.

Council directed staff to study the issue of licensing short-term accommodation locally and how other municipalities are regulating or licensing this form of accommodation back in Oct. 2016.

Staff conducted best practices research, identified issues and consulted with stakeholders and the public in 2017.

What do you think about the decision to regulate Airbnb and other services offering short-term accommodations?

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