Short Term Rental in Ottawa, Councillor, Jan Harder, City of Ottawa


Short Term Rental in Ottawa, Councillor, Jan Harder, City of Ottawa

The number of short-term rentals in Ottawa is growing as the popularity of services such as Airbnb and VRBO continue to reach new peaks. For Ottawa residents, this has created new opportunities but also challenges. Now a special joint meeting of the Community and Protective Services and Planning Committees will be held to consider a report on short-term rentals.


The meeting will take place on April 22, 2021 and will consider new regulations for short-term rentals. Among the new rules under consideration include New rules for short-term rental hosts and guests, platforms, and property managers; New Zoning By-law definitions for short-term rental, cottage rental, bed and breakfast, and hotel; Temporary use permission

in the Zoning By-law to allow short-term rentals in specific parts of the City for a three-year trial period; and minor amendments to the by-law regulating the municipal accommodation tax to require short-term rental platforms to collect the tax on behalf of their hosts.


If there is support for these new recommendations, Ottawa’s city council will debate them during a meeting later on April 28, 2021. Then if approved, the new rules would come into effect on June 1 and will be implemented in phases over the summer. 


Under these new rules, homeowners would be able to offer short-term rentals in their own homes. Renters would be able to offer short-term rentals in the rental unit that is their principal residence – but only if their landlord permits. Condominium and co-operative owners would be able to offer short-term rentals in their principal residence unless prohibited by the condominium corporation or housing co-operative. Rural homeowners and cottage owners would be able to offer “cottage rentals, but with a separate permit.


Under the recommended by-law, short-term rentals would be allowed in the host’s principal residence in the urban area, except where bed and breakfast use is prohibited by the Zoning By-law. New rules will also come into effect to ensure the short-term rental market in the city doesn’t get out of hand. Hosts Would need a City-issued host permit for their principal residence, at a cost of $110 for two years. If you are looking to rent a cottage or home in a rural area, you would need a separate cottage rental permit, at a cost of $110 for two years. You would also only be able to list, market or book a short-term rental through registered short-term rental platforms. All guests would have to be provided with contact information and a list of the rules which include noise, parking, smoking and vaping regulations, as well as fire safety, and emergency services.


If the city receives any complaints about nuisance issues such as noise, the hosts will need to respond if requested by Bylaw and Regulatory Services. All city by-laws will also continue to be enforced with short-term rental properties and fines can range anywhere from a

few hundred dollars to over $100,000. The city

says the new rules take effect on June 1, 2021, and a phased approach would be used throughout the summer to:

  1. Register short-term rental platforms and property managers.
  2.  Begin registering prohibitions against short-term rentals.
  3.  Begin accepting applications for host permits.
  4.  Begin issuing host permits.
  5.  Announce the final deadline for compliance.