In response to the proliferation of short-term rentals in Ottawa and concerns about the quality of rental housing, low vacancy rates and a growing need for more affordable rental housing, Council today approved a regulatory framework for rental accommodations.
In cases where property owners or tenants continue to not comply with property standards, the City will increase the re-inspection fee to $500. Revenue will be used to fund two new by-law officers who will focus on repeat offenders and high-risk properties. The regulatory regime for long-term rental housing also includes new by-laws to improve landlord-tenant communication and pest and vermin management.
The City will develop and pilot new regulations to permit short-term rentals in residential neighbourhoods for three years, enabling property owners or occupants to rent out their principal residences, as well as rural cottages, secondary suites, coach houses and vacation homes on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway and FlipKey. Short-term rentals of commercial and investment properties in residential areas will still be prohibited.
Short-term rental platforms and property managers will need to register with the City and provide information on listings. Short-term rental hosts will need to get a permit that would be valid for two years, and follow rules related to consumer protection, health and safety, and community nuisances. The City will use revenues from the new registration and permit fees, and from the municipal accommodations tax, to enforce the rules.