The Planning Committee meeting will be held jointly with the members of Community and Protective Services Committee to discuss a proposed by-law to regulate short-term rental of residential dwelling units across Ottawa. They will consider a related report at the same time, outlining some zoning amendments needed to put the by-law into effect.
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This all stems from the strategy that Council approved in November 2019 to let the City regulate the short-term rental of principal residences for a three-year trial period. The proposed by-law includes regulations that aim to help staff manage concerns about both potential community nuisances and preserving housing stock for Ottawa residents.
The by-law proposes regulations for guests, property managers and short-term rental platforms, but the host, as a resident in the community, would be most accountable. Hosts would need to obtain a host permit from the City, proving the property being rented is their principal residence. The by-law also sets out details like what information hosts need to provide their guests and what kind of insurance coverage is required. It also outlines enforcement measures that are open to the City, including the ability to issue fines up to $100,000 each day that an offence occurs.
The related zoning report is essentially needed because the Zoning By-law does not at present permit short-term rental of residential units in residential zones, other than as a bed and breakfast use. The amendment would temporarily introduce a new definition to permit such use during the three-year trial period.
It’s worth noting the proposed regulations are a bit different in rural areas, where short-term rentals outside of the operator’s principal residence are permitted. These are defined separately under another new zoning definition – Cottage Rental – and they would only be permitted in certain rural areas, outside of villages.