Short-term Rental Accommodations (STRA) such as those acquired via Airbnb, VRBO, Kijiji etc. are operating worldwide where residents and property owners are renting out rooms or entire units for short periods of time facilitated by online platforms. STRAs have created an informal economy that typically is not yet regulated.
Like many other municipalities, these STRA’s are also operating in Georgina. Through 2017 and 2018, a number of concerns were raised by the community in relation to STRA’s including conflict with existing residential uses, noise, safety, parking, environmental overload, zoning, taxation, enforcement etc.
Georgina Council passed a by-law on Oct. 9, 2019, regulating short-term rental accommodations (STRA) within the town. The by-law includes amendments to the Official Plan, Secondary Plans and a zoning by-law amendment. The main issues with STRA have been related to disruptive renters and negligent hosts. The regulatory framework encompasses provisions to address these areas of concern, while avoiding placing undue burden on non-disruptive renters and attentive hosts. The by-law will come into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Application packages are also available in hard copy at the Civic Centre.
- Short-term Rental Accommodations
Council Meeting - Oct. 9, 2019
Council passed a by-law regulating short-term rental accommodations (STRA) within the Town. The by-law includes amendments to the Official Plan, Secondary Plans and a zoning by-law amendment. The main issues with STRA have been related to disruptive renters and negligent hosts. The regulatory framework encompasses provisions to address these areas of concern, while avoiding placing undue burden on non-disruptive renters and attentive hosts. The by-law will come into effect January 2020 and staff will begin working on a communications campaign to generate awareness.
Council reports and presentations
Oct. 9, 2019 -
April 24, 2019 -
Feb. 27, 2019 -
Sept. 12, 2018 -
July 11, 2018 -
June 6, 2018 -
May 14, 2018 -
Feb. 7, 2018 -
Feb. 14, 2018 -
Feb. 28, 2018 -
Frequently Asked Questions
Short-term Rental Accommodations (STRA) refer to people renting their residence, or part of it, for short periods of time primarily through internet-based platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and Kijiji. These platforms have grown significantly in number and popularity over the past five years. Today, STRA platforms are present in more than 190 countries and many municipalities are acting to regulate this activity.
Preliminary internet research conducted in June 2018 indicated there are approximately 110 STRA host sites in the Town. These are concentrated along the Lake Simcoe shoreline from the south end of Keswick to Port Bolster.
STRA have been active in the Town of Georgina since the first vacation homes were built in the former Township of Georgina, Township of North Gwillimbury and Village of Sutton. Prior to the internet, vacation rentals were done through newspaper ads, real estate companies and by word of mouth.
There are a number of potential benefits to STRA. These include the potential to increase tourism and draw more visitors to the community which in turn has a positive impact on the local economy. STRA also allows people to generate additional income by renting out their homes, making it more affordable to live in their residence or off-set the cost of a vacation property.
There are a number of issues related to STRA. These include public safety concerns (including excessive noise, late-hour activities, illegal parking, and littering), fire and building safety issues, the impact on private sewage disposal systems, impacts on affordable housing and competition with other traditional rental accommodation markets.
There are two main requirements your property has to fall within in order to be permitted to operate a STRA –
- Is your property a single-family dwelling?
- Does your property have a minimum of three parking spaces, plus one additional parking space per guest room?
If you answered yes to both questions, then your property is within the definition of a short-term rental accommodation and you can make application for a STRA licence.
Yes you can own two properties, however, you are required to apply for two STRA licences.
Yes, you or your representative will have to inhabit the dwelling unit, or any part thereof, on the same premises as the STRA; except if the STRA committee under a variance application approves a designated offsite host. “Host” means any individual, who is not a renter, designated by the applicant or licensee to be contacted by the Town regarding any concerns related to the Short-term Rental Accommodation.
Yes, but only with written consent from the homeowner.
You can apply for a licence, however, the STRA by-law states that there shall be a minimum separation distance of 100 metres between STRA’s. If you are within the 100 metres, you can submit a variance application where the Short-term Rental Accommodation Committee will review the request.
Yes, the number of active STRA licences shall not exceed 150 at any given time.
The Demerit Point System was established to keep track of all contraventions and allow enforcement of the by-law. It provides reassurance to neighbours that if there is a problematic STRA in their neighbourhood, the STRA licence could be suspended or revoked based on the amount of demerit points.
A STRA licence may be suspended for a period not longer than six months if the total demerit points is at least seven and a STRA licence may be revoked if the total demerit points is at least 15.
New Application $250Renewal Application $150Septic Inspection $106Occupant Load Review $158Fire Inspection $122Committee Appeal $500Variance Application $1,400
Your STRA licence is valid for one year and will expire the year after the licence was issued.
The following documents are required:
- STRA application
- Proof of ownership
- Proof the applicant is at least 18 years of age
- Rental agreement between owner and host (if applicable)
- Rental agreement between the applicant (tenant) and owner (if applicable)
- Corporation, Articles of Incorporation, partnership documents (if applicable)
- Site plan
- Floor plan
- Proof of current $2-million liability insurance
- Licence fees
There will be a waiting list. Each completed application received will be date stamped and when a licence is made available, staff will contact the next available application. Based on the area of existing STRA’s, the applicant on the waiting list may have to apply for a variance in order to operate within the 100 metres of an existing STRA. If the applicant next in line does not want to continue with the application, staff will contact the next application on the waiting list.
•If the application is new (without a variance)? Notification is not required. •If an application has a variance? Notification will be sent to neighbours within 100 metres of the STRA. •If an application has an appeal? Notification is not required