Short-term Rental Accommodations

What are Short-term Rental Accommodations

Short-term Rental Accommodations (STRAs) allow residents or property owners to rent rooms or entire units for a short period of time. STRAs are facilitated through online platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, Kijiji etc. STRAs have created an informal economy that typically is not yet regulated.

Like many other municipalities, these STRAs are also operating in Georgina. In response to a number of concerns raised by the community, the Georgina Town Council passed a law on Oct. 9, 2019, to regulate STRAs within the town. The bylaw includes amendments to the Official Plan, Secondary Plans and a zoning bylaw amendment. This bylaw addresses areas of concern without penalizing non-disruptive renters and attentive hosts. Common concerns include noise, safety, parking, environmental overload, zoning, taxation and enforcement.

Applications

The Town has streamlined our STRA application process through our online application portal.

Fees

All payments made by credit card through our online application portal are subject to a service fee. Learn more.

Complaints

Complaint

If you have an issue or complaint about a STRA, you can submit a complaint through the Bylaw complaint form or by contacting the Bylaw office.

You can report unlicensed STRAs to the Municipal Law Enforcement Division by calling 905-476-4301, ext. 3006. After hours and on weekends, call ext. 2281. If your call is not answered, leave a detailed message.

Losing your STRA Licence

Losing your STRA Licence

Your STRA licence can be revoked if you receive too many demerit points.

The Demerit Point System was established to keep track of all contraventions and allow enforcement of the bylaw. 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. 

Supporting Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Short-Term Rental?

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 several years. Today, STRA platforms are present in more than 190 countries and many municipalities are acting to regulate this activity.

How many Licensed Short-Term Rental Accommodations currently exist in Georgina?

As of April 10, 2024, there are 75 licenced Short-Term Rental Accommodations.

 

How long has the short-term rental market been around in Georgina?

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, visitors found vacation rentals through newspaper ads, real estate companies and by word of mouth.

What are the benefits of short-term rentals?

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 offset the cost of a vacation property.

What are some of the key issues related to short-term rentals?

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.

Can I operate a STRA in Georgina?

There are three main requirements your property has to fall within in order to be permitted to operate a STRA:

  • The property is a Single Family Dwelling
  • The property has a minimum of three parking spaces, plus one additional parking space per guest room

If the property meets these two basic requirements, then your property is within the definition of a Short-term Rental Accommodation and you can make application for a Licence.   

Can I own multiple properties in Georgina and have multiple STRA licences?

Yes, you can own multiple properties, however, you are required to apply for a STRA licence for each property you wish to have as a Short-term Rental Accommodation. 

Do I have to live in my house if I want to operate a STRA?

On August 2, 2023 the Short-term Rental Accommodation Bylaw 2019-0061(LI-3) was amended, eliminating the requirement for an on-site host.

Can my current tenant rent out my STRA?

Yes, but only with written consent from the homeowner.

What if my neighbour has a licensed STRA, can I still apply?

You can apply for a licence, however, the STRA bylaw states that there shall be a minimum separation distance of 100 metres between STRAs. If you are within the 100 metres, you can submit a variance application where the Short-term Rental Accommodation Committee will review the request. 

Is there a cap on the number of STRA licences?

Yes, the number of active STRA licences shall not exceed 150 at any given time.

What do demerit points mean?

The Demerit Point System was established to keep track of all contraventions and allow enforcement of the bylaw. 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.  

How many demerit points would a STRA have for the licence to be suspended or revoked?

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.    

What are the fees for a STRA licence?

  • New Application - $250
  • Renewal Application - $150
  • Septic Inspection - $106
  • Occupant Load (Zoning) Review - $158
  • Fire Inspection - $137.86
  • Committee Appeal - $500
  • Variance Application - $1,400 

How long is my STRA licence valid for?

Your STRA licence is valid for one year from the licensing date and a renewal application is to be completed each year in order to renew your STRA license. The renewal application ($150.00) also requires an annual fire inspection ($137.86).

What documents are required for a STRA licence?

The following documents are required:

  • STRA application (through our online portal)
  • 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, identifying that a Short-term Rental Accommodation is being operated on the property. 
  • Licence fees

What if there are 150 licences and I want to get a licence?

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 STRAs, 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.  

Will notification be made to surrounding neighbours when a STRA application is submitted?

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 

Contact Us

26557 Civic Centre Rd,
Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

T: 905-476-4301 / 705-437-2210
F: 905-476-8100
info@georgina.ca

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.