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 January 2020.
- 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.
The Town does not currently regulate STRA and is working on a long-term model that would regulate STRAs in an effort to address the concerns of stakeholders. Staff is researching the matter, and public consultation will be a component of the proposed regulations.
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.