Short Term Rental Accommodations

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What are Short-term Rental Accommodations

Short-term Rental Accommodations (STRAs) allow for 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 by-law includes amendments to the Official Plan, Secondary Plans and a zoning by-law amendment. This by-law addresses areas of concern without penalizing non-disruptive renters and attentive hosts. Common concerns including noise, safety, parking, environmental overload, zoning, taxation and enforcement.

Applications

PDF icon Application package (2.68 MB)
Application packages are also available in hard copy at the Civic Centre. 

Fees

  • New Application                  $250
  • Renewal Application           $150
  • Septic Inspection                $106
  • Occupant Load Review      $158
  • Fire Inspection                    $122
  • Committee Appeal              $500
  • Variance Application        $1,400 

Complaints

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Complaint

If you have an issue or complaint about a STRA you can submit a complaint through the By-law complaint form or by contacting the By-law office.

You can report unlicensed STRAs to the Municipal Law Enforcement Division by calling 905-476-4301, ext. 2454 or 2279. 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 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. 

Supporting documents

Supporting Documents

PDF icon Application package (2.81 MB)
Application packages are also available in hard copy at the Civic Centre. 

PDF icon Renters Code of Conduct (376.12 KB)
PDF icon Demerit Point System (203.17 KB)
PDF icon Fee schedule  (453.67 KB)
 Short-term rental accommodation by-law 

PDF icon Notice of passing of a zoning by-law (115.08 KB) - Short-term Rental Accommodations 

PDF icon OPA 138  (389.57 KB)
 OPA 139 
 OPA 140
 OPA 141
 STRA ZBA by-law 

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 short-term rentals currently exist in Georgina?

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.

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 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.   

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

Yes you can own two properties, however, you are required to apply for two STRA licences.

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

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.

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 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. 

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 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.  

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 Review - $158
  • Fire Inspection - $122
  • Committee Appeal - $500
  • Variance Application - $1,400 
How long is my STRA licence valid for?

Your STRA licence is valid for one year and will expire the year after the licence was issued.

What documents are required for a STRA licence?

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
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 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.  

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