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.
The Town does not currently regulate short term rental accommodations and is working on a long term model that would regulate the presence of the STRAs and address the neighbourhood conflict issues. Staff are conducting extensive research into the matter and public consultation will be a component of the proposed regulations.
Please check back to this page for updates and reports related to Short Term Rental Accommodations.
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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.
Zoning by-law 500 currently neither permits nor prohibits long-term rental accommodation of STRA as a land use. While the use cannot be legally prohibited, it can be restricted by an amendment to the official plan and zoning by-law and regulated by a licensing by-law.
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.