Short Term Rental Accommodations

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white house with white picket fence with sign that says short-term rental

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 package 
Application packages are also available in hard copy at the Civic Centre. 

Renters Code of Conduct
Demerit Point System
Fee schedule 
PDF icon Short-term rental accommodation by-law 

Notice of passing of a zoning by-law - Short-term Rental Accommodations 

OPA 138 
PDF icon OPA 139 
PDF icon OPA 140
PDF icon OPA 141
PDF icon STRA ZBA by-law 

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 - Regulation of short-term rental accommodation in the Town of Georgina 

April 24, 2019 - Proposed amendments to the Official Plan, the Keswick, Sutton/Jackson's Point and Pefferlaw Secondary Plans and to zoning by-law 500

Feb. 27, 2019 - Regulation of short-term rental accommodation (STRA) in the Town of Georgina

Sept. 12, 2018 - Report 2018-0016 Regulation of short term rental accommodation stra summary of input.pdf

July 11, 2018 -  STRA Public Information Centre Presentation

June 6, 2018 -  Report 2018-0007-Regulation of Short Term Rental Accommodations

May 14, 2018 -  Short-Term Rental 2018 Summer Municipal Law Enforcement Initiative

Feb. 7, 2018    - Short Term Rental Accommodations – Report No. CAO-2018-0003

Feb. 14, 2018  - Correspondence from Town Solicitor Re: Short Term Rental Accommodations – Interim Control By-Law

Feb. 28, 2018  -  Short Term Rental Accommodations (STRAs) - Interim Management Options and Third Party Program Development - Report NO. CAO-2018-0004

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 five 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, vacation rentals were done 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 off-set 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                 $250Renewal Application         $150Septic Inspection $106Occupant Load Review     $158Fire Inspection $122Committee Appeal $500Variance 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