Skip to Main Content

Short-Term Rentals

Welcome to the CAO’s guided steps to common issues. The CAO provides the information, tools, and templates on these pages to help condominium communities better understand issues and work together to resolve them collaboratively before they escalate into disputes. For situations where condo communities are unable to resolve their issues collaboratively, the CAO also provides information on the next steps they can take.

If you have any questions about any of the information on the CAO’s guided steps to common issues, please contact us directly.

Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals have gained in popularity over the past several years, and many owners have begun offering their condo units for short-term rentals either on their own or through short-term rental companies such as Airbnb, Expedia, etc. The definition of a short-term rental is often seen as any tenancy which is for less than several weeks.

Short-term rentals can sometimes lead to disruptions and other issues in condo communities as the short-term rental occupants may not follow the condo rules, not be compliant with municipal by-laws, or not be compliant with other legislation.

To regulate short-term rentals on the property, many condominium corporations restrict renting out units for short periods of time. If your condominium corporation has such restrictions, they can be found in your condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws, and rules (collectively called “the governing documents”).

These types of disputes most often relate to the short-term rental restrictions put into place by the condominium corporation, or the effect that short-term renters have on the property.

Examples of short-term rental common issues include:

  • Security concerns among the other unit owners / occupants as additional keys or fobs are being given to many new people.
  • Additional wear and tear to the common elements or the condominium’s amenities due to increased usage.
  • Short-term occupants and / or their guests consistently disrupting the condominium or failing to comply with the condominium’s governing documents.
  • Unit owners or occupants using their unit for short-term rentals despite the condominium’s rules which restrict short-term rentals.

To find out more general information about renting condo units, please access the CAO’s Guides to Renting Residential Condominium Units.

Have a Question?

Shape Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIf you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

How do my condominium corporation’s governing documents apply?

Every condo owner and occupant is required to comply with the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Condo Act), and with the condominium corporation’s governing documents (i.e., its declaration, by-laws, and rules).

If you have a short-term rental issue, or if you received a complaint about how you may be involved with a short-term rental issue, you should start by reviewing your condominium corporation’s governing documents. Many condominium corporations have provisions in their governing documents that restrict short-term rentals. If your condominium corporation has provisions in its governing documents relating to short-term rentals, they would most likely be found in the declaration or rules, though they may also be found in the by-laws.

It is important to note that there is a difference between short and long-term condo rentals. Short-term rentals are usually for a period from a single day to several weeks, while long-term rentals are usually for a period of several months to a year. A condominium’s governing documents may have different requirements for both short and long-term rentals and their tenants.

By reviewing the governing documents, you can determine what is and isn’t allowed in your condominium corporation. Depending on the issue, you may also want to review your corporation’s governing documents for other provisions that might be relevant, even if those provisions do not specifically mention short-term rentals.

For example, your condominium corporation’s governing documents may contain provisions that:

  • Prohibit certain types of tenancy agreements.
  • Limit which amenities short-term renters can access.
  • Limit how often owners can rent out their units.

A condominium corporation’s governing documents are required to be consistent with the Condo Act. In addition, a condominium corporation’s by-laws and rules must be consistent with the declaration and must be reasonable.

For an overview of declarations, by-laws and rules, visit our website by clicking here.

Don’t have a copy of your condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws or rules?

You can request a copy from your condominium corporation using the mandatory Request for Records form, available on our website.

 

How does the Condo Act apply?

Section 119 (1) of the Condo Act requires everyone, including unit owners, occupants and your condominium corporation, to comply with the Condo Act and your condominium corporation’s governing documents. Accordingly, if your condominium corporation’s governing documents include provisions that deal with short-term rentals or tenants, everyone is required to follow them.

Unit owners who use their unit for short-term rentals are responsible for their unit’s occupants, their occupants’ guests, and their behaviour in the condominium. This means that unit owners are responsible for ensuring that their occupants comply with the condominium’s governing documents (e.g., complying with all short-term rental related rules). The responsibility for an occupant can also extend to any damage that a short-term occupant (or their guests) causes to the common elements.

Furthermore, under section 17 (3) of the Condo Act, condominium corporations are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone complies with the Condo Act and the condominium corporation’s governing documents.

Even if the condominium corporation’s governing documents do not specify anything about short-term rentals, section 117 of the Condo Act prohibits anyone from:

  • Doing anything that is likely to damage the property or assets, or to cause injury or illness to another individual; and,
  • Causing an unreasonable nuisance, annoyance or disruption.

A condominium corporation is legally required to take action to address harassment that violates the Condo Act and/or corporation’s governing documents.

Accordingly, if you are experiencing or have noticed any issues associated with short-term rentals, you should notify your condominium corporation as soon as possible so they can deal with it.

If a unit owner or occupant (including short-term tenants) is causing an unreasonable nuisance, annoyance, or disruption (either by doing something or failing to do something), or if they are not complying with the condominium’s governing documents, then the condominium corporation or another owner may take legal action against them, including filing an application with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT).

Likewise, if a condominium corporation causes an unreasonable nuisance, annoyance, or disruption (either by doing something or failing to do something) then a unit owner may take legal action against them, including filing an application with the CAT.

Important Note: The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) can potentially deal with short-term rental issues, but only if:

  • The condominium corporation has provisions in its governing documents that prohibit, restrict or otherwise govern short-term rentals; or,
  • The short-term rental issue is causing a nuisance, annoyance or disruption involving noise, odour, light, vibration, or smoke or vapour.

The CAT cannot deal with disputes that involve dangerous situations which have already caused, or are likely to result in, injury, illness, or damage to a unit or the common elements.

For more information on the CAT, please visit our website here.

Other Legal Considerations

Rental Requirements

Unit owners should note that the Condo Act requires all unit owners who rent their unit to:

  • Within 10 days, notify the condominium corporation of any newly created, renewed or terminated lease; and,
  • Provide all their tenants with a copy of the condominium corporation’s governing documents.

These requirements are found under section 83 of the Condo Act and applicable to all condo unit rentals. Unit owners are required to comply with these requirements, regardless of the length of a tenancy.

Municipal Requirements

Unit owners considering renting out their unit should also review their municipality’s by-laws for any prohibitions or requirements regarding short-term rentals.

Regardless of whether your condominium corporation allows them, some municipalities have prohibited all short-term rentals, or require you to meet certain requirements before you are permitted to conduct short-term rental activities, such as obtaining a licence or registering as a short-term rental operator with the municipality.

For example, the City of Toronto requires short-term rental operators to register with the city before they may rent out their homes or rooms for periods of less than 28 consecutive days. If you want to learn more, access the City of Toronto’s webpage here.

Airbnb Resident Hosting Program

The Airbnb Resident Hosting program is a way that allows condominium corporations to work with both unit owners and Airbnb to facilitate short-term rentals. This program allows condominium corporations to be aware of who is leasing a unit on the property and allows condominium corporations to list the requirements for renting a unit in the condominium corporation upfront.

This program facilitates condominium corporations that allow short-term rentals but want to be active participants in the leasing process. Condominium corporations must apply to be part of this program. If you want to learn more, access Airbnb’s webpage here.

Have a Question?

If you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

How can I resolve a short-term rental issue?

We strongly recommend that you attempt all the steps below in sequence (where appropriate) before taking any further action.

Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers >

File an application with the CAT

If you’ve tried the steps above and your issue still hasn’t been resolved, you may be able to file an application with the CAT, which is an online tribunal dedicated to resolving condo disputes.

The CAT is pleased to provide an online dispute resolution system (CAT-ODR) to help Ontario’s condo communities resolve their condo disputes conveniently, quickly, and affordably.

In order to file an application relating to short-term rentals with the CAT, your condominium corporation’s governing documents must include one or more provisions that prohibit, restrict or otherwise govern short-term rentals.

The CAT cannot accept an application if there are no provisions in the condominium corporation’s governing documents that prohibit, restrict or otherwise govern short-term rentals.

How can the CAT help resolve my dispute?

The CAT has a three-stage dispute resolution process:

  • In Stage 1 – Negotiation, you will work with the other parties to try to resolve the issues.
  • In Stage 2 – Mediation, you will work with a CAT Mediator to try to resolve the issues.
  • In Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision, a CAT Member will conduct an online hearing, during which both sides will make their case. The Member will then issue an order resolving the issues.

Learn more about the CAT’s process here.

Who can file a short-term rental related application with the CAT?

Unit owners, mortgagees, and condominium corporations can file applications with the CAT.

What kinds of disputes can be filed with the CAT?

The CAT can deal with disputes about the provisions in your condominium corporation’s governing documents that deal with short-term rentals. This includes issues involving:

  • Compliance with provisions in the corporation’s governing documents related to short-term rentals;
  • The consistency and/or reasonableness of those provisions;
  • The applicability of those provisions; and,
  • Any related indemnification / compensation.

Want to learn more about previous CAT cases?

Access the CAT’s previous decisions on our website.

Ready to file?

There is a non-refundable $25 fee to file an application with the CAT.

Further legal action

If you are considering legal action against a unit owner, occupant or your condominium corporation, you may wish to talk to a lawyer or paralegal.

Seeking legal advice

If you need advice on what to do about a short-term rental related issue, you may wish to seek legal advice from a paralegal or lawyer licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

If you do not already have a lawyer or paralegal, you may be interested in the Law Society Referral service, which is an online service provided by the LSO to connect people in need with licensed lawyers and paralegals. The service is free, and you may receive up to a half-hour free consultation.

Please note: The CAO and its staff are not permitted to provide legal interpretations or advice.