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A Modern Framework for Regulating Short-Term Rentals

The short-term rental industry operates with limited regulation and online platforms are being used to operate commercial accommodation businesses, resulting in unintended consequences. Governments at all levels are grappling with the implications of the growing short-term rental industry and platforms like Airbnb.

Based on the clear and immediate need for action, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) released best practice guidelines for regulating short-term rentals. The paper, “Developing a Modern Approach to Short-Term Rentals in a Digital Economy,” gives Canadian municipalities an analysis of regulatory developments worldwide and best practice approaches to developing a local framework.


The proposed framework outlines regulatory tools that cities can apply, including: 

  • Host registration and fees

  • Platform registration and fees

  • Principal residence restriction

  • Cap on usage

  • Health and safety standards 

  • Reporting requirements 

  • Taxation/levies

  • Enforcement/penalties

City Sky

Using the proposed framework, governments can:

  • Minimize the displacement of affordable and accessible housing

  • Minimize community nuisance while protecting public safety and with adherence to municipal bylaws

  • Ensure a level competitive playing field

  • Collect appropriate taxes and tourism levies

  • Enable voluntary compliance while minimizing the administrative burden for hosts, home-renting platforms and governments


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