BY Mark Savel | May 5, 2020

Are AirBnBs Allowed to Operate in Toronto During Covid-19?

Ontario bans short-term rentals during Covid-19

UPDATE: On June 5th, 2020, the government has lifted its ban on short-term rentals. Read the latest here!

On April 4th, 2020, the Province of Ontario passed the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. In an effort to prevent non-essential travel during Covid 19 – the Act calls for a temporary halt on short-term rentals, like Airbnb, from operating in the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.  

According to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act: 

(1) Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences.

Fines for operating an AirBnB during Covid-19

The government stated that short-term rentals can be offered to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period – however, it should also be noted that those caught operating in violation of the Act could face fines of up to $100,000 for individuals and $10,000,000 for corporations.

What should airbnb hosts do with their rental during Covid-19?

As we continue to practice social distancing and limit non-essential travel, we see the demand for short-term rentals declining in the months and possibly years ahead.  It may be an opportune time to consider offering your rental as a longer-term option (ie. a year or longer) or by selling.

AirBnB hosts are also being encouraged to offer their listings to healthcare staff and first responders so they can be close to their patients—and safely distanced from their own families. You can enroll your listing directly through AirBnB to help those on the frontline directly!


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