The City of Toronto began enforcement of its short-term rental bylaw in January 2021. For more than a year, leading up to its implementation, Airbnb was the only short-term rental platform to work and partner with city officials on the logistics, timing and mechanisms for compliance and enforcement. Until recently, Airbnb was the only platform licensed as a short-term rental company in Toronto and we continue to uniquely help facilitate the city’s enforcement of the law.
Unlike other short-term rental platforms, we have worked closely with the city in the interest of serving all stakeholders – our hosts, guests and the city itself. When places like Vancouver, San Francisco and Japan have implemented short-term rental rules similar to Toronto’s, Airbnb’s community has benefited from the regulatory certainty and been able to grow as we moved forward – and we expect Toronto to be no different.
Our work to make Toronto’s law a success
- Airbnb City Portal – we’re incredibly proud to have onboarded Toronto to City Portal, a one-of-a-kind, bespoke tool for cities launched last year, which is designed to help cities enforce their laws and give them important insights to rebuild the tourism economy.
- Compliance with the law – In accordance with the short-term rental bylaw, we have shifted a large percentage of Airbnb listings in Toronto to longer-term rentals and swiftly comply with any takedown requests from the city. Airbnb is sharing data with the city to support enforcement.
- Taxes and fees – Airbnb is collecting and remitting the same 4% accommodation tax as hotels and pays an additional mandated $1 per night fee.
- Host Communication – We diligently worked with our Host community to make them aware of their role within Toronto’s new licensing framework through email campaigns, push notifications and in-app notifications.
- Strong safety protocols: Airbnb is currently the only short-term rental platform to ban parties globally, that restricts some U.S. and Canadian guests under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in their local area and maintains a 24/7 Neighbor Hotline; and we continue to prioritize the safety of communities.
The law is working as intended
Toronto’s regulations have succeeded as the city intended. As mentioned, many Airbnb listings have been shifted to longer-term rentals, which allow them to continue to serve a growing need for such use across Canada. In fact, in Canada, long-term stays accounted for 36 percent of nights booked on Airbnb in Q1 and Toronto is among the top destinations for such travel in the country*.
We have also seen a marked reduction in requests for listing removal from the city, removal requests dropped more than 65 percent between February and June.
Further regulation will only hurt travel to Toronto and its ability to again benefit from tourism. We look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with the city on its current regulations.
* According to internal Airbnb data referenced here: https://news.airbnb.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/05/Airbnb-Report-on-Travel-Living.pdf