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When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Ottawa. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. We’ll continue to update this information as more becomes available. If you have more questions after reviewing this resource, we recommend visiting Ottawa city’s FAQ page, contacting the city directly at str_lcd@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x12735 or consulting a local lawyer or tax professional.

Registration requirements

Based on Ottawa By-law 2021-104, short-term rentals (STRs) may only operate in the primary residence of most Hosts in the city. While there are a few exceptions, it is important to review the By-law and understand your responsibilities as a Host.

Long term stays (30 consecutive nights or more), hotels and motels are exempt from registering as short-term rentals. If your listing is exempt, you don’t need to register, but you will still need to claim an exemption through Airbnb to keep hosting.

To apply for a Short-Term Residential Rental Certificate, follow these steps:

1. Visit Ottawa’s Short-Term Rental Page

2. Complete the Short-Term Rental Application

In addition to the application, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Proof that the property is the principal residence of the host such as an Ontario driver’s license or Ontario identification card
  • If the property is a rental, written consent from the property owner for its use as a short-term rental
  • Provide a floor plan including the square footage of the listing and number of bedrooms (this can be hand drawn)
  • Provide proof of insurance.
    • Provide a document from your home insurer showing that they are aware you are a short-term term rental host.
    • Important note: If you host exclusively through Airbnb, you are insured by our Host liability insurance and are not required to share proof of insurance. Airbnb has provided the City one document for all Hosts operating in the City.
  • Sign a declaration confirming compliance with the local by-law
  • Pay the $110 fee

3. Make an in person appointment with The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue.

  • To make an appointment, call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735 or email str_lcd@ottawa.ca
  • Bring all of the required documents to your appointment

Short-term rental eligibility

  • Homeowners can offer short-term rentals in their own home (principal residence)
  • Renters can offer short-term rentals in the rental unit that is their principal residence, if their landlord permits
  • Condominium and housing co-operative unit owners can offer short-term rentals in their principal residence, unless prohibited by the condominium corporation or housing co-operative
  • Rural homeowners and cottage owners can offer “cottage rentals” with a separate permit

Renewing your registration

Your registration is valid for 2 years at a cost of $110.

Taxes and fees

Ottawa imposes a Municipal Accommodation Tax on short-term rentals in the city. For more information about this tax visit Airbnb’s Canada tax information page.

Our commitment to your community

We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.

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