Short-term Rentals

Having an issue with short term rentals? We’re here to help.

Currently, short term rentals (such as those offered through Airbnb and VRBO) are not permitted under the City’s current Zoning By-law. The City is always happy to welcome guests, however, some short term rental properties in residential areas have generated increasing concerns for residents including:

  • Excessive noise
  • Illegal parking
  • Partying
  • Obnoxious behaviour

The City is here to help. Depending on the issue there are several avenues for residents to help us address this problem.

Short-term Rentals versus Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts (BnBs) are permitted in residential areas of the City. Short term rentals (STRs) are not. There are a few distinct differences.

BnBs:

  • May rent up to four rooms
  • The owner (property owner / tenant) is on site / lives in the home
  • Operate under current by-laws as a home-based business in residential areas

STRs:

  • The entire dwelling is rented
  • The operator (property owner / tenant) is not on site during the rental period
  • Fall under the definition of a hotel and are not permitted in residential areas

Short-term Rental Complaints: Who to Call

The City is here to help address issues with STRs, and, depending on the concern, there are a few ways residents can reach out to ensure the best possible resolution.

Short-term Rental in Your Neighbourhood?

Residents who believe a STR is operating in their neighbourhood in contravention of the City’s Zoning By-laws can report the property to the City. Staff will follow up with an investigation into every allegation, and, depending on its findings, owners can be prosecuted, and possibly penalized with a fine set by a judge of up to $5,000.

Individuals can report STRs for by-law noncompliance via our Zone Land Use Infraction Form.

Reports can also be filed with the City by calling Citizen’s First at 905.688.5600.

Noise Complaints / Excessive Partying

Excessive noise / partying often requires an immediate response. For such complaints residents should contact the Niagara Regional Police Service who can immediately address the issue.

For noise complaints residents can call police at 905.688.4111.

Parking Problems

With multiple visitors, STRs may result in parking issues in residential neighbourhoods. These problems can be addressed by City parking enforcement officers.

To report parking infractions, call 905.688.5600 during the times of:
• Monday to Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sunday - 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For more information on parking by-laws visit our Parking Enforcement Page.

Zoning by-law review

The City is currently reviewing its zoning by-laws as they relate to short-term rentals, with plans for future public consultation.

To stay up to date on the review visit www.engagestc.ca/shorttermrental and subscribe to be notified of upcoming public engagement opportunities, meetings and reports to Council

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines