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Milton Short-Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Milton, Canada

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Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Milton

The town of Milton, located in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, has implemented a comprehensive set of regulations governing the operation of short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. These rules aim to strike a balance between supporting the sharing economy and addressing potential impacts on residential neighborhoods and the local housing market.

Zoning and Licensing Requirements

According to Milton's Zoning By-law, short-term rentals are defined as the rental of a dwelling unit or part thereof for 28 days or less, excluding bed and breakfast establishments. Effective July 15, 2022, all short-term rental owners in Milton are required to obtain a license from the town.

The licensing process involves several steps, including obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, submitting various forms and documents, and undergoing property inspections to ensure compliance with safety and zoning regulations. Hosts must pay an annual licensing fee of $351.

Principal Residence Requirement

One of the key requirements for short-term rental hosts in Milton is that the rental property must be their principal residence. This rule aims to prevent investors from purchasing properties solely for the purpose of operating short-term rentals, which could exacerbate the town's housing shortage.

Hosts must provide proof of their principal residence, such as a declaration of homestead, voter registration, utility bills, or tax returns. This requirement is intended to discourage the conversion of long-term rental housing into short-term accommodations.

Taxation and Fees

In addition to the licensing fee, short-term rental hosts in Milton are required to collect and remit applicable taxes on their rental income. These taxes may include the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and any other municipal or provincial taxes that apply to short-term accommodations.

The town may also impose additional fees or charges related to the operation of short-term rentals, such as inspection fees or penalties for non-compliance with the regulations.

Enforcement and Penalties

Milton has implemented various enforcement measures to ensure compliance with the short-term rental regulations. Hosts who fail to obtain the necessary licenses or violate the terms of their licenses may face fines, license suspension, or revocation.

The town has partnered with a third-party company, Granicus, to monitor and identify non-compliant short-term rental listings across various platforms. Additionally, residents can report any issues or concerns related to short-term rentals in their neighborhoods through the town's complaint process.

Community Concerns and Debates

While some residents and businesses welcome the economic benefits of short-term rentals, others have raised concerns about their impact on housing affordability, noise levels, and the character of residential neighborhoods.

There have been discussions within the Milton Town Council and community forums regarding the appropriate level of regulation for short-term rentals. Some argue for stricter rules, such as prohibiting entire-unit rentals or limiting the number of nights a property can be rented, while others advocate for a more permissive approach to support property rights and the sharing economy.

As the short-term rental industry continues to evolve, Milton's regulations may be subject to further review and adjustments to address emerging issues and community concerns.

Short-Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Milton

Milton has implemented a comprehensive licensing system for short-term rentals to regulate this growing industry within the town. Effective July 15, 2022, all short-term rental owners in Milton are required to obtain a license from the town.

The licensing process involves several steps:

  • Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy: Applicants must visit the Development Services counter at Town Hall to determine if they are eligible for a Certificate of Occupancy. If ineligible, they can withdraw the application or apply for a Minor Variance.
  • Pay Certificate Fee: Once the Certificate of Occupancy is granted, the applicant must pay the associated user fee to receive the certificate.
  • Complete Required Forms: Applicants must accurately fill out the application form, Good Neighbour Agreement, Rental Code of Conduct, and Acknowledgement of Short-Term Rental terms.
  • Submit Application and Pay Licensing Fee: The completed forms, along with any additional required documents, must be submitted to a Licensing & Enforcement Clerk at Town Hall, and the annual licensing fee of $351 must be paid.
  • Inspections and Approval: The Licensing & Enforcement Clerk will notify the applicant once the required inspections have taken place and whether the license can be issued.

To be eligible for a short-term rental license in Milton, property owners must meet certain requirements, including being at least 18 years old, providing personal and property details, asserting the rental property as their principal residence, and complying with any applicable lease agreements or condo rules.

Hosts must also follow specific regulations, such as limiting occupancy to no more than two individuals per bedroom, providing 24/7 emergency contact information, and maintaining rental transaction logs that can be shared with municipal authorities upon request.

Failure to obtain the required license or comply with the regulations can result in fines, penalties, and potential revocation of the license. Milton has implemented enforcement measures, including partnering with a third-party company to monitor non-compliant listings and establishing a complaint process for residents to report any issues or concerns related to short-term rentals.

Required Documents for Milton Short-Term Rentals

To obtain a short-term rental license in Milton, hosts are required to submit a comprehensive set of documents to the town. These documents serve various purposes, such as verifying the host's principal residence, ensuring compliance with zoning regulations, and demonstrating adherence to safety standards.

One of the primary documents required is proof of principal residence. Hosts must provide evidence that the property they intend to rent out is their primary dwelling. Acceptable forms of proof include a declaration of homestead, voter registration, utility bills, or tax returns.

Another crucial document is a detailed floor plan of the rental unit. This floor plan must clearly indicate the layout, dimensions, and the specific areas designated for short-term rental use. The floor plan helps the town assess whether the rental unit meets the necessary zoning and safety requirements.

Hosts are also required to provide a guest information package, which outlines the rules, regulations, and expectations for guests staying at the short-term rental. This package should include information on noise restrictions, parking guidelines, pet policies, and any other relevant policies or procedures.

For the safety of guests, hosts must submit a fire escape plan that outlines the emergency evacuation routes and procedures in case of a fire or other emergency situations. This plan is essential for ensuring the safety of guests and minimizing potential risks.

Proof of adequate insurance coverage is another mandatory document. Hosts must demonstrate that they have obtained appropriate insurance policies to cover potential liabilities associated with operating a short-term rental business.

In addition to these documents, hosts must complete and submit the following forms:

  1. Short-Term Rental License Application Form
  2. Good Neighbour Agreement
  3. Rental Code of Conduct
  4. Acknowledgement of Short-Term Rental Terms

Hosts may also be required to provide additional information or documentation depending on the specific circumstances of their rental property, such as proof of compliance with any applicable lease agreements or condominium rules.

It is crucial for hosts to carefully review and comply with the document submission requirements set forth by the Town of Milton. Failure to provide the necessary documents or providing incomplete or inaccurate information may result in delays or denial of the short-term rental license application.

Milton Short-Term Rental Taxes

Short-term rental hosts in Milton are required to collect and remit various taxes on their rental income. These taxes help regulate the short-term rental industry and contribute to municipal services and infrastructure.

One of the primary taxes that hosts must collect is the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The HST is a combination of the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the provincial Ontario Sales Tax (OST). The current HST rate in Ontario is 13%, which includes 5% GST and 8% OST.

In addition to the HST, the Town of Milton may impose a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on short-term rental stays. The MAT is a tax levied on the rental of accommodation for a continuous period of 30 days or less. The current MAT rate in Milton is 4%.

Short-term rental hosts are responsible for collecting both the HST and the MAT from their guests and remitting these taxes to the appropriate authorities. Failure to collect and remit these taxes can result in penalties and fines.

It's important for hosts to maintain accurate records of their rental income, expenses, and taxes collected. This information will be necessary for filing annual tax returns and ensuring compliance with all applicable tax regulations.

The Town of Milton may also impose additional fees or charges related to the operation of short-term rentals, such as licensing fees, cleaning fees, or inspection costs. Hosts should familiarize themselves with these fees and factor them into their overall operating expenses.

As the short-term rental industry continues to evolve, it's essential for hosts to stay informed about any changes or updates to tax regulations and fees imposed by the municipality. Consulting with a tax professional or seeking guidance from the Town of Milton can help ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties.

Ontario Wide Short-Term Rental Rules

While municipalities in Ontario have significant authority to regulate short-term rentals within their jurisdictions, there are some province-wide rules and considerations that apply across Ontario:

Principal Residence Requirement: Many municipalities, including Toronto, have implemented a principal residence requirement for short-term rental operators. This means that hosts can only rent out their primary residence or a portion of it, such as a secondary suite or laneway house. The goal is to prevent investors from operating multiple entire-unit short-term rentals across different properties, which could exacerbate housing shortages.

Taxation: Short-term rental hosts in Ontario are required to collect and remit applicable taxes on their rental income, including the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and any municipal accommodation taxes (MAT) imposed by the local municipality. The HST rate in Ontario is currently 13%.

Condominium Rules:Condominium corporations in Ontario have the authority to regulate or prohibit short-term rentals within their buildings through their bylaws and rules. Hosts operating short-term rentals in condominiums must comply with the specific regulations set by their condo corporation.

Licensing and Registration: Many municipalities, such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls, have implemented licensing and registration systems for short-term rentals. Hosts are required to obtain the necessary licenses or permits and comply with the associated regulations, which may include inspections, occupancy limits, and other requirements.

Zoning Restrictions: Some municipalities have implemented zoning restrictions on short-term rentals, limiting them to certain areas or zones within the city. Hosts must ensure that their rental property is located in an area where short-term rentals are permitted under the local zoning bylaws.

Provincial Oversight: While the regulation of short-term rentals is primarily a municipal responsibility, the Ontario government has been monitoring the industry and considering potential provincial-level interventions. In 2023, the government announced plans to work with municipalities to develop a provincial framework for short-term rental regulations, aiming to address issues such as housing affordability and community impacts.

It's important for short-term rental hosts in Ontario to stay informed about the specific regulations in their local municipality, as well as any potential changes or updates to provincial rules and guidelines. Consulting with local authorities and seeking professional advice can help ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties or legal consequences.

Does Milton Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

Based on discussions on forums like Bigger Pockets and Reddit, it appears that Milton takes a relatively strict approach to enforcing its short-term rental regulations compared to some other municipalities. The consensus among users on these platforms suggests that Milton is not particularly Airbnb-friendly.

Several Reddit users have reported instances where the town has taken enforcement actions against illegal or non-compliant short-term rentals. One user mentioned a case where a 16+ person Airbnb was operating in a 1300-1500 sq ft townhouse, violating occupancy limits. The user advised others to "Call bylaw enforcement" on such properties.

On Bigger Pockets, some users have expressed concerns about investing in short-term rentals in Milton due to the stringent regulations. One user stated, "Milton's rules make it nearly impossible to operate a profitable STR business unless you're renting out a portion of your own home."

Furthermore, there are fewer reports of hosts successfully operating short-term rentals in Milton without the required licenses or in violation of the principal residence requirement. This could indicate that the town's enforcement efforts have deterred many potential hosts from entering the market illegally.

While some users acknowledge the potential benefits of short-term rentals for property owners and the local economy, the overall sentiment suggests that Milton's regulations and enforcement approach have made it challenging for hosts to operate legally and profitably, especially for those seeking to run multiple entire-unit rentals across different properties.

Based on the discussions on these forums, it can be concluded that Milton is not an Airbnb-friendly city, and hosts who attempt to operate short-term rentals in violation of the rules face a significant risk of fines, license revocation, and other legal consequences due to the town's strict enforcement stance.

How to Start a Short-Term Rental Business in Milton

Starting a short-term rental business in Milton requires complying with the town's regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure that the property you intend to rent out is your principal residence, as short-term rentals are only permitted in a host's primary dwelling in Milton.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy: Visit the Development Services counter at Town Hall to determine if you are eligible for a Certificate of Occupancy. If ineligible, you can withdraw the application or apply for a Minor Variance.
  3. Pay Certificate Fee: Once the Certificate of Occupancy is granted, pay the associated user fee to receive the certificate.
  4. Complete Required Forms: Accurately fill out the Short-Term Rental License Application Form, Good Neighbour Agreement, Rental Code of Conduct, and Acknowledgement of Short-Term Rental Terms.
  5. Submit Application and Pay Licensing Fee: Submit the completed forms, along with any additional required documents, to a Licensing & Enforcement Clerk at Town Hall, and pay the annual licensing fee of $351.
  6. Schedule Inspections: The Licensing & Enforcement Clerk will notify you once the required inspections have been scheduled to ensure compliance with safety standards and other regulations.
  7. Obtain License Approval: Once the inspections are completed and all requirements are met, the town will issue your short-term rental license.
  8. Register for Taxes: Short-term rental hosts in Milton are required to collect and remit applicable taxes, including the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and any Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT). Register with the appropriate tax authorities and familiarize yourself with the tax collection and remittance procedures.
  9. Obtain Adequate Insurance: Ensure that you have appropriate liability insurance coverage for your short-term rental property to protect yourself from potential claims or lawsuits related to guest injuries or property damage.
  10. Advertise and List Your Property: Once you have obtained the necessary licenses and permits, you can advertise and list your short-term rental on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, ensuring compliance with any advertising requirements.
  11. Stay Compliant: Regularly review and comply with any updates or changes to Milton's short-term rental regulations. Failure to comply may result in fines, license suspension, or revocation.

It's important to note that Milton has implemented strict enforcement measures for short-term rental regulations, including partnering with a third-party company to monitor non-compliant listings and establishing a complaint process for residents. Hosts who fail to obtain the necessary licenses or violate the terms of their licenses may face significant penalties and legal consequences.

Who to Contact in Milton about Short-Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

If you have questions or need assistance regarding short-term rental regulations and zoning in Milton, you can contact the following departments and officials:

Milton Planning and Development Department
Phone: 905-878-7252
Email: planning@milton.ca

The Planning and Development Department is responsible for administering and enforcing the town's zoning bylaws, including regulations related to short-term rentals. You can reach out to them for inquiries about zoning requirements, permitted areas for short-term rentals, and other zoning-related matters.

Milton Licensing and Enforcement Office
Phone: 905-878-7252 ext. 2258
Email: licensing@milton.ca

The Licensing and Enforcement Office is responsible for issuing short-term rental licenses and ensuring compliance with the town's regulations. You can contact them for information about licensing requirements, inspections, and enforcement actions related to short-term rental operations.

Milton Town Clerk's Office
Phone: 905-878-7252 ext. 2101
Email: townclerk@milton.ca

The Town Clerk's Office handles the administration of short-term rental licenses and the collection of associated fees. You can reach out to them for questions about the licensing process, required documentation, and fee payments.

Milton Mayor's Office
Phone: 905-878-7252 ext. 2100
Email: mayor@milton.ca

If you have concerns or feedback regarding the town's short-term rental policies or regulations, you can contact the Mayor's Office to voice your opinions or seek clarification on the town's stance on this issue.

It's recommended to contact the appropriate department or office directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Additionally, you can visit the Town of Milton's website, which may provide additional resources and guidance on short-term rental regulations and zoning.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Milton on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

Based on discussions on Reddit and Bigger Pockets, there seems to be a mix of opinions and concerns among short-term rental hosts regarding Milton's regulations.

Some users express frustration with the perceived strict regulations in Milton, particularly the requirement that short-term rentals can only operate in the host's principal residence. One user commented, "Milton's rules make it nearly impossible to operate a profitable STR business unless you're renting out a portion of your own home."

There are concerns about the potential fines and penalties for non-compliance. A user stated, "I've heard stories of hosts in Milton getting hit with hefty fines for operating without the proper licenses and permits. The town seems to be taking enforcement seriously."

While some users acknowledge the potential benefits of short-term rentals for property owners and the local economy, the overall sentiment suggests that Milton's regulations have made it challenging for hosts to operate legally and profitably.

Some users are seeking advice on investing in short-term rentals in Milton, indicating an interest in the market despite the regulations.

There are discussions about the challenges of investing in highly regulated areas like Milton, with one user asking, "Anyone have any thoughts on investing in highly regulated areas?"

Some users express concerns about the proposed regulations, particularly the requirement that hosts must live at the property for at least 270 days a year to offer short-term rentals. One user stated, "If that's not a possibility, I may have to rethink entirely."

Overall, the opinions on Reddit and Bigger Pockets reflect a range of perspectives, from those who support stricter regulations to protect housing affordability and neighborhood character, to those who are concerned about the potential impact on their ability to operate short-term rentals and generate income from their properties.

Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our city regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each city and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.