A “Short-term Accommodation” (STA) is defined as any rental accommodation provided for 29 days or less, in the City of London. These STAs require a business licence to advertise and operate.
This amendment to the Business Licensing By-law was passed by Council on June 14, 2022. The By-law will come in to force and effect October 1, 2022 which means all short-term accommodation providers (hosts) and brokers (advertising platforms) will be required to have a licence to operate in London. You can check back here for updates as more information is made available.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an STA?
STA is the acronym used to refer to Short-term Accommodations in the City of London. Both STA Providers (hosts), and STA Brokers (advertising platforms) will need to be licenced to operate in the City of London, as per the Business Licensing By-law.
Where can I read the entire By-law?
The Short-term Accommodation (STA) schedule can be found in the Business Licensing By-law, Schedule 21.
Does the Short-term Accommodation have to be in my own home?
Yes; as the By-law requires, STAs must be at your resident address, or within a unit at your resident address. Resident address means the place at which an individual typically sleeps, eats, keeps their personal effects, and has a regular place of lodging; an individual may have only one “Resident Address”. This is often referred to as your “principal residence” and can be an owned or rented unit.
Can I provide another unit on the same property as an STA?
In most cases you will also be allowed to use one other dwelling unit as an STA, but the unit must be legally established and on the same property as your resident address; a secondary dwelling unit, a converted dwelling with two units, etc. may be permitted to be used. Therefore, you may be able to have up to two STAs registered under your name, at the same address.
Is it okay to host in the apartment I rent?
Yes, it is okay to use your apartment, or rental unit, as an STA as long as it is your resident address, that the landlord provides written authorization which clearly gives you permission to act as a host or provider, and that the unit you are living in has a Residential Rental Unit Licence, where applicable.
What about a Short-term Accommodation at a condominium?
Yes, it is okay to host in your owned, or rented, condominium as long as it is your resident address and you provide the City with written authorization from the condominium board, and the landlord, where applicable
Do I need to have insurance for my STA?
Yes, your insurance company will need to fill out and sign a Certificate of Insurance. You need to include this completed certificate with your application.
Note: If you use Airbnb to advertise/broker your Short-term Accommodation, the “Certificate of Insurance” document is not required.
Does a Short-term Accommodation Provider have to charge and remit the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT)?
Yes – each Short-term Accommodation Provider will be required to submit a 4% (plus HST) Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) per stay. This amount shall be shown as a separate line on each receipt you provide to the guest(s) for their stay(s). The City has designated a “Tax Collector” to help with paying the tax, and your personal information will be shared with that agency so that they may communicate directly with you and assist with the payment. Revenues from the MAT are reinvested to support tourism in London.
Will my STA be inspected?
Typically, no. Instead, the City of London will rely on a sworn declaration made by the provider that all Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Laws, and By-laws, are being followed. If you are uncertain as to your responsibilities regarding other laws and By-laws such as the Ontario Building Code, the City of London Zoning By-law, etc. Staff will be happy to help answer your questions or direct you to the proper authority.
Be aware, however, inspections may be required where a second unit is being used as an STA in a home, or where the unit, or bedrooms, are in the basement.
How do I make a complaint about an STA?
If you suspect a premises is being used as a Short-term Accommodation without a City of London Business Licence, or if you feel the property is creating some sort of nuisance, please call 519-930-3515, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide any property details that you can. Details can include the municipal address, a link to the webpage you saw the property advertised, or any other information you believe will help Municipal Compliance Officers investigate your concern(s).
My website acts as a broker for Short-term Accommodations in London – do I need a licence?
Yes; Short-term Accommodation Brokers (the platforms that advertise and broker the property rental) have similar, but separate, requirements for licensing in London. Please refer to the Business Licensing By-law (Schedule 22) for all of the information required to apply for your “Platform” licence.
How much does a Short-term Accommodation Provider licence cost?
A Short-term Accommodation Provider licence is $175.00/year and is required to be renewed annually, at the start of each calendar year.
Note: you may apply for the STA licence at any time during the year, but the licence fee is not pro-rated. All licenses expire at the beginning of the next calendar year. If you choose to not act as a Provider, a licence is not required.
When will Short-term Accommodation Provider and Broker licences be required?
The City of London will begin accepting applications for Short-term Accommodation Licences on October 3, 2022 for the 2023 Business Licence year.
If you are providing or brokering short-term accommodations in your home after February 1, 2023, without an active business licence, you will be contravening the By-law and subject to enforcement and/or fines.
Please note: In any situation where the By-law of the City of London differs from the text presented on this webpage, the By-law takes precedence.