City of Ottawa – Short term Rental Proposed Bylaws

City of Ottawa is planning to regular short-term rentals in the city, and here is our summary and implications.



  • City of Ottawa residents will only be able to rent their principal residences only. However, It is unclear, at the moment, whether that applies to vacant rooms in their homes, or whether, that applies to entire unit as well when hosts are away on vacations.
  • City of Ottawa will require hosts to register with the city and request a permit. There is expected to be a fee of $140 CAD per two year period. However, it is unclear if the City will require hosts to list their permit number on their listing. 
  • The new regulation regime will only apply to owners renting their property for 28 days or less consecutively. 
  • The new regulation regime is expected to go in to service sometime in calendar year 2020, or possibly early 2021.


Short-term Rentals Implications in Apartment and Condominium

Apartment and condominiums are normally managed by a board, or a property management company. While, the rules City of Ottawa is proposing does not restrict property type, Condominium boards can make a request to the city to not allow its occupants to receive a permit. 


Traditional long term condominium rentals

While some councillors were interested in regulating traditional long term rental units as well, at the moment, there are no new regulations bylaws that are being proposed for traditional long term rentals.


Furnished condominium rentals

One of the optimal revenue streams for condominium investors is renting units furnished to professionals such as consultants, doctors, engineers, and military personnel who often travel for work for 4 month, 6 month or a year to different cities for work. It seems like the short term rental regime does not apply to this type of rentals – as long as – the reservations exceed 28 days consecutively.


Short-term rentals of basement apartments

If you have a nicely furnished basement, you maybe thinking about renting it out to on airbnb or another website. If your basement has a separate entrance, City of Ottawa may consider your unit to be separate dwelling. If this is the case, you will not be able to rent out your basement apartment on airbnb, vrbo or others. 

However, if your basement apartment does not have a separate entrance, and effectively is the same address as your entire house, then looks like you can rent it out as you wish. 

It is important to note that the bylaws are not yet developed by the city, so it is possible this might change. 



Lets say you live with roommates, and from time to time you would like to rent out your room on airbnb. Do the short term rental regulations being proposed affect you? It is unclear at the moment unfortunately. However, if we were to make an educated guess, it looks like you might be able to, as long as you can prove that it is your principal residence. This means you might need to provide documentation such as a Lease Agreement, and/or, permission from your landlord. 

Of course, for good measure, you probably want to have an understanding and an agreement with you roommates or house mates as well. 


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