Airbnb by-law and rules in Oshawa

airbnb oshawa bylaw regulations

A by-law to regulate short-term rentals in Oshawa is now active after a lengthy process of public consultations, research and collaboration with other municipalities.

Having short-term rentals as an option for homeowners can be a way for people to supplement their income and meet the demand for affordable or unique places for visitors, provided it is done responsibly.

Why regulate Airbnb in Oshawa?

Airbnb, along with other STR companies, has been the topic of many heated debates as property owners, neighbours, long-term renters, hotels and visitors all look for a solution to a problem that stems from problems that arise when there are no rules for STRs.

The problems that arise when STRs are allowed without any rules are many:

  • Lack of parking at Airbnb properties results in congestion on streets and neighbouring properties
  • Noise from short-term tenants affecting neighbours' quality of life
  • Excess garbage from short-term tenants and STR properties adding to strained collection services
  • Party houses creating problems for neighbours, police and property values
  • STR property owners that are unresponsive to complaints
  • STR properties creating shortages of long-term rental stock, thereby driving up rental prices
  • Speculators buying up housing for STR use, limiting the supply of housing, also contributing to rising home prices

What are the rules in the Airbnb bylaw in Oshawa?

A number of things are required, including the following:

  • Licensing for STR properties and owners, including a $75 application and $75 annual fee
  • STR rentals are only allowed in a property owner's principal residence
  • Up to 2 rooms in a home are allowed to be rented, with up to 2 occupants each, or the entire home
  • Allowing a maximum of 180 days of rental per year, and no more than 28 days at a time
  • Having a contact be available at the property to deal with complaints within one hour
  • Insurance, fire code and other by-law requirements like parking space and visual standards
  • Providing a copy of the visitor's code that shows information about the by-law to renters
  • Requiring hosts to provide operating data to the city
  • Fines for non-compliance - bylaw - up to $500 for operating without a license and up to $250 for other violations. Provincial Offences Act violations could range from $500 to $100,000.
Additionally, the city is exploring the possibility of requiring companies like Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, etc. to sign a document allowing the city access to host data, and perhaps requiring those companies to self-regulate with regard to screening of hosts meeting local requirements. They would also require the companies to require hosts to publish license numbers for each listing.

Currently, there is no plan to include Bed and Breakfast operators under the program, unless they use STR companies to advertise their properties.

How many Airbnb units are listed in Oshawa?

According to a report published by the city, there were 113 Airbnb listings in Oshawa in July of 2018.

The city also reported that there were 19 complaints registered against 9 different properties that year.


Ronak on Jan 23, 2023 8:30 PM posted:
Hi John Owen, Thank you for this article. We found it really helpful. We have a corporation with four partners, and own a home under that corporation in Oshawa. None of us stay there. Is there a procedure we can follow to put it up on Airbnb? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ronak
John Owen on Jan 23, 2023 8:37 PM posted:
Hi Ronak, I suggest that you visit the short-term rental page on the City of Oshawa website, which outlines the process and has a link to the application form. Here's a link
Jirosa on Apr 2, 2023 11:12 PM posted:
Hello, We have a she in our backyard, are we legally allowed to turn it into an airbnb shed? We live in Oshawa Thanks
John Owen on Apr 3, 2023 12:47 PM posted:
Hi Jirosa, I suggest you contact the city to ask questions about your specific situation.

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