Short-Term Rentals

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Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are temporary overnight accommodations rented out for a few nights or weeks at a time. In recent years, the prevalence and popularity of STRs has grown through online platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. While STRs provide a unique form of a tourist accommodation and can have benefits for the local economy, their recent popularity raises concerns about their impact on residential neighborhoods and the availability of properties for long-term rental.

On September 30, 2020 Regional Council directed staff to:

  1. Amend the Regional Plan and all applicable secondary municipality planning strategies and land use By-laws to establish consistent regional-wide policies, definitions, and regulations for STRs in residential areas; and
  2. Develop STR registration requirements

This direction was in response to the September 2020 staff report, which provided a jurisdictional review of STR legislation throughout Canada and the USA, along with the results of the 2019 survey. The September 2020 staff report recommended that, in developing STR regulations, staff should consider the following:

  1. Require all STRs to register with the Municipality. This would include STRs that are located within the host’s primary residence and STRs located in the hosts secondary residence (cottage) or income property(ies);
  2. Within residential zones/neighbourhoods, only permit STRs in the host’s primary residences;
  3. Within neighbouhoods where hotels or other types of tourist accommodations are already permitted, allow commercial STRs; and
  4. Consider modified provisions for STRs in rural areas.

Project Status
Over the fall of and early winter of 2021/22, staff engaged with the public (via an online survey) and stakeholders regarding the proposed amendments to municipal planning documents and development of regulations for short-term rentals. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts. Your input is appreciated. Staff are currently drafting a recommendation report to Council.


Questions? Want more information?

Should you have any questions regarding proposed amendments and/or regulations regarding STRs, please contact:

Jill MacLellan at maclelj@halifax.ca; or
Jamy-Ellen Klenavic at klenavj@halifax.ca; or
Brandon Umpherville at umpheb@halifax.ca

Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are temporary overnight accommodations rented out for a few nights or weeks at a time. In recent years, the prevalence and popularity of STRs has grown through online platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. While STRs provide a unique form of a tourist accommodation and can have benefits for the local economy, their recent popularity raises concerns about their impact on residential neighborhoods and the availability of properties for long-term rental.

On September 30, 2020 Regional Council directed staff to:

  1. Amend the Regional Plan and all applicable secondary municipality planning strategies and land use By-laws to establish consistent regional-wide policies, definitions, and regulations for STRs in residential areas; and
  2. Develop STR registration requirements

This direction was in response to the September 2020 staff report, which provided a jurisdictional review of STR legislation throughout Canada and the USA, along with the results of the 2019 survey. The September 2020 staff report recommended that, in developing STR regulations, staff should consider the following:

  1. Require all STRs to register with the Municipality. This would include STRs that are located within the host’s primary residence and STRs located in the hosts secondary residence (cottage) or income property(ies);
  2. Within residential zones/neighbourhoods, only permit STRs in the host’s primary residences;
  3. Within neighbouhoods where hotels or other types of tourist accommodations are already permitted, allow commercial STRs; and
  4. Consider modified provisions for STRs in rural areas.

Project Status
Over the fall of and early winter of 2021/22, staff engaged with the public (via an online survey) and stakeholders regarding the proposed amendments to municipal planning documents and development of regulations for short-term rentals. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts. Your input is appreciated. Staff are currently drafting a recommendation report to Council.


Questions? Want more information?

Should you have any questions regarding proposed amendments and/or regulations regarding STRs, please contact:

Jill MacLellan at maclelj@halifax.ca; or
Jamy-Ellen Klenavic at klenavj@halifax.ca; or
Brandon Umpherville at umpheb@halifax.ca