From listing descriptions to legal requirements, there’s a lot to consider when setting up a vacation rental in Canada. Add to that paying taxes and becoming a Canadian Airbnb host can quickly snowball into a daunting undertaking.
To help prevent you from feeling snowed under, here are the most important considerations for operating vacation rentals in Canada. If you’re thinking about skipping this article and figuring it out as you go along, keep in mind that not adhering to these regulations can result in significant fines or loss of rental income.
Understanding how your vacation rentals will be taxed is a taxing affair. There are several circumstances that can impact your tax responsibilities. As such, it’s always best to consult with a tax practitioner who’s familiar with how Airbnbs in Canada work. You can also consult the Canada Revenue Agency for help.
The following information is only aimed at getting you familiar. It’s by no means a replacement for a qualified tax professional:
Just like with other countries, it’s key that you first determine if you’re allowed to rent out your property on a platform like Airbnb. It’s best to consult a qualified lawyer and/or the local authority for more info about community rules and other regulations and restrictions.
Here’s general information about hosting regulations and permissions about Airbnb Canada to help ensure you’re a responsible host:
Similarly to the tax obligations, the short-term rental regulations also differ from one city to the next. What’s more, in some big cities the rules are quite strict.
For example, in Vancouver, British Columbia, vacation rentals are only permitted if it’s an entire home (or a room within this property) and it’s classified as your primary residence. A basement suite or secondary home is only allowed to be rented out on a short-term basis if it’s your principal residence and you reside there full-time.
In Toronto, Ontario, the rules are similar. Short-term renting is only allowed if the listing is the principal residence of the host. What’s more, hosts will first need to register with the city. Their listing’s registration number should be posted on their listing.
It’s important to stay informed about your specific jurisdiction’s laws. While there are many helpful online resources, keep in mind that these websites usually don’t get updated in real-time meaning that they might not necessarily list the latest rules and regulations. To help you stay compliant, here are a few practical tips and best practices to include in your hosting routine:
The complexities of the process don’t have to overshadow the potential rewards as the following five examples of Airbnbs in Canada show.
This listing proves that loads of space isn’t necessarily a prerequisite. With the right amenities and breathtaking views of surrounding nature, a tiny house can make a big impression on your guests. What sets this tiny house apart from similar listings is how its clean lines, minimalist design, and ample use of white, help it to blend in with its natural environment. Situated near Quebec City, it’s one of the coolest Airbnb rentals and its snowy surroundings can’t take all the credit.
The Copper Penny House is all about location and is within walking distance to Niagara Falls. Aimed at families traveling with kids, it’s situated in a quiet residential area and offers more than enough space, including access to a yard and on-site laundry facilities. One of its big features is the private deck where you can soak in the peace and quiet after a day of exploring.
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this newly constructed penthouse radiates luxury. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen and inviting space, making it an entertainer’s dream. After a day of exploring the local hiking trails, you can unwind in the private hot tub. Alternatively, you can enjoy a splash in the shared swimming pool.
If unique homes are more your style, this shipping container will float your boat. The space comprises a main floor and a small mezzanine area that’s accessible by a ladder. It might be small, but it includes a functional kitchen and a queen bed. In addition to these essentials, it also makes sure to include other popular amenities like an indoor gas fireplace, a hot tub, exercise equipment, a BBQ grill, and an enclosed private courtyard to make your Canada stay more memorable.
This unique accommodation was specifically designed for couples planning a romantic trip. Its luxurious kitchen is one of its focal points, but there’s also a BBQ if you want to soak in more of the gorgeous views of the waterfront. Then, to ensure that one of the coolest vacation rentals in British Columbia remains cool, just switch on the air conditioning. If you prefer more of a fresh breeze to cool you off, it’s a short walk to many restaurants or a short boat ride away from Vancouver’s downtown area.
Canada is a magical place. From national parks to golf courses to ocean views to city breaks, the country has loads to offer the rest of the world. Offering all the amenities, though, will be in vain if you don’t stick to the basics and respect the local regulations and tax requirements.
It’s important to remember that operating an Airbnb business in Canada involves more than just listing a property and collecting rent. In addition to delivering a memorable guest experience, hosts also have the responsibility of staying aware of any changes in the law relating to vacation rentals in Canada. Plus, as each province and city has its own set of laws for vacation rentals, what worked for your apartment in one city won’t necessarily generate the same results for an Airbnb rental in a different location.
In addition to covering all your legal and regulatory bases, why not automate the rest of your rental operations?
Vacation rental software like iGMS can help you manage the day-to-day more smoothly and efficiently. It can help you in:
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