What are the current regulations?

    The Town of Newmarket does not currently license short-term rental accommodations, which is generally a residence, or part of it, that is rented for up to 30 days.

    The Town’s Zoning By-laws do not allow for a home to be used principally as a short term rental. However, a resident may offer part of their home for a short-term rental (for up to two people) if it is their primary and occupied residence. 

    What considerations are there for short-term rental regulations?

    There is a lot to consider when implementing regulations, depending on community need. As the Town reviews options to regulate short-term rentals, we will consider:

    • Protecting long-term housing supply
    • Protecting neighbours and residents
    • Enabling supplemental income
    • Supporting the tourism industry
    • Promoting regulatory equity
    • Encouraging compliance and the ability to take action

    How does zoning impact the regulations we create?

    Zoning by-laws regulate the use of land and buildings. Zoning sets out what kind of uses (e.g. commercial, residential, industrial) can occur on each property to prevent adverse impacts and to manage growth and change. 

    Newmarket’s zoning by-laws require residential dwelling units to be used as space for families to live and not as a commercial short-term accommodation. Newmarket’s zoning by-laws do allow for the accommodation of persons within a dwelling unit who may not be part of the usual household unit, by allowing up to two roomers or boarders. The effect of this is that Newmarket currently allows short-term rentals that are within a dwelling unit that is occupied by its resident, but Newmarket does not allow a dwelling units principal use to be for short-term rentals.

    Can we ban short-term rentals?

    While a ban is an option, it tends to have the opposite result. A ban can create underground short-term rental systems with virtually no safeguards for either the homeowner or renter. By regulating short-term rentals we are putting measures in place to enhance safety for all parties and our community while continuing to serve a need for residents, visitors and those accessing our regional Health Care Centre.

    Any decision on amendments to the zoning by-law (such as an outright ban on short term rentals) must be defensible on planning grounds. Given the long history of forms of short-term accommodation an outright prohibition would be challenging to justify. A careful, balanced, and nuanced position is often more defensible and enforceable than an outright ban.

    What do future Short-Term Rental Accommodations regulations look like in the Town of Newmarket?

    Municipalities have taken different approaches to regulating short-term rentals based on their local context. Some municipalities have high volumes of tourist visitors who look for short-term rental accommodations, while others have short-term rentals being used for business travel or group vacations. Newmarket’s rules on short-term rental accommodations will be crafted to reflect Newmarket’s local context and the input of its residents. 

    Short-term rentals are one part of a complex housing and travelling accommodation system. Short-term rentals, hotels, and bed & breakfasts all provide accommodation for limited periods of time. Houses, apartments, accessory dwelling units, and other forms of housing provide long-term living quarters. Newmarket’s rules on short-term rental accommodations will look to strike a balance that allows residents flexibility in their homes and travelling accommodations while protecting the residential purpose of our neighbourhoods.