The Divisional Court has just released its decision (https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onscdc/doc/2020/2020onsc3949/2020onsc3949.html) refusing to grant leave (i.e. permission) to appeal the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal decision which upheld the City of Toronto’s zoning by-law amendments.
The zoning by-law amendments and the short term rental bylaw are here to stay and the City of Toronto regulation of short term rentals will not be overturned.
Leave is a process whereby a party wishing to appeal a decision to a higher/appellate court needs to first obtain “permission” from that court and a willingness of the court to hear the matter. While the process and determination is based on legal principals, courts will typically not provide lengthy reasons, if any, about its decision to grant leave.
For some background, we previously blogged about the important decision of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) which upheld the City of Toronto’s zoning by-law amendments from December 2017 regulating short term rentals in Toronto via the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals by-law (https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/toronto-code-547.pdf). The by-law was appealed, delaying it from coming into force. The Tribunal’s decision dismissed the appeal and upheld the zoning by-law amendments.
However, before condo corporations struggling with short term rentals could celebrate, judicial leave was sought to appeal the Tribunal’s decision to the Divisional Court (the judicial body which deals with appeals from the Tribunal amongst other administrative bodies).
Below are a few key takeaways from the by-law and its implementation status:
- Short term rentals are any rental less than 28 consecutive days.
- An entire home/unit can only be rented for a maximum of 180 nights per year.
- Short term rentals are only permissible in a person’s principal residence.
- Both short term rental companies and operators (people renting their homes) will need to be registered with the City.
- The Emergency in the City of Toronto as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 has impacted the short-term rental bylaw implementation timelines. The City is currently working to determine new implementation timelines which will be provided over the summer.
Condominium corporations where short term rentals are permissible should closely follow these developments as they will need to work with municipal enforcement and unit owners to ensure that short term rentals are conducted in accordance with the city’s regulatory framework and its governing documents.