Short Term Rentals

Short Term Rentals
Bed and Breakfast Establishments, Cottage Rentals,
Country Inns, Vacation Apartments and Villas

 

June 8, 2020

RE: Short Term Rental Accommodations During COVID-19

On April 6, 2020, Council placed restrictions on the operation of Short Term Rentals in response to the Provincial Emergency Order (Ontario Regulation  82/20 – Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses).

On June 4, 2020, the Provincial Government revised Ontario Regulation 82/20 to remove the limitations on the operation of Short Term Rentals.  Consequently, all Short Term Rentals are now permitted to operate in a similar manner as to hotels and motels, subject to compliance with all other Regulations and/or industry guidelines (e.g. physical distancing).

Thank you to all operators who complied with the Provincial Emergency Orders and Council resolution.  We are thankful that you willingly set aside your personal interests in order to assist in the protection of public generally, and our residents specifically.

For all operators who wish to operate in 2020 and have yet to pay their annual license fee, payment is required by Tuesday, June 30th.  At this time payments may be provided by cheque in the drop off box located at the Municipal Office (1593 Four Mile Creek Road, Virgil), by mail, or through online banking.

Please make cheques out to The Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and ensure envelopes are addressed to:  Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1593 Four Mile Creek Road, PO Box 100, Virgil ON L0S 1T0

For all operators who are in the process of renewing their 2020 license and require inspections, please contact Marilena Basilone via email (Marilena.Basilone@notl.com), or by phone (905-468-3266) to book. We ask for your continued patience as there may be a longer then normal wait time to book inspections or to receive your license.

If you have recently cancelled or renewed your insurance, a new Certificate of Insurance must be submitted prior to operation.

All operators must ensure their services meet physical distancing requirements and all other Provincial Emergency Orders, and Public Health guidelines in effect.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 related measures being taken by Niagara-on-the-Lake, please visit notl.com/COVID-19, or call 905-468-3266. Town Staff will continue to assist and serve citizens online and over the phone between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday. 

For immediate alerts, follow the Town on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus for the most up to date information from the Federal Government.


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April 7, 2020

RE: Short Term Rental Accommodations During COVID-19

While we understand that discontinuing the operation of your shot-term rental may cause additional financial strain during an already difficult time, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks for doing your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We all have to do our part. Please, whenever possible, stay home. We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation with this matter. 

Please be advised the Council of The Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the Lake, at its meeting on April 6, 2020, approved the following:

BE IT RESOLVED That, pursuant to Niagara-on-the-Lake By-law No. 4634-13, Council hereby delegates authority to the  Director of Community & Development Services that in the event any party operating short term accommodation fails  to comply with the  order to cease operation  under Ontario Regulation  82/20 – Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses  – under  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that the Director shall have the authority:

1)       to revoke any related license, if any, to operate a Short Term Rental and
2)       preclude the holder of the license or any party operating such facility from applying for a license or a reinstatement for 1 year from the later of the date of the cessation order or the revocation of the license, and
3)       impose a fine of no more than $750 or such increased amount as the Province may set for every day on which they operate after the date of the cessation order.

The Ontario Provincial Government issued Ontario Regulation 82/20 entitled Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses.  A revised list of essential services has been produced since our last communication to operators. The list includes the following:

Specific to short term rentals, the Regulation states:

3. (1) Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences.

In order to exercise this privilege a person operating short term rental must submit the following information to the Director of Community & Development Services by email at craig.larmour@notl.com:

  • Business name;
  • Contact information for owner (email and cell phone);
  • Number and names of person(s) proposed to be housed;
  • Proposed occupant’s contact information (email and cell phone);
  • Make, model and licence plate of proposed occupant’s vehicle(s);
  • Home address for proposed occupant(s);
  • Why proposed occupant is in need of housing;
  • Date of proposed occupant’s arrival; and
  • Length of proposed rental arrangement.

    Be advised that failure to provide all of the above noted information in advance of the short term rental being occupied will result in:
  • levying of the referenced fine;
  • revocation of the related license; and
  • 1 year delay in ability to apply for reinstatement.

To review all Town updates related to COVID-19, read answers to frequently asked questions, and see up-to-date information on the status of Town services, please visit www.notl.com/COVID-19, or call 905-468-3266. Phones are being answered between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday, and online service requests remain available at  www.notl.org/content/service-request. Town Staff will continue to assist and serve citizens online and over the phone.

Visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus for the most up to date information from the Federal Government.

Sincerely,
Peter Todd                                                                          Betty Disero
Town Clerk                                                                         Lord Mayor


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April 2, 2020

RE: Short Term Rental Accommodations During COVID-19

The Ontario Provincial Government issued Ontario Regulation 82/20 entitled Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses.  A copy of the Order may be viewed online at, https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082

Schedule 2 to the Regulation identifies seventy-four (74) essential businesses, including:  
12.     Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences

Please be advised that the Town does not consider Short Term Rental accommodations to fall within the scope of this essential business; consequently, the Town requires that you cease operations immediately. If compliance with this direction is not achieved by Monday, April 6, 2020, Council will consider further action.

To this end, please be advised that on Friday, March 27, 2020, the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing empowered local by-law enforcement officers to enforce Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act Orders under the Provincial Offences Act

Offences and set fines available to enforcement personnel include:

  • Fail to comply with an emergency order             
  $750.00
  • Obstruct any person exercising a power in accordance with an Order made during a declared emergency
    $1,000.00
  • Obstruct any person performing a duty in accordance with an Order made during a declared emergency
    $1,000.00

If you’re aware of a Short Term Rental (also known as a Bed & Breakfast, Air B&B, Country Inn, Cottage Rental, and Vacation Apartment) operating in contravention of the above requirement, please advise Niagara-on-the-Lake’s By-law Enforcement immediately. Enforcement can be reached via email (covidcomplaints@notl.com), phone (905-468-3266), or online complaint form.

Refunds & Fees
The Council of The Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, at their Council Meeting, held March 30, 2020, approved the following motion:

"That staff be directed to reduce the licensing fees for all short-term rentals to the 2019 rates, and further that staff be directed to refund the excess funds paid for the year 2020 to operators who have provided payment".

Therefore, as per Council’s approved motion, the 2020 annual license fee for all short-term rental accommodations has been reduced to $115.00/room (2019 rate).

The Town will be issuing refunds, in the amount of the additional balance, to operators who have already provided payment for their 2020 license fee. Cheques will be sent by mail as soon as they are processed.

Operators who have yet to provide payment for the 2020 licensing year may do so upon revocation of Ontario Regulation 82/20, Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses. The application fee will be $115.00/room (2019 rate).

Operators wishing to cancel their 2020 license and receive a refund may do so by providing a notice in writing stating that they have not yet operated in this calendar year. Applicants must request a refund no later than June 1, 2020.

Please note that at this time, all Short Term Rental inspections have been cancelled. If you are impacted by this change, please be advised that Town staff will be in contact with you in the near future to reschedule your inspection.

While we understand that discontinuing the operation of your Short Term Rental may cause additional financial strain during an already difficult time, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks for doing your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We all have to do our part. Please, whenever possible, stay home. We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation with this matter. 

To review all Town updates related to COVID-19, read answers to frequently asked questions, and see up-to-date information on the status of Town services, please visit www.notl.com/COVID-19, or call 905-468-3266. Phones are being answered between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday, and online service requests remain available at  www.notl.org/content/service-request. Town Staff will continue to assist and serve citizens online and over the phone.

Visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus for the most up to date information from the Federal Government.

Sincerely,
Peter Todd                                                                         Betty Disero
Town Clerk                                                                         Lord Mayor

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TOWN ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS CLOSE TO THE PUBLIC
 
For Immediate Release                                                                      March 17, 2020

-Niagara-on-the-Lake- Please be advised that earlier this week the Town released a media release advising of the decision to close its buildings to the public. Despite this closure, Town staff will remain available to assist and serve citizens online and over the phone. Our phones will continue to be answered between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday (905-468-3266), and online service requests will remain available at www.notl.com.

Please be advised that this decision will have an affect on scheduling inspections, processing applications and payment of outstanding invoices. All inspections for short term rentals have been cancelled effective immediately. If you are affected by this change please be advised that Town staff will be in contact with you in the near future to reschedule the inspections. If you have had your inspections but are still awaiting a license, please be advised that applications are being processed, but may be delayed. For any outstanding payments, the Town is still accepting payments by mail, online, or at our drop box locations at the main administrative building at 1593 Four Mile Creek Road. 

 Additionally, if you are accommodating guests, we ask that you review the information provided by the Niagara Region at the link below regarding COVID-19, specifically the recommendations for household cleanings.  https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx


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Short Term Rental Application Package

2020 Application - please fill in and print the application.

Please note:  2020 Short Term Rental Application fees are now $115/room.

Please be advised that only complete applications will be accepted.

A complete application will includes the following; a signed application form and acknowledgement form; a copy of a valid certificate of insurance; scaled site plans and floor plans; and the payment of the applicable licensing fee.

Licensing fees can be paid via cash, debit or cheque payable to The Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The Town will now only be accepting annual payments.

In order to operate in the current licensing period, a current license will need to be issued and posted within each Short Term Rental establishment.  

All Short Term Rentals within the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake must be licensed in order to operate.  
Please also note:  Web-sites, such as, Airbnb, VRBO etc., are only a means to advertise.  In the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake you must hold a valid Short Term Rental License to operate.

Applications can be submitted at the Town Administration Building located at 1593 Four Mile Creek Road during regular office hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm).  Should you have any questions concerning this process, please contact the Town Municipal Offices at 905-468-3266 and we would be pleased to assist you.

List of Short Term Rentals