Take Action: Roadmap to a Modern Framework for Regulating Short-Term Rentals

Accommodations Industry Releases Best Practice Guidelines for Canadian Regulators

(ST. JOHN’S, NL) August 16, 2018 – Today, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), released best practice guidelines for regulating short-term rentals. Governments at all levels are grappling with the implications of the growing short-term rental industry and platforms like Airbnb. The paper, Developing a Modern Approach to Short-Term Rentals in a Digital Economy, gives all levels of Canadian governments, including municipalities, an analysis of regulatory developments worldwide and best practice approaches to developing a local framework.

What started as true home sharing has expanded into a growing trend: people using these platforms to become commercial operators. Over the last two years, the commercial side of Airbnb’s business – those renting multi-unit entire homes – grew by 108%. These entire home rentals generated 83% of Airbnb’s revenues.1

“The landscape of the global travel and tourism industry has evolved greatly and tourism operators in Newfoundland and Labrador are working continuously to develop a tourism product that provides a unique experience and ultimately, exceeds guests’ expectations,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Larry Laite. “However, the short-term rental industry currently operates with limited regulation and there is an acute need for federal, provincial, and municipal governments to put in place a modern regulatory framework that will address such unintended consequences as lost taxes and less available housing, as well as promote fairness and protect communities.”

Based on emerging best practices around the world, the proposed framework outlines regulatory tools that provinces, cities and communities can apply, including:

  • Host registration and fees;
  • Platform registration and fees;
  • Principal residence restriction;
  • Cap on usage;
  • Health and safety standards;
  • Reporting requirements;
  • Taxation/levies; and
  • Enforcement/penalties.

In Canada, some provinces and municipalities have implemented rules around short-term rental platforms, with others currently conducting regulatory reviews. Each is looking to balance the interests of the travelling public with those of members of the community. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Tourist Establishments Act is antiquated and unable to be properly enforced in today’s modern tourism industry.

The short-term rental industry should not be exempt from the rules and regulations designed to build successful communities and keep travellers safe. “Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and our industry partners are committed to working alongside governments in Newfoundland and Labrador to develop a fair, sensible and practical approach to the short-term rental industry that acknowledges the difference between true home sharing and a commercial operation,” concluded Mr. Laite. “Getting this balance right will protect communities and ensure that visitors continue to experience a safe and enjoyable stay in our remarkable province.”

On behalf of our members, Hospitality NL is asking the Provincial Government to consider the modern approaches outlined in the attached framework and work with the industry to identify and implement a collective solution that will help to strengthen and grow tourism, protect consumers, encourage fair business competition, allow for alternate revenue streams for residents, and collect proper taxes from operators.


A press conference will be held on August 16th at 11:30 AM (NST). Tune in live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HospitalityNL.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association for 35 years, is dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership and networking opportunities.


Media Contact:
Melissa Ennis
Manager, Policy & Communications
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
E: mennis@hnl.ca
P: 709-722-2000 ext. 231
C: 709-227-1863

1 An Overview of Airbnb and the Hotel Sector in Canada: A Focus on Hosts With Multiple Units – https://www.fairrules.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Oct-2-Hotel-Association-Airbnb-Report.pdf