Business >> Short Term Rentals

Short-term Rentals for Operators


Effective June 11, 2021 and in accordance with the Province of Ontario's Re-Opening Plan - Step 1, Short-Term Rentals are permitted to operate, however indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or indoor whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities must remain closed. To find out more, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario

Short-term Rentals for Operators
Fort Erie is home to many great tourist attractions. To help ensure the safety of our visitors, all short-term rental owners who operate rentals such as Airbnbs are required to obtain an operating licence. Failure to obtain the appropriate paperwork will result in a $600 fine and 7-day operating suspension. A list of registered short-term rental properties is available and is updated regularly. 

Obtaining and renewing licences
Short-term rental business licences must be obtained and renewed annually. A licence is valid from the date of issuance until December 31 of that year. Licence applications can be renewed online using the Town’s licence application portal.

Short-term rental owners are encouraged to review Fort Erie’s short-term rentals bylaw and FAQs before applying for a licence.  

Fire Safety Plan
Short-term rentals with an occupancy of 10 or less are required to have a fire evacuation plan on the back of each bedroom door. If the occupancy is 11 or more then a fire safety plan is required and to be placed in an accessible area.

Licence Fees
All Fort Erie short-term rental businesses require a licence to operate. The following fees are required to purchase a licence. Each property operating as a short-term rental requires a licence. 

Type of Short-Term Rentals Fee
Properties owned by Corporations $500
Properties owned by Individuals 1st licence - $300
  2nd licence - $400
  3rd (and more) licence - $500


Demerit Points and Penalties
Short-term rental owners found in violation of the short-term rental bylaw will receive demerit points and a penalty for each infraction given. 

Owners receiving seven or more demerit points will be required to meet with an appeals committee to discuss ways of stopping future violations. The appeals committee is made up of three members of Council and two alternates. Owners receiving 15 or more demerit points will be required to attend a mandatory hearing with the appeals committee to discuss the future status of the licence (e.g. licence may be revoked or suspended). 

The appeals committee is also available for short-term rental operators wanting to appeal any demerit points or penalties they may have incurred. A $100 administration fee (non-refundable) is required if a meeting with the appeals committee is requested by a short-term rental operator.

Please note that the business licensing coordinator or appeals committee may impose conditions on a property, suspend and/or revoke a licence at any time. 

Demerit points will remain in place until the two-year anniversary of the date they were given. 

Infraction Demerits Penalties
Failure to comply with Fire Protection & Prevention Act/Fire Code 15 Fines imposed under FPPA/Code
Failure to comply with Building Act Code 10 Fines imposed under BCA
Obstruct Officer 10 $100
Operating without a licence 10 $600
Operating with an open Permit or Order 10 $300
Failure to display a licence 3 $75
Operating a short-term rental without conforming to all applicable Federal, Provincial and Municipal laws 5 $200
Non-availability of the local contact person 5 $100
Noise and nuisance 5 Penalties imposed under bylaw No. 30-09
Not eligible to hold a licence 5 Nil
Failure to have garbage in containers with lids 3 $150
Failure to comply with Fire Safety Plan 5 $200
Assignment of licence 3 $50
Property standards infraction 3 Fines imposed under bylaw No. 186-08
Outside sleeping accommodations onsite 3 $100
Operating premises without full private or municipal services 3 $100

To access eServices and pay an outstanding administrative penalty please click here

Bay Beach (also known as Crystal Beach)
Starting June 2, Bay Beach will be opened to the general public. Beach capacity restrictions will be put in place (2000 maximum) to allow for proper physical distancing. Throughout the summer, beach entry will be based on a first come, first serve basis until the beach reaches maximum capacity. 

To access the beach, beachgoers will be required to present one of three 2021 Bay Beach passes (resident, commercial or day). Proof of residency will not be required when entering Bay Beach. Beachgoers are encouraged to review beach rules and Real-time beach capacity updates before heading to Bay Beach.
 

Contact
Please take a minute to review the bylaws referenced above as well as reference our FAQs for Operators to further better understand our short-term rentals program. For more information, please contact our business licence coordinator at edts@forterie.ca or 905-871-1600, ext. 2252. 

FAQs for Operators

Q. How much does a Short-term Rental licence cost?
A.
Short-term rental operators can purchase their first short-term rental licence for $300. The second licence will cost $400; and $500 for the third and each additional property.

Q. How do I obtain a licence for my short-term rental property?
A.
Licence applications can be renewed online using the Town’s licence application portal.

Q: I'm a short-term rental operator. When will I be able to purchase a commercial pass?
A:
Operators of Short-term rentals will be contacted when Commercial passes become available (expected June 14).

Q. What information am I required to provide my renters?
A.
Short-term rental operators are required to inform all renters of the proper fire safety plans including an escape plan. In addition, information about Town bylaws including recreational open-air burning, parking, noise, waste collection and tent use must be provided to the renter.

Q. What safety measures are required to obtain/retain a licence?
A.
As an operator, you are required to provide your guests with:

  • Contact information of your designated 24/7 local contact in the event of an emergency
  • A fire evacuation plan posted on the back of each bedroom door if the occupant load is less than 10. If there are more than 11 occupants in the house, a fire plan must be placed in an accessible area.
  • Working smoke alarms on each level and sleeping areas.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms outside of each sleeping area.
  • Portable fire extinguishers located in an easy accessible location on each level of the home.
  • Bedroom windows free of obstruction.

Q. What if my renters want to have a recreational fire?
A.  
Short-term rental operators must provide their renters with a designated burning area or device on the property. Providing renters with proper burning material will also increase burn safety. Please reference Town Open-air Burning By-law for more information.

Q. Am I responsible for garbage and recycling collection?
A.
Operators must properly inform their renters with information about Niagara Region’s waste and recycling program including collection days.

Q. Can I advertise my Short-term Rental?
A.
Operators are permitted to advertise their short-term rental(s) with a valid licence. A paper copy of their licence must be posted inside the rental in a prominent location and must remain in that location permanently.

Q. What are demerit points and how do I as an operator incur them?
A.
Demerit points are given to any operator who fails to comply with any of the rules outlined by the Town of Fort Erie’s Short-term Rental by-law.

Q. How long do demerit points last?
A.
Demerit points remain in place until the two-year anniversary date of when the points were issued.

Q. How many points can I incur before disciplinary action happens?
A.
After seven demerit points, the operation of the short-term rental will have a meeting with the Appeals Committee. When a property accumulates 15 points, the operator will be required to attend a mandatory hearing with the appeals committee to discuss the future status of the licence (e.g. licence may be revoked/suspended).

Q. Do I have to renew my license every year?
A.
Yes. Any operator of a short-term rental must renew their licence each year it expires.

Q. How long is my license valid for?
A.
A license for a short-term rental is valid from the date it is issued until it expires on December 31 of the same calendar year it was issued.