Short-Term Accommodation Rental Properties

Overview

Under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (TIA), the sale of travel services specifically includes “accommodations for the use of a traveler, tourist or sightseer,” which would require the transaction to be conducted through a TICO registered travel retailer (agency or website).

TIA provides an exemption (under Ontario Regulation 26/05) for Ontario real estate brokers and salespersons to trade in short-term accommodation rental properties through a registered real estate brokerage. Common examples of short-term accommodation rentals are cottages, condo apartments, homes, cabin establishments, chalets and vacation homes.

This bulletin explains exemptions under TIA for real estate brokerages, brokers and salespersons and their rights and obligations when facilitating these transactions.

Brokers and salespersons are expected to act professionally and comply with the law at all times. Compliance and professionalism reinforce consumer protection and maintain the integrity of the real estate marketplace.

Exemption under Ontario Regulation 26/05

RECO registrants are permitted to trade in short-term accommodation rental properties on behalf of the brokerage that employs the broker or salesperson.

    • The exemption only applies to trades in short-term accommodation rental properties that are made through the registered brokerage.
    • If a registered broker or salesperson trades in short-term accommodation rental properties as a side business that is not accounted for and/or otherwise captured by the registered brokerage, he/she would not qualify for the exemption and would need to register under TIA.

Additional travel services

Providing any travel services beyond short-term accommodation rental properties requires registration with TICO. Any time that a business acts as an agent for an end supplier of travel services, the activity falls under TIA, and therefore must be performed by a registered travel agent. This could include, but is not limited to:

    • Booking river/lake tours
    • Facilitating the rental of water sport equipment with a third-party vendor

TIA also applies when providing travel services combined with other services. For more details, please visit TICO’s website.

Consumer understanding

Registrants must always clarify their role in any transaction and identify which registered real estate brokerage or travel agent is involved.

Complying with REBBA when facilitating short-term rentals through a real estate brokerage

Clarity in Advertising

Advertising of short-term accommodation rentals must comply with the advertising requirements under REBBA. In particular, all advertising must be under the brokerage’s registered name, which must be prominently displayed.

Disclosure of Referral Fees

If you are receiving a fee or other type of compensation for referring a consumer to a third-party for a short-term accommodation rental, this must be disclosed in writing to the consumer. For more information, see the Registrar’s Bulletin on referral fees.

Who is TICO?

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario regulates Ontario’s travel industry by enforcing the TIA. For information about obligations for travel agents under TIA or to find out how to register as a travel agent, visit TICO’s website.


Relevant legislation

REBBA: Sections 1, 4, 5, 37 and 40(1)(c)

O. Reg. 580/05 (Code of Ethics): Section 36

O. Reg. 567/05 (General): Section 34

Travel Industry Act, 2002

Ontario Regulation 26/05

Residential Tenancies Act: Section 5(a)


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