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Short Term Accommodations

A short-term accommodation (STA) is a dwelling or dwelling unit, or any portion of it that is rented for financial compensation for a period of 30 days or less. STA's are commonly marketed through web-based platforms such as AirBnb and VRBO. STA's do not include established hotels, motels, recreational campgrounds, and trailer parks.

Is a Short-Term Accommodation Business Right for You?

Offering short-term accommodations to the public can be an exciting and innovative way to generate income. As with any business operation, there are many factors to consider while determining if this is the right fit for you.

What are your business goals? i.e. How much money are you looking to make?
How much time are you willing to devote to your business?
Do you have experience working with the general public?
Will you be available to handle unforeseen circumstances?
Do you have a thorough understanding of STA customer expectations?

How Do I Start a Short-Term Accommodation?


The Town does not require licensing specific to short-term accommodations. To operate a business in Ontario, your business must be incorporated and/or obtain a Master Business License (MBL) issued by the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS).

Licensing requirements for other complimentary business services may be required by local, provincial and federal legislation.

Public Health

Before opening a short-term accommodation you should contact KFL&A Public Health at (613) 549-1232 to ensure your systems meet the requirements for food safety, drinking water (wells), spas, and swimming pools.

Operator Responsibilities

  • Keep your property in good repair.
  • Obey provincial and municipal health, safety, and maintenance standards.
  • Ensure your guests understand and adhere to all municipal bylaws.
  • Provide access to vital services such as hot and cold water, electricity, heat, and fuel.

If you are considering starting renovations and construction please contact Development Services at

If you have inquiries regarding secondary units, please contact Development Services at

Good Practices

  • Use a legal professional to develop your rental agreement.
  • Have a ‘user guide’ for your guests outlining all relevant information about your property and the municipality.
  • Be familiar with local amenities and experiences.
  • Invest in energy-efficient solutions to reduce energy costs.
  • Provide your contact information to your guests and neighbours.


Operators should ensure they have appropriate property and liability insurance to protect against potential damages. It is recommended to consult with multiple insurance brokers who have an adequate understanding of Short-Term Accommodations. It is very important to follow all terms outlined in your insurance policy to ensure your coverage remains in place.

Short-Term Accommodation providers are considered landlords with specific responsibilities and property requirements under the Ontario Fire Code Regulations for ensuring the fire safety of persons who rent your home or part of your home whether this is on a short term or long-term basis.


Smoke Alarms

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.Landlord Responsibilities:

  • Ensure working smoke alarms are installed and maintained.
  • Test smoke alarms annually and when the battery is replaced, changes are made to the electric circuit or a change in tenancy occurs. Records must be kept on the premises.
  • Provide smoke alarm manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to tenants.
Best Practices:
  • Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom of the home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly or in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms once per year or when the low-battery warning sounds.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Any house containing a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or an attached garage requires a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the house. (Fuel-burning appliances include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.)

Landlord Responsibilities

  • Ensure working carbon monoxide alarms are installed and maintained.
  • Test CO alarms annually and when the battery is replaced, changes are made to the electric circuit or a change in tenancy occurs. Records must be kept on the premises.
  • Provide CO alarm manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to tenants.

Best Practices:

  • Install a CO alarm on every storey of the home.
  • Test CO alarm monthly or in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace batteries in CO alarms once per year or whenever the low-battery warning sounds.

Fire Extinguishers

Portable fire extinguishers with a minimum 2A-5BC rating shall be made available, visibly mounted on each floor area including the kitchen and shall be inspected and tagged annually.

Exit Plan

Landlords are to instruct occupants on the emergency procedures to be followed when a fire alarm sounds. Keep all escape routes clear of obstructions and easily accessible.


Ensure candles are in a sturdy fire-proof holder and away from anything that can burn or cause them to tip over. When you leave the room always blow them out.


Smoking materials are the #1 cause of fire deaths. Follow these simple smoking safety tips to prevent a smoking-related fire:

  • Be alert! Never smoke in bed, when drinking or taking medication or other drugs that can cause drowsiness.
  • Always use large, deep ashtrays on a sturdy table.
  • Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing butts and ashes in water or sand is the best way to do this.
  • Check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children's sight and reach.
  • When possible, smoke outdoors.
  • Install a photoelectric smoke alarm above your favourite place to smoke. If you have a fire, you will get the early warning you need to escape.

Other Tips

  • Use extension cords safely and not under carpets or obstructing walkways.
  • Store gasoline-powered equipment outside of the house.
  • Ensure containers for flammable liquids, solvent, adhesives and pressurized aerosol cans are approved and stored according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Keep furnace rooms free of clutter and ensure 1 meter clear area around each piece of service equipment.
  • Ensure furnace filter has been replaced in the past year.
  • Ensure fireplace chimney has been inspected and cleaned in the past year.
  • Clean the dryer lint trap before each use and the whole dryer vent at least yearly.


  • If a FIRE BAN is in effect, then no person shall start a fire or permit a fire to continue to burn, EXCEPT in a portable stove or BBQ.
  • All campfires are to be no larger than 1m x 1m.
  • Please check our website for active Burn Bans.
  • For more information please see our Open Air Burning By-law or contact Erin Tyers at 613-856-2226 or

Other Things to Consider


The Province of Ontario has established mandatory accessibility standards through the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) that identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. The regulations include customer service requirements, employment and workplace standards for businesses with one or more employees.


Guests who bring dogs should be mindful that their dog is in an unfamiliar territory. The dog may bark incessantly, dig or wander off the property if not leashed.   

  • Guests should always clean up after the dog when it leaves waste.
  • The risk of wildlife interactions is very real.
  • Dogs are not allowed on any public beach in the Town.
  • Dogs found running at large are subject to seizure and impound with all fines and fees payable by the owner.

Septic Systems

Your guests may not be familiar with using a septic system. To ensure the health of your septic system and protect the local groundwater ensure the system is inspected regularly and pumped when necessary. Occupants should:

  • Never put greases down the drain
  • Never flush cigarette butts, paper towels, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, disposable diapers, plastics or similar non-biodegradables down the drains.
  • Dispose of chemicals and fuels at appropriate waste sites.
  • Use excessively use water as septic systems need time to work.
  • Avoid caustic drain openers and cleaners.
  • Do not park or drive over the leaching bed area.

If you have an inquiry regarding septic/sewage systems please contact Development Services at

Marketing Your Short Term Accommodation

There are a variety of strategies you can use to market your business. Select methods that resonate with the guests you wish to attract. Suggestions include:

  • Utilize a listing channel such as Airbnb or HomeAway.
  • Have a professional quality website with lots of photos.
  • Be active on Social Media.
  • List on free classified ads sites.
  • Explore SEO and content marketing possibilities.
  • Connect with local businesses.
  • Develop referral and/or repeat customer incentives.
  • Partner with other providers on print/media opportunities.

For more information please see our Economic Development page.

Helpful Marketing Resources - Destination Ontario Tourism

Local Attractions and Experiences

Please visit the Naturally L&A website for a list of businesses, attractions, and experiences.

Neighbours and Community

Benefits of Short-Term Accommodations

Positive Economic Impact

Short term accommodations can have a positive economic impact on the local economy as guests spend money on local amenities such as attractions, experiences, restaurants and retail establishments.

Increased Publicity

Short term accommodations attract individuals from varied backgrounds who may not be accessible through the traditional accommodation channels. Increases in publicity can lead to increased interest in investing and/or relocating to the area.

Regular Property Maintenance

Short term accommodations  are a marketable commodity with high guest expectations. There is increased pressure on operators to keep properties well-maintained and updated.

Community Concerns

It is important to remember that our Town receives thousands of visitors each year and the overwhelming majority of them do so with regard to all. Nevertheless, here are some of the common concerns raised by our community.

Noise Disruptions

It can be very upsetting to have the quiet solitude of our Town unnecessarily disturbed. The Town takes violations of the noise by-law very seriously. Individual first-time violators of our noise by-law face fines of up to $5,000.


If you are celebrating using fireworks, ensure there isn't a Fire Ban in place, and you are being safe. Please be mindful of your neighbours and the time of day.


Strewing and dumping of garbage (including at Waste Site gates during non-operating hours) is unacceptable and impacts our local ecology. When dumping occurs, our Town works quickly to locate the culprit and prevent further recurrences. Our Public Works department does extensive outreach to residents and guests to ensure waste can be properly disposed of. Public Works is continually evaluating solutions that may improve the waste disposal experience for renters and guests.

Informal Resolution

For non-emergencies, try to talk or write to the person responsible (ie. landlord) for the conflict prior to reporting an issue to the Town. Be calm and state the impact the conflict is having in a clear, friendly manner.

Analyze the Problem

Ask yourself what has caused the conflict, what it is you want and how best can it be achieved?

Stay Calm

Your response to the conflict can escalate or de-escalate the problem. Try to provide a neutral point of view.

Be Specific

Avoid generalizations such as “Your cottage always has a party”. Refer to specific instances that are causing the conflict.

Listen Actively

Ensure all parties have a chance to be heard so that all viewpoints are understood.

Blame the Problem Not the Person

Attributing negative feelings to a person only furthers the divide between you. Try focusing on the problem and its resolution.

Work Together

Try to move past the conflict through developing a creative solution to the problem together.

Agree to Disagree

Each person has a unique point of view and rarely agrees on every detail. Understanding that each person can see things differently can put the focus on finding a mutually agreeable solution and less on who is ‘right’.

Some rental platforms have in-house processes to report hosts and guests that aren’t following their codes of conduct, local bylaws and/or creating a disturbance.

AirBnb: or call 1 (855) 635-7754

Vrbo: Call 1 (877)202-4291 

HomeToGo: or 1 (202) 729-9850

For all emergencies and urgent real-time fire related concerns please call 911.

For all other issues, please file a Report an Issue form.

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