|Please be advised that in any residential zone, the Short-Term Accommodation may only be permitted in a principal residence of the Short-Term Rental operator.|
The Short-Term Accommodation licence ensures all short-term accommodations operate safely, in accordance with Fire Protection Standards and the Ontario Building Code. Licences are required on an annual basis.
Following By-Law 15 of 2020, property owners and operators are reminded that they are required to apply for and receive a Short-Term Accommodation (STA) Business Licence and register for the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) collection in order to be a legally compliant operator in the City of Sarnia.
Do I Need A Short-Term Accommodation Licence?
Renting out 1-3 guest rooms for periods less than 30 consecutive days.
Yes, if the rental period is less than 30 days, you need a short-term accommodation licence.
Renting out an entire house for periods less than 30 consecutive days.
Yes, if the rental period is less than 30 days, you need a short-term accommodation licence. You may only rent out the entire dwelling for a maximum of 180 days per year.
Renting out an entire house or dwelling unit for periods of 30 or more consecutive days.
No, this is a standard long-term rental and does not require a short-term accommodation licence. The creation of dwelling units has its own permitting process.
Renting out guest rooms to 4 or more people.
No, this is considered a rooming/boarding house or a hotel/motel and is not permitted as a short-term accommodation. These uses have their own permitting/licensing processes.
Renting out guest rooms to 3 people for periods greater than 30 consecutive days.
No, this is considered a rooming/boarding house and is not permitted as a short-term accommodation. This use has its own permitting process.
Renting out guest rooms for 1-2 people for periods of 30 or more consecutive days.
No, this is considered a long-term room rental, and is allowed without a licence within legally permitted dwellings, to a maximum of 2 people.
Does my Property Qualify for a Short-Term Accommodation Licence?
To operate a short-term accommodation, you must acquire a City issued short-term accommodation licence. The following requirements must be met:
1. If your dwelling is located in:
A residential zone
- Must be within a legally permitted dwelling unit
- Must be the primary residence of the operator
- Must have a dedicated “operator’s room” in addition to guest room(s)
Any other zone
- Must be within a legally permitted dwelling unit
(Please contact the Planning Department if you are uncertain of your zone or the legal status of a dwelling unit)
2. Guest rooms must conform to the Ontario Building Code standards for a bedroom
3. Each rental period is less than 30 consecutive days
4. Maximum of 3 guest rooms
5. A mandatory fire inspection will verify the accommodations are safe.
6. Must provide sufficient parking:
- Must provide 1 parking space for each guest room in addition to 1 parking space for the dwelling unit. This is in addition to any other required parking spaces for other uses or dwelling units on the property. All parking spaces must be located within the property’s boundaries and comply with the Zoning By-law. Tandem parking is permitted, but triple parking is not. Garages can be permitted parking spaces.
- A duplex, where Dwelling Unit A is a standard long-term rental, and Dwelling Unit B is a short-term accommodation with 3 guest rooms.
- Dwelling Unit A: 2 spaces
- Dwelling Unit B: 1 space for the unit, and 1 space per guest room.
- Total: 6 parking spaces located on the property.
Please Read Before Starting the Application Process:
Short-Term Accommodation By-Law 15 of 2020
Penalty Provisions of the Provincial Offences Act
1: Download Application/Documentation
1: Download the application form for a Short-Term Accommodation Business Licence
2: Provide Payment & Submit Documents – Application will be Reviewed
Provide payment for the license application, and submit the required information for review.
To make Payment follow this link: Online Services – City of Sarnia
The fee for application is $275.91 Please Note: All payments submitted are non-refundable, regardless of status of application
By Email: email@example.com
Drop off to Customer Service, attention Licensing Department, First floor of City Hall, 255 Christina St N Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, except for statutory holidays
Staff will contact you with any questions, points of clarity and to arrange a fire inspection.
NOTE: Should the property and/or operation not meet the requirements of the zoning regulations, applicants will be required to make revisions and/or seek relief through a Planning Act application
3: Complete a Fire Inspection
We will provide a letter authorizing to proceed with a fire inspection.
Sarnia Fire Rescue Services Checklist to assist in preparing applicants inspection:
4: Issue of the Licence for Display
Once compliance has been achieved with the requirements and the fire inspection has been passed, a business licence will be issued.
Operators are required to:
- Display the license in a place visible from, or as near as possible to, the main entrance of the short-term accommodation.
- Notify the City of Sarnia, in writing, within seven days of any change to any approved information within the license application or approved plans.
- Ensure the home complies, at all times, with the Ontario Building Code and Ontario Fire Code, including maximum occupancy.
- Show the amount of the MAT as a separate item or charge on the bill for each stay.
- Collect and remit to the City of Sarnia.
- Renew the license annually as long as the short-term accommodation is in operation.
5: Register for MAT tax
Completing the form at https://www.sarnia.ca/municipal-accommodation-tax-mat/.
Please refer to the neighbourly living section of our website for handy tips on making information provided to assist with direct communication between neighbors and to the Operators of the Short-Term Accommodation.
The City of Sarnia By-law Department can help deal with community concerns. They can be reached during business hours at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 519-332-0330.
For Licence Renewals Click Here
Questions? If you have questions regarding Short-Term Accommodations, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com by calling (519)332-0330 Ext 3350.