The Short-Term Accommodation licence ensures all short-term accommodations operate safely, in accordance with the Fire Protection Standards and the Ontario Building Code. Residence and property owners who wish to rent out rooms for a period of 30 days or less, are required to obtain an annual licence.

** 3 bedrooms is the limit, and must be your Primary Residence

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.

Residentially Zoned Property:

Please note, all operators that are utilizing a residentially zoned property to offer short-term accommodations to the traveling public, are required to be compliant with the Bed & Breakfast standards in the zoning by-law. A review of these standards will be completed as part of the Business Licence application process, as will be a mandatory Fire inspection to ensure all accommodations are safe.

Zoning By-law Standards Appeal:

As a note to the community, the zoning by-law standards for Short-Term Accommodations were appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and as such, these standards are not in effect. The existing Bed and Breakfast standards remain in effect for residentially zoned property.

Secondary Dwellings

If a Secondary Dwelling Unit has been established, additional requirements from Building may be required. Contact for more information.

Application Process

Step 2: Provide Payment & Submit Documents

Provide payment for the license application, and submit the required information for review.

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The fee for application is $273.65. Please Note: All payments submitted are non-refundable, regardless of status of application

Submit Documentation:

By Email:

In Person:
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



Step 3: Application Reviewed

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 Bed & Breakfast Zoning Standards, applicants will be required to make revisions and/or seek relief through a Planning Act application

Step 4: Complete a Fire Inspection

We will provide a letter authorizing to proceed with a fire inspection.

Step 5: Issue of the Licence

Once compliance has been achieved with the requirements and the fire inspection has been passed, a business licence will be issued

Step 7: Display Your Licence

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.
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The fee for application is $273.65.
All payments submitted are non-refundable, regardless of status of application


This program aims to encourage positive neighbourly and community communications. Please refer to the neighbourly living section of our website for handy tips on making these connections.

  • Information is 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 such as excessive noise, improper burning, dogs running at large etc. They can be reached during business hours at or phone at 519-332-0330.


If you have questions regarding Short-Term Accommodations, please don’t hesitate to contact us at by calling (519)332-0330 Ext 3350.