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Short-Term Rental Licensing

Regulating short-term rental properties helps us ensure the safety of each rental property and provides residents the opportunity to earn extra income while supporting the tourism industry of Kingston. 

As of June 1, 2021, short-term rentals are subject to a Municipal Accommodation Tax. This means, if you use a short-term rental in the City of Kingston you must pay an additional fee added to your accommodation that goes to the municipality. These funds are reinvested in tourism products and promotion to help the City grow its tourism industry without increasing local taxes. Learn more about the Municipal Accommodation Tax.

Learn more about our regulations in our Short-Term Rental Bylaw.

Apply for a new or renew your licence 

Follow the steps below to apply for your short-term rental licence. If your application is approved, you will need to pay the licence fee to complete the process. We will notify you when your licence is ready. 

Short-Term Rental Licences are valid from the date of issuance to March 31 of each year and must be renewed annually. 

Sign up/log in to MyKingston to complete your application online and ensure we can fulfill your request effectively.    

  1.  Provide supporting documentation:
    • Applicant official documentation (one of the following): 
        • Valid Government Identification Card 
        • Ontario Driver’s License 
        • Passport 
        • Ontario Photo Identification Card 
    • Proof of property ownership (one of the following): 
        • Proof of Title 
        • Property Tax Bill 
        • MPAC Assessment 
        • Utilities Invoice 
    • Letter from the Property Owner: 
        • Giving permission for the Dwelling Unit to be used as a Short-Term Rental (if the applicant is the Authorized Agent representing the Property Owner). 
    • Letter from the Multiple Unit Dwelling Owners: 
        • Giving permission for the Dwelling Unit to be used as a Short-Term Rental, where applicable. 
    • Articles of Incorporation: 
        • It includes names of members that consist of the Board of Directors, Chief Administrative Officer and/or Executive Directors where applicable under business ownership structure. 
  2. Submit application: Sign up/log in to MyKingston to complete your application online and ensure we can fulfill your request effectively. Require an alternate format? You can Contact Us
  3. Application review: The review process can take up to 20 days. Your application is subject to review by the following agencies. If needed, these agencies may contact the applicant for additional information and/or set up an inspection: 
    • Licensing Agent 
    • City Planning Department 
    • City Building Services 
    • Kingston Fire and Rescue 
    • Property Standards Division 
  4. Application outcome: The application's approval or denial is determined by inspection reports and reviews conducted by the assigned agencies. They consider compliance or any outstanding deficiencies. 
  5. Payment of your license: You can check the fee in the Fees & Charges Bylaw. Fees are subject to change from year to year upon Council approval. Currently the Short-term Rental Operator’s License fee is $191. You can pay:
    • By phone: We accept Visa, MasterCard or Amex. 
    • In person: 1211 John Counter Blvd. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Debit, Cheque or Cash 
  6. Licence issued: Once the licensing fee is paid, we will issue the licence. The operator is then officially licensed to operate their Short-Term Rental and must adhere to the conditions specified in the Bylaw. 

Important conditions of short-term rental operators 

These rules apply to operators who receive payment for all or part of a Dwelling Unit, providing accommodations for a period equal to or less than 30 consecutive days: 

  • You must have a valid license issued under Bylaw to market or operate a short-term rental. 
  • Operators can only run up to two short-term rentals at once.  
  • A license issued under the Bylaw is valid from the date of issuance to March 31 of each year and must be renewed on its anniversary. An expired license is no longer valid. 
  • Notify the Licensing Division in writing within 14 days of any changes to the initial information or documentation submitted. 
  • Ensure that guests adhere to the regulations outlined in the Zoning Bylaw and Parking Bylaw.
  • Short-term rentals can rent no more than three individual rooms and provide sleeping accommodation for a maximum of four individuals. This does not apply to short-term rentals for entire dwelling in single-detached homes.
  • Provide emergency contact information to every guest. 
  • Display a copy of the license prominently near the entry of the short-term rental whenever it is in use. 
  • Include your Operator's License number in any marketing materials for the short-term rental. 
  • Comply with all Municipal Accommodation Tax self-remittance processes and timelines. 
  • Adhere to record-keeping, auditing, and transaction requirements as specified in Bylaw.  

Frequently asked questions

Only the owner of the property or the authorized agent of the owner may apply for a licence. The Owner's authorized agent means the person or persons appointed by the Owner to make decisions in relation to the Owner's property in their absence. If the Owner is a corporation or partnership, they have the authority to bind the Owner.  

Any owner of a property within the city of Kingston who receives payment for all or part of a dwelling unit used to provide sleeping accommodations for a period equal to or less than 30 consecutive days.  

Short-term rentals are allowed in Residential Dwelling Units, including single detached, semi-detached, row house, secondary suites in a single detached dwelling, or multi-unit buildings located within the city of Kingston as per Bylaw. 

A dwelling unit means a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities. This definition applies to any dwelling unit in any type of building, including a single-detached, semi-detached or row house with a secondary suite within the principal building or a detached building on the same lot; as well as a seasonal dwelling unit (cabin/cottage). 

  • Where cooking, eating, living/sleeping and sanitary facilities are not provided (for example a bunkie used for sleeping only), this would not be considered a dwelling unit. 
  • A Short-Term Rental means all or part of a dwelling unit used to provide sleeping accommodations for a period equal to or less than 30 consecutive days in exchange for payment and includes a bed and breakfast. 
  • Every short-term rental must be part of a dwelling unit as defined by having cooking, eating, living/sleeping and sanitary/washroom facilities. No completely separate sleeping space only is permitted to have a licence to operate. 

A dwelling unit containing living/sleeping, eating and sanitary facilities that is completely separated from the principal dwelling unit by a fire separation and door that restricts entry between the two units would be considered a separate dwelling unit or secondary suite.  A bar area in a basement would not constitute a separate unit.   

If your dwelling unit does not have a recognized unit number by the City and you have more than one unit in your building, it may not necessarily mean the unit is illegal.  Please contact building services at We will check historic records to determine if the unit was legalized previously, however no unit number was assigned at that time. If this is the case, we will work with civic addressing to have the unit recognized and a unit number assigned. 

It is always good to confirm if the unit you will be renting is legal and there are no open permits on file that may extend the time for the short-term rental application to be approved.  Staff are available at to review information on file with you prior to your short-term license application submission to help with the process.

For most short-term rentals: 

  • You can rent out up to three rooms. 
  • The maximum number of people allowed to stay is four. 

However, if you're renting out an entire single-detached house under one booking, these rules don't apply. 

Specifically for different types of buildings: 

  • For a single detached dwelling with one suite: You can either rent out the entire house under one booking or rent out up to three individual bedrooms to a maximum of four persons in total. 
  • For buildings like single with a secondary suite, semi-detached, duplex, row house, or multi-unit buildings: You can either rent out the entire dwelling unit or rent out a maximum of three bedrooms individually, with a maximum of four persons in total. 

Any City staff wanting to inspect your property to confirm bylaw compliance will contact you and set up a time that is convenient.

An agent cannot enter a dwelling unit without consent of the occupier, unless an order or warrant has been issued authorizing entry, or there is an immediate danger to the health and safety of persons.

Refusal of consent to allow entry to a dwelling unit does not constitute hindering or obstruction under the Bylaw unless the City is acting under an order or warrant, noted above, under the Municipal Act. 

No, if your dwelling unit is existing and you are not adding any additional plumbing fixtures or living space to support the short-term rental use.  In certain instances, where an additional dwelling unit has been constructed without a permit, a building permit and zoning approvals would be required to utilize this space as a Dwelling Unit or Short-Term Rental.  In these circumstances, the septic system would need to be assessed to support any additional loads imposed. 

In general, existing homes that are compliant with the Building Code and Zoning Bylaw would not require renovations or additional construction. If your existing unit was created legally under a building permit, no alterations would be required in order to operate your short-term rental.  

If you are considering renovations, such as finishing a basement, adding bedrooms or an additional Dwelling Unit including a secondary suite, in order to rent out the space, a building permit would be required.  

All existing dwelling units in Ontario, regardless if they are a short-term rental or not, are subject to the Fire Code which states: 

  • Smoke alarms must be installed on all levels of the home, outside all sleeping areas, between the sleeping area and the remainder of the home, and maintained in operating condition in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • If the home has a fuel burning appliance or fireplace or connected garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area, and maintained in operating condition in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Please Contact Us to submit a complaint.

The matter will be directed to the City’s Licensing and Bylaw Enforcement departments for investigation.

All properties within the City of Kingston are subject to the minimum standards established by the Property Standards Bylaw, which manages and controls the way properties are maintained and used in the City of Kingston. The purpose of this bylaw is to set out standards for properties, so they are not an eyesore or nuisance to neighbours or affect the enjoyment of one’s own property. Properties are also subject to Parking Bylaw and Noise Bylaw and Solid Waste Bylaw, and all other applicable laws. 

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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