FAQs for Short-Term Rentals
Effective July 16, 2021 and in accordance with the Province of Ontario's Re-Opening Plan - Step 3, Short-Term Rentals with indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or indoor whirlpools, indoor fitness centres or other indoor recreational facilities are open with restrictions. To find out more, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario
Q. How much does a Short-Term Rental licence cost?
A. Individual Short-Term Rental operators can purchase their first Short-Term Rental licence for $300. The second licence will cost $400; and $500 for the third and each additional property. Corporations can purchase their Short-Term Rental licence for $500.
Q. How do I obtain a licence for my Short-Term Rental property?
A. Licence applications can be renewed online using the Town’s licence application portal.
Q: I'm a Short-Term Rental operator. When will I be able to purchase a commercial pass?
A: Operators of Short-Term Rentals will be contacted when Commercial passes become available for the 2022 Beach Season.
Q. What information am I required to provide my renters?
A. Short-Term Rental operators are required to inform all renters of the proper fire safety plans including an escape plan. In addition, information about Town bylaws including recreational open-air burning, parking, noise, waste collection and tent use must be provided to the renter.
Q. What safety measures are required to obtain/retain a licence?
A. As an operator, you are required to provide your guests with:
- Contact information of your designated 24/7 local contact in the event of an emergency.
- A fire evacuation plan posted on the back of each bedroom door if the occupant load is less than 10. If there are more than 11 occupants in the house, a fire plan must be placed in an accessible area.
- Working smoke alarms on each level and sleeping areas.
- Carbon monoxide alarms outside of each sleeping area.
- Portable fire extinguishers located in an easy accessible location on each level of the home.
- Bedroom windows free of obstruction.
Q. What if my renters want to have a recreational fire?
A. Short-Term Rental operators must provide their renters with a designated burning area or device on the property. Providing renters with proper burning material will also increase burn safety. Please reference Town Open-air Burning By-law for more information.
Q. Am I responsible for garbage and recycling collection?
A. Operators must properly inform their renters with information about Niagara Region’s waste and recycling program including collection days.
Q. Can I advertise my Short-Term Rental?
A. Operators are permitted to advertise their Short-Term Rental(s) with a valid licence. A paper copy of their licence must be posted inside the rental in a prominent location and must remain in that location permanently.
Q. What are demerit points and how do I as an operator incur them?
A. Demerit points are given to any operator who fails to comply with any of the rules outlined by the Town of Fort Erie’s Short-Term Rentals by-law.
Q. How long do demerit points last?
A. Demerit points remain in place until the two-year anniversary date of when the points were issued.
Q. How many points can I incur before disciplinary action happens?
A. If the total of all demerit points respecting a Short-Term Rental is seven (7) or more, an owner is required to provide the Business Licencing Coordinator written steps on how they intend to mitigate further instances of awarding demerit points. If the total of all demerit points respecting a Short-Term Rental is fifteen (15) or more, an owner is required to attend a mandatory hearing with the Hearing Officer to determine if the Short-Term Rental licence should be revoked.
Q. Do I have to renew my license every year?
A. Yes. Any operator of a Short-Term Rental must renew their licence each year it expires.
Q. How long is my license valid for?
A. A license for a Short-Term Rental is valid from the date it is issued until it expires on December 31 of the same calendar year it was issued.
Q. Where can I find registered Short-Term Rentals in my neighbourhood?
A. A list of registered Short-Term Rentals can be found on the Town's Business Directory at https://www.forterie.ca/resource/eservicesBusiness.xsp?filter=STR
Q. What if renters are not following Town by-laws?
A. If you are experiencing renters who are not following by-laws, please call the Town of Fort Erie By-law Enforcement at 905-871-1600, ext. 5216. If your complaint falls outside of office hours, please call the non-emergency number for the Niagara Regional Police at 905-871-2300.
Hours of Operation
- May 1 to September 30 – Monday and Tuesday (8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Wednesday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.) or Saturday and Sunday (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.)
- October 1 to April 30 – Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Q. Are renters allowed to put up a tent on the Short-Term Rental property?
A. Renters are not allowed to set up tents on the property.
Q. How many people can be in one Short-Term Rental property?
A. The rule for the number of guests per Short-Term Rental is subject to the limit of guests established by the approved fire safety plan or fire evacuation plan.
Q. Can we put a tent on the property for other guests to stay in?
A. No, there is no outside sleeping permitted on the Short-Term Rental property.
Q. Are we, as renters, responsible for putting out waste and recycling bins for collection?
A. Yes, you will be responsible for putting all garbage and recycle bins out for collection on the correct day. That date should be provided to you from your Short-Term Rental operator.
Q. Are we allowed to have a fire on the property?
A. Yes, when a temporary ban on open air burning is not in effect, open-air burning is allowed but we highly recommend that renters read up on the Town’s open-air burning by-law to learn the details of the bylaw.
Q. Where are we allowed to park when staying at our Short-Term Rental?
A. The Town offers plenty of on-street and lot parking. Please speak with your short-term rental operator for parking options and guidelines.