Short Term Accommodation Licensing

All short term accommodations (STA) offering rentals less than 28 days will require a licence to operate.

On March 19, 2018-Council approved the zoning amendments and the licensing by-law with an effective date of November 1, 2018.

Here are some points of the new rules:

  • Short-term accommodations are permitted in most housing types
  • A short-term accommodation host must be the principal resident
  • A short-term accommodation operator must obtain a town business licence for $237/year
  • Companies such as Airbnb must also be licensed with the town

In addition, new regulations would permit three units within a bed and breakfast-up from two, to create more equity in the market between short-term accommodations and bed and breakfasts.

The term "short-term accommodation" typically describes rentals that occur over a short period of time (e.g. less than 28 days). Popular online platforms such as Airbnb, Flipkey and Homeaway facilitate bookings and payments for short-term accommodations.

Here's how to apply:

  1. Confirm which category of licence to apply for:
    • Operator (applicant is the one responsible for the short term accommodation)
    • Company (platform advertising for operators)
  2. To apply for an operators licence please ensure all requirements relating to your licence class has been met including:
    • Property management and parking plan
    • Property layout
    • Property Owner/Tenant Consent form (please complete if you wish to operate a STA but are a tenant of the property)
    • Inspection certificate from an electrical contractor licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). The contractor may complete the Electrical System Inspection form which must contain the electrical contractor's ESA license number. To find an ESA contractor please search the Contractor Locator tool in the ESA webpage.
    • A heating, venting, and air conditioning inspection report performed by a HVAC installer that holds a current and valid Town of Oakville business licence. Please search the List of Licensed Contractors to find a licensed HVAC contractor.
    • Zoning approval to operate STA in requested location (please email to initiate your request)
  3. To apply for a Company licence please complete the company application.
  4. To apply for an Operator licence (including a full list of requirements) please complete the operator application.

Next Steps in application process

  1. Once your application is completed, please send the full package by email to An email with payment instructions will be sent upon receipt of a complete application by Enforcement Services. Completed applications with payment by cheque will also continue to be accepted by mail to:

    ​Municipal Enforcement Services
    1225 Trafalgar Road
    Oakville, ON L6H 0H3
  2. Only fully completed applications will be accepted. It may take up to 10 days for you to receive your licence.
  3. Once a licence has been issued you will be required to renew the licence on an annual basis.

For more information please review the by-law for details.


In the last decade there has been rapid growth in online marketplaces that connect people looking for short-term accommodation with people who want to rent or sublet their own accommodation for the same purpose.

Short-term accommodations in Oakville were only allowed in approved hotels and bed and breakfasts. Despite this, there was rapid growth in unapproved nightly rentals offered through online platforms.

I have received my Operator Licence, what are my next steps?

There are a few steps more that are required from the operator once they are licensed.  The following outlines additional requirements for STA operators:

  1. Post your licence number on all advertisements
  2. Display your licence in a prominent location in the STA to which it applies
  3. Provide a copy of the Renters Code to all renters of the STA
  4. Keep a record of the renter. The record of renter must be readily available for inspection at all times by an officer for a period of one year. The record must contain the following:
    • date of entry
    • length of stay
    • home address of renter
    • confirmation of receipt of the Renters Code

What is the Renters Code?

The Renters Code is a document that has been prepared the town for use of all licensed short term accommodation operators. This document sets out the roles and responsibilities of the renter, including behavioural expectations as they relate to the non-disturbance and provides a warning related to the making of a disturbance. This document will identify applicable Town by-laws that the renter must comply with including the provisions of this by-law as it relates to:

  • parking management plan
  • noise
  • garbage/waste disposa


For further details please contact 905-845-6601.