Change of course in short-term rentals

Sensitive to the many complaints received, council repealed the Short-Term Rental Policy at the last municipal meeting on April 6. This policy, dating from 2013, proposed certain rules, but was not binding and was contrary to the zoning by-law by allowing short-term rentals on all but one street.

Zoning by-law number 115-2 defines the zones in which commercial accommodation activities are permitted. Therefore, short-term rentals of secondary residences will now only be permitted in zones where the C507 use is authorized. The C507 use defines places that allow short-term rentals as “hotel establishments where the primary activity is the accommodation of transient and short-stay guests, such as tourist homes and inns with fewer than 15 rooms.

“Since the expansion of short-term rentals and Airbnb, the government has separated short-term rentals into two categories,” the mayor explained during the council meeting, “On the one hand, rentals considered as a commercial activity, which apply to secondary residences, and on the other hand, non-commercial rentals, which apply to primary residences and fall under other standards. The Town cannot prohibit short-term rentals, but it can regulate them with a specific by-law. This is what we want to do.”

New rules effective immediately

Pending the adoption of a by-law specifically dedicated to short-term rentals, Council has decided on the following temporary rules:

  • Short-term rentals (31 days or less) of a principal residence are still permitted throughout the territory, subject to compliance with the Tourist Accommodation Establishment Act and obtaining a Certificate for a Principal Residence from the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ); 
  • Short-term rental of a secondary residence is only permitted in zones where the C507 use is authorized; owners meeting these criteria must request a Classification Certificate from the CITQ, as well as a Short-term Rental Certificate from the Town of Sutton.
  • Owners of secondary residences who have a valid certificate of occupancy issued by the Town prior to these changes, regardless of the zone, will be able to rent their dwelling until the expiry of the certificate or until the adoption of a new by-law, whichever comes first. The certificate will not be renewed if it no longer meets the criteria of the C507 use or the new by-law, if applicable.

The Planning and Land Use Department prepared an explanatory document that clearly indicates the zones in which the C507 use is permitted. It is posted in the Citizen Services/Urbanism and Land Use Planning section, under the title “Short Term Rentals“.

For specific questions regarding short-term rentals, please email [email protected].