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  • Writer's pictureJen Bedard

Buying The PERFECT Airbnb in The Niagara Region - What You NEED to Know

Updated: Apr 30, 2023


Woman scrolling through AirBnB app

As a realtor in the Niagara Region, I'm here to support my clients when it comes to making big decisions. Investing in an Airbnb property can be extremely rewarding but you should always have all of your facts nailed down before moving forward. In this blog post, I'll provide helpful insight on potential earnings and rules/bylaws related to owning an Airbnb within the region - ensuring that you are armed with enough information to make an educated decision.


The Potential Earnings of Owning an Airbnb in Niagara

Owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region can be a lucrative venture. Factors like location, season, and quality of property will determine how successful you are as a host - but on average, hosts can earn up to $3K per month with potential for much higher returns during peak seasons! Some savvy entrepreneurs have been able to generate revenue up to $10k each month by capitalizing on tourism-driven demand.


Neighbourhood Restrictions for Airbnb's in the Niagara Region

Permitted locations for AirBnB's in Niagara Falls

Airbnb properties in Niagara offer an array of income opportunities – but it's essential that you understand the rules and bylaws enforced by each city. From fire safety checks to occupancy limits, familiarizing yourself with all regulations is key for successful property ownership. For example, some cities require smoke detectors be installed at least every 10 feet while others limit a unit’s occupants based on square footage or bedrooms. Taking the time to review individual policies before investing can save both time and money! It's vital for owners to understand what their local jurisdiction requires before making a purchase. To help illustrate this point here are some examples of rules and guidelines being implemented across Niagara today!


  • Niagara Falls: Are you considering setting up an Airbnb in Niagara Falls, Ontario? Purchasing a property for this purpose is allowed only in certain neighbourhoods. To determine the areas that are permitted, simply reference the city's official Airbnb map. Additionally, all properties must be registered with the city and incur a licensing fee of $500 and a yearly fee of $200.

  • St. Catharines: Hosting properties is allowed in all residential areas of the city. However, you will need to register your property with the municipal government and pay a licensing fee of $500 every two years. This fee provides additional revenue to the city and must be paid each year so that local regulations surrounding Airbnb’s can be upheld. Your registration and fee also ensure neighbourhoods remain safe for Airbnb guests and hosts alike.

  • Niagara-on-the-Lake: Niagara-on-the-Lake is committed to making sure Airbnb’s comply with sensible regulations and guidelines. Residential areas are not permitted at all, but do not despair! Business licensees looking to offer their homes for accommodation have the option of applying for a permit. Complying with zoning bylaws, paying an annual fee for registration purposes, as well as a room fee, can turn Airbnb dreams into reality.

Benefits of Owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region

Ziplining over the Niagara Falls Canada

Despite the regulations, owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region has numerous benefits. Here are some of the advantages of owning an Airbnb in Niagara:

  • High demand: Niagara is a popular tourist destination, with over 14 million visitors per year. This means that there is high demand for short-term rentals, making it a lucrative investment.

  • Flexibility: As an Airbnb host, you have control over your rental property. You can choose when to rent it out, for how long, and to whom.

  • Extra income: Owning an Airbnb property can provide you with an extra source of income, which can help pay off your mortgage or fund your retirement.

  • Tourism growth: The Niagara Region is experiencing steady tourism growth, which means that the demand for short-term rentals will continue to rise.

Fees and Potential Issues of Owning an Airbnb

Fees and Potential Issues of Owning an Airbnb

While owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region has its benefits, it's important to be aware of the fees and potential issues that could arise. Here are some of the fees and issues you should consider:


  • Fees: As mentioned above, there are annual fees associated with owning an Airbnb in different cities within the Niagara Region.

  • Property damage: Unfortunately, some guests may damage your property or steal your belongings. While Airbnb does provide some insurance coverage, it's important to have your own homeowner's insurance policy that covers short-term rentals.

  • Noise complaints: If your rental property is in a residential neighbourhood, you may receive noise complaints from neighbours or the city. This can result in fines and even the revocation of your Airbnb license.

  • Occupancy taxes: Some cities within the Niagara Region may require hosts to collect and remit occupancy taxes on their rental income.

Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager

To mitigate some of the potential issues mentioned above, it may be beneficial to hire a property manager to manage your Airbnb(s). Here are some of the benefits of hiring a property manager:


  • Timesaving: A property manager can handle tasks such as guest communication, cleaning, and maintenance, saving you time and stress.

  • Expertise: A property manager has experience in managing short-term rentals and can provide valuable advice and insights.

  • Marketing: A property manager can help market your rental property and maximize its visibility on Airbnb and other rental platforms.

  • Legal compliance: A property manager can ensure that your rental property complies with all regulations and bylaws.

Contact me for my list of trusted property management companies.


Conclusion

Owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region can provide generous returns, but it's important to understand the implications before taking the plunge. Whether it's crafting a business plan with realistic goals, allocating your budget prudently, understanding the fees, and the rules and regulations enforced by different cities are all key to ensure you are getting the best return on your investment and abiding by the local laws and bylaws. Hiring a property manager and a local realtor can help alleviate some of these concerns and make the process smoother. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if owning an Airbnb in the Niagara Region is the right move for you. If you are looking to purchase a property for Airbnb purposes in Niagara, contact me to find out how I can make the entire buying process easier and help you find the perfect property at absolutely no cost to you.


Links to Airbnb Information, Licensing and Bylaws in Niagara:

Remember to always do your research, consult with a realtor, and weigh the pros and cons before making any big investment decisions. Good luck!

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