Under the Tourist Accommodations Act, accommodation operators that offer short-term accommodations of 28 days or less at one time must register with the Province each year. Registration is valid from April 1 - March 31.
Read below for frequently asked questions about the accommodations registry.
When can I register my accommodation?
You will be able to register/renew your registration for 2023-24 on March 1st, 2023.
Is there a registration deadline?
Accommodations must register by April 1 each year. Registration is valid for the Tourism fiscal year (April 1-March 31). You must register prior to operating which can be done anytime throughout the year.
What if I am unable to register by April 1/I missed the deadline? Can I get an extension?
Although you’re expected to register by April 1, registration will remain open, and we ask that you register as soon as you are able.
Our current priority is to raise awareness of the requirements and we will not be immediately charging fines during this transition period. However, registration is a requirement to list on accommodation platforms like Airbnb and we are working with accommodation platforms to communicate with hosts and ensure only registered accommodations can sell short-term rentals through their websites. Platforms will be communicating directly with hosts in the coming months to let you know at what point they will be delisting unregistered accommodations. If there is an issue that is preventing you from registering by that date, please contact Tourism Nova Scotia to discuss your options at TARA-TNS@novascotia.ca.
Who needs to register?
All operators of short-term accommodations (that can be made available for rent to the travelling public for 28 days or less) must register. INCLUDING your primary residence.
Your primary residence is the home where you live, as an owner or a tenant. It’s also the home you use for bills, identification and tax purposes.
Examples of short-term rentals that need to be registered include:
- Cottage, cabin or mini home
- Room and hostels
- Bed and breakfast
- Apartments, Condos and Houses (Vacation homes)
- Unusual lodging (for example, yurt, dome, or camping trailer fixed in place)
You DO NOT need to register if:
Your accommodation isn’t roofed, like a campground, or doesn’t have a “fixed roof” (like a tent or trailer that is moved between sites).
You only rent for periods longer than 28 days ie: you have a monthly or annual lease
Do campgrounds need to register?
No, campgrounds are not required to register under the legislation.
The only exception is if they offer a fixed-roof accommodation on the property (like a cottage, cabin, yurt, bunk house, domes, motel, hotel, etc.) in which case those accommodations must be registered.
I host students/athletes in my home who are visiting Nova Scotia for education purposes or sporting events, am I required to register?
Under the TARA, short-term rental means the provision of roofed accommodations to a single party or group, for payment or compensation, for a period of 28 days or less at one time. If you receive payment to host a person or group for up to 28 days at one time, you must register.
I want to add my accommodation name.
Associating a business using NS Online Login in the Registration service is no longer available. To simplify the registration process, you will no longer be asked to login and link your accommodation registration to your business registration. Instead, you will be asked to enter the name of your accommodation. This allows the registration to be more closely aligned with the name you use to advertise your accommodation.
Registering the accommodation with Tourist Accommodations Registry does not constitute business registration.
You can type in the name of what you call your accommodation.
I’m a campground owner. Registration doesn’t apply to me. What are my responsibilities as a business owner when it comes to health and safety?
Any regulations for campground health and safety (outside of what was previously defined in the TAA), continue to apply to campgrounds.
Civic Address Search or Error
If you registered with the wrong address in error, please register with the correct address and I will forward you to Tier 1 Tech Support to have the incorrect one removed.
Can’t find your address let me transfer you to Tier 1 Tech support.
Is registration one-time only, or do I have to renew every year?
Registrations must be renewed every year.
All registrations expire on March 31 of the next calendar year.
Fee/refund/sold property questions:
Registrations are not transferrable if a property is sold. If the new buyer wants to carry out short-term rental activity at the property, they must complete the registration process under their own name prior to beginning rental activity.
New owner needs to start a registration.
Fee amounts don’t change based on what month you are registering in or when an accommodation operation first opens.
Refunds are not available if property is sold or activity stops, etc.
I operate an Airbnb (or other type of short-term accommodation). How do I access the registry?
Instructions for registering are available here: https://novascotia.ca/short-term-rentals/.
How much does it cost to REGISTER, and what will I receive from the province?
Fees are based on the number of bedrooms you register per civic address. Fees are always calculated based on # of bedrooms. For example, registering 5 bedrooms costs the same as registering 500 bedrooms:
- 0-4 bedrooms: $50.00 (flat rate, annual fee) per civic address
- 5+ bedrooms: $150.00 (flat rate, annual fee) per civic address
- Fees for platform operators are $500 annually.
- Upon payment, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing your registration number; save this information for your records.
- You will receive a unique registration number for each civic address registered.
I received a confirmation email with my registration number, – will the province be mailing me a certificate with my registration number?
No, the province will not be issuing certificates of registration.
The confirmation email you received is your proof of registration.
If you have misplaced your RYA number, you can retrieve it using the retrieval service found on the landing page of the Register Your Accommodation Service (I will insert the hyperlink and visual when its ready).
You are not required to print and display it anywhere on the premises of your accommodation(s), but you must post your registration numbers on booking platform listings (other than platforms that list only hotel or motel accommodations), for example Airbnb, Expedia, VRBO, and Booking.com. You should print the page or write down the registration number(s) for your personal records.
How do I add my registration number to my platform listing?
Your number must be visible to the public on your listing on sites like Airbnb, Expedia, VRBO and Booking.com. If you're unsure how to add your number to your listing, contact the platform operator directly for support.
Is there a cap on how many rooms I can rent in my primary residence?
Under TARA, there is no cap on the number of bedrooms you can rent in your primary residence.
Please remember, TARA does not cover fire safety regulations. Please ensure your property is compliant with any fire and building safety regulations related to occupancy.
How much will it cost to RENEW?
Renewal fees are the same as registration fees. Fees are based on the number of bedrooms you register:
- 0-4 bedrooms: $50.00 (annual renewal fee) per civic address
- 5+ bedrooms: $150.00 (annual renewal fee) per civic address
- Fees for platform operators are $500 annually.
What happens if I don’t register?
You must register before you begin operating.
Operators offering short-term rentals in their primary residence will have until April 1, 2023, to register.
Accommodations won’t be able to participate in Tourism Nova Scotia programs if they don’t register.
Accommodations will not be able to list on accommodations platforms if they are not registered.
Fines are up to $1,000/ day, to a maximum annual amount of up to $7,500 for anyone who contravenes the Act (platforms or accommodations).
What information should I have on-hand when I register?
The civic address for all accommodations you’re registering.
If renewing a previous registration, the email address you used and your registration number from last year.
The number of bedrooms in each accommodation you plan to register.
The name, accommodation name (optional), mailing address, email and phone number for the host/operator of the accommodation.
A credit card or Interac Debit card.
How do I know if I'm compliant with municipal by-laws? What by-laws apply to me?
Please contact your municipality to find out what by-laws apply to you. Contact information available at https://www.nsfm.ca/membership-directory.html.
Do I have to register/renew online, or can I do it in person?
You must register/renew online. Paper-based / in person registration is not available.
If you do not have internet access at home, you can call the Business Registration Unit (BRU) at 1-833-302-0750 and they will perform the registration on your behalf. You will need to provide payment over the phone this year in order to complete the registration.
If you are renewing, you must have your email address and RYA number on hand from last year. If you are registering for the first time, you must have an email address where the registration and payment confirmation can be sent.
What happens if I don’t renew by April 1st?
You must renew your registration each year to be compliant with the legislation, to sell short-term rentals through accommodation platforms, as well as to participate in Tourism Nova Scotia’s programs and marketing channels.
I can’t find my RYA number for the renewal.
You can use the RYA retrieval feature in the renewal service to retrieve your RYA number.
It is found on the first page of the renewal service directly under where you are asked to enter the RYA number:
I didn’t receive my renewal email.
Check your junk folder.
Why did I receive more than one renewal email?
You have more than one registration record in the registry.
Why can’t I change my address as part of the renewal process?
If your accommodation is no longer at the same civic address, this is considered a new registration, not a renewal.
Why can I no longer associate my registered business name with my accommodation?
To simplify the registration process, you will no longer be asked to login and link your accommodation registration to your business registration. Instead, you will be asked to enter the name of your accommodation. This allows the registration to be more closely aligned with the name you use to advertise your accommodation.
Why can’t I delete my property?
The database resets every year. If you no longer own or operate the accommodation, ignore the renewal email. Your property will not be included in this year’s registry.
Why is the registration number different than last year?
The format of the RYA# includes the date and time of the registration and you will receive a new registration number each year.
Do I need to enter the dashes in the RYA number to start the renewal process?
You can enter the RYA number with or without the dashes.
Why did the province create a registry?
The tourism industry has changed a lot over the years. More people are seeking unique, short-term rentals when they visit our province. Municipalities have asked for support to gain a clear picture of the short-term rental situation in their communities and ensure that housing is available to people who need it.
The registry is a tool to collect important data about the location and types of short-term rental activity/supply throughout the province. Registry data will facilitate short and long-term rental planning at the provincial and municipal levels.
I’ve heard the province has developed new Tourist Accommodation Legislation and Regulations – what can you tell me about this?
Amendments were made to the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act (TARA) in spring 2022 (Bill 154) supporting municipalities in their efforts to ensure that housing stock is primarily used for and available to residents as one means of increasing the housing supply and addressing the urgent housing deficit. These changes removed the exemption for accommodations operating in their primary residence.
Amendments to the regulations include requiring posting of registration numbers on platform operator website listings, compliance with local land use by-laws as a condition of registration and identifying whether the registered property is a primary residence.
What are the criteria for listing on NovaScotia.com or the travel guide?
All operators of short-term accommodations must register with the Tourism Accommodations Registry to be listed on NovaScotia.com or in the Doers and Dreamers guide. This includes any accommodation that is in the host/operator’s primary residence.
Is Tourism Nova Scotia making changes to its quality programs as a result of the new legislation / registry?
A quality program is no longer a requirement to be listed through Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels. You can find more information on quality programs at https://tourismns.ca/business-tools-resources/operating-accommodation-business under Demonstrating Quality.
Do I still need to submit monthly occupancy reports to Tourism NS?
Yes, TNS requires accommodation operators listed on NovaScotia.com to report monthly occupancy statistics: https://tourismns.ca/accommodations-occupancy-reporting/occupancy-return-form-fixed-roof-accommodations