The Province of Nova Scotia is implementing new regulations regarding registration for tourist accommodations.
Under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act (TARA), tourist accommodations must register each year in order to operate in Nova Scotia. Changes to the law and regulations remove the registration exemption for accommodations operating in a primary residence so that all operators offering short-term-rentals (a period of 28 days or fewer at one time) are required to register by April 1 each year. Accommodations operators will also now be required to post valid registration numbers in listings on accommodations marketing platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and Expedia.
The amendments will allow the Province to gather comprehensive data about short-term rentals and give municipalities access to the information they need to enforce land-use by-laws. The updated regulations also provide the ability to cross-reference short-term rental (STR) listings and the Tourist Accommodations Registry to support enforcement. These changes balance the demand for short-term tourist accommodations with the urgent need for long-term housing in Nova Scotia and help create a level playing field for all accommodation types.
Accommodation operators will be required to:
- register annually with the Tourist Accommodation Registry, even if they operate an accommodation in their primary residence
- post valid registration numbers on platform operator website listings (other than platforms that list only hotel or motel accommodations, like Hilton.com), for example Airbnb, Expedia, VRBO, and Booking.com
- require operators to confirm compliance with local land-use by-laws as a condition of registration
- identify if the accommodation is located in their primary residence
Platform operators will be required to:
- register with the Tourist Accommodations Platform Registry each year by April 1
- ensure all posted listings include a valid registration number to enable proper tracking and enforcement of provincial and municipal requirements
- share information collected under Section 4 of TARA (e.g., host information, number and price of nightly room rentals etc.) if requested by the Province
These changes will come into effect on April 1, 2023 to provide time for operators and platforms to come into compliance.
Destination marketing websites are not considered accommodation marketing platforms unless they facilitate the sale of short-term rentals for payment or compensation (ie: receive a fee for bookings made through their site). That said, accommodations are required to provide a valid registration number in order to be listed on NovaScotia.com and may choose to include their registration number in their listing if they like.
Who has to register?
• All operators of tourist accommodations that are fixed in place and available for rent to a person or party for a period of 28 days or less at one time.
• Campgrounds are not required to register unless 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.
Examples of short-term rentals that need to be registered include:
• cottage and cabin
• bed and breakfast
• manufactured (mobile) home
• room (for example, suite, dormitory-style room or room in a tourist home)
• tiny home
• unusual lodging (for example, yurt, dome or camping trailer if it is fixed in place)
• vacation home
• room/unit/suite in, or attached to, your primary residence
What is the deadline to register?
• Accommodations must register by April 1 each year. You must be registered prior to operating. Registration is valid for the fiscal year (April1 – March 31).
• Accommodation registration/renewal for 2023-24 will open in the new year. If you have registered previously, you will receive an e-mail with renewal information. We will also share when registration/renewals are open through our corporate website and newsletter.
Is there a cost to register?
• Registration fees were waived in 2022-23, however registration fees will apply for 2023-24 (registration valid April 1, 2023-March 31, 2024). Fees are based on the number of bedrooms you register.
• 0-4 bedrooms: $50.00 (flat rate, annual fee)
• 5+ bedrooms: $150.00 (flat rate, annual fee)
Where will I have to post my registration number?
• Beginning April 1, 2023, accommodations will need to post a valid registration number on platform operator website listings (other than platforms that list only hotel or motel accommodations like Hilton.com). For example, you will need to post your registration number in listings on sites like Airbnb, Expedia, VRBO, and Booking.com.
• Platforms will provide information about how to post your registration number.
What is considered an accommodation marketing platform?
• Platforms are anyone who facilitates or brokers reservations for short-term, roofed accommodations payment or compensation (ie: collects a fee for bookings made through the site).
Where do I register?
• You can register/renew at https://beta.novascotia.ca/register-your-tourist-accommodation
• Registration is currently open for the 2022-23 fiscal year. An announcement will be made through our corporate website and newsletter when registration and renewals are open for 2023-24 fiscal year. Those previously registered will receive an e-mail reminding them to renew.
Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the registration form?
• If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the registration system, please call Service Nova Scotia technical support at 1-800-670-4357.
If I operate an accommodation in my primary residence, do I need to wait until April 1 to register?
• No, you can register now. In fact, if you would like to participate in provincial tourism programs or marketing channels like NovaScotia.com, registration is already a requirement.
How do I find out if I am compliant with municipal land-use by-laws?
• Contact your municipality for information about municipal land-use by-laws. Compliance with land-use by-laws is a requirement to register with the Tourist Accommodations Registry.
Who do I contact if I have further questions about the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act/registry?
• Email TARA-TNS@novascotia.ca or call 902-798-6700