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Nova Scotia to hike taxes, fines for short-term rental operators

New rules will come into effect next spring

Nova Scotia is changing the rules for short-term rentals, including by hiking the tax applied when operators register.

The tax will vary depending on location, ranging from $240 in rural areas up to $3,600 in the Halifax core. Homeowners renting space inside their primary residence will be charged $10.

The government framed the announcement as a step toward relieving the housing crisis. But Housing Minister John Lohr conceded the number of units that will be converted from short-term rental to long-term housing is likely low.

“We recognize that it won’t be many, but I will say every unit counts,” Lohr told reporters Thursday.

Short-term rental operators are already expected to register with, and pay a fee to the province. But since those rules came into effect three years ago, no one has been penalized for breaking the rules, making registration “essentially voluntary,” said Lohr.

Rules to take effect next spring

The new rules will be introduced at Province House during the fall sitting of the legislature. Details will be finalized in regulations, including what the penalties will be for failing to register, and will come into effect starting next April.

Both operators and the platforms that list them will be held responsible. Operators will be fined for failing to register, and websites including Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia and will face fines if they list operators that aren’t registered. …[Continue Reading]

To view the Government’s media release, visit:
Government of Nova Scotia: Stronger Rules for Short-Term Rentals Can Relieve Housing Crisis