Halifax Airbnb Regulations and Alternative Short-Term Rentals

colourful residential homes in Halifax

While once a popular accommodation option in the city, Airbnb and short-term rentals are not as widely available in Halifax as they once were, and many visitors to the city may find their favourite stays no longer listed for rent. Following a public hearing in February, which saw the Halifax Regional Municipality pass new regulations governing short-term rentals in the city’s residential zones, the city has experienced a massive reduction in Airbnbs and entire-home rentals in the city.

With the new rules and regulations beginning to take effect, this is everything you need to know about the new Halifax Airbnb regulations and where to find the best short-term rental alternatives.

The New Halifax Airbnb Rules

Not all Airbnb listings and short-term rentals in Halifax are affected by the new regulations. According to this staff report, the following are the new short-term rental rules governing a property’s eligibility in the city, with a short-term rental property being defined as a rental period of 28 days or less.

  1. Short-term rentals in Halifax’s residential zones must be the host’s primary residence.
  2. Short-term rentals are still permitted in commercial or mixed-use zones where tourism accommodations are already present.
  3. Short-term bedroom rentals are also permitted in residential zones as long as the property is the Airbnb owner’s primary residence.
  4. Parking, bedroom limits, and maximum signage of short-term bedroom rentals must adhere to current requirements for all bed and breakfasts.

Ultimately, Halifax’s new regulations limit entire home rentals in the city’s residential areas and limit current multiple short-term rental property owners to just a single property in these zones. Of course, short-term rentals in commercial and mixed-use zones are entirely unaffected by the new rules.

Downtown Dartmouth

Why is Halifax Banning Airbnb and Short-Term Rentals?

Short-term rentals haven’t been entirely banned in Halifax. However, new regulations have been approved by the city council to limit the number of these Airbnb-style stays in residential zones throughout the city. The controversial decision to enact these new regulations comes as the city attempts to address the regional housing crisis.

With stricter bans in place, the city is attempting to encourage landlords to revert their business models to long-term rentals while limiting the number of ghost hotels in the city, which see landlords from outside the region purchasing property to profit off the local tourism industry. In the process, these previously short-term rental properties should be opened up to become more long-term housing options available to address Halifax’s own housing situation.

Of course, this has drawbacks for many people, including property owners making a living through their Airbnb and short-term rental businesses. In fact, of the 2,000 short-term rental properties in Halifax, about 1,300 of them are going to find themselves disqualified under the new regulations.

When Does the New Halifax Airbnb Ban Come Into Effect?

While the Halifax Regional Municipality passed the new Halifax short-term rental regulations in February 2023, the city gave property owners time to alter their business models.

Halifax Airbnb and short-term rentals must follow the new regulations as of September 1, 2023

It is also worth noting that all short-term rentals in Nova Scotia must register with their municipality to receive a registration number, according to a new regulation passed by the provincial government.

Man sitting at Citadel Hill

Who Does the New Halifax Short-Term Rental Regulations Affect?

Along with interfering with many businesses, Halifax’s new short-term rental regulations also affect many tourists and renters looking for short-term stays.

Property Owners

The property owners are the most obvious group affected by the new Airbnb regulations in Halifax. While the regulations should prove effective in limiting ghost hotels and out-of-province landlords, the new short-term rental rules also affect many local businesses and families that rely on their short-term rentals for extra income.

With a blossoming tourism industry, many Halifax locals have created pop-up hotel and property management businesses in recent years, many of which focus on the city’s residential areas. Additionally, the new rules further limit these business opportunities, as an Airbnb host can only offer bedroom rentals within their primary residence. 

The Airbnb communities in Dartmouth and peninsula Halifax will be particularly affected by these new rules, as they boast the greatest concentration of these short-term rental units.


Another group of people that these new short-term regulations affect are the renters of the property themselves. 

By permitting only bedroom rentals in residential homes, the city limits the number of full-home rentals available to visitors requiring more space, such as for families or those visiting for health reasons.

Of course, these groups of travellers still need a place to stay.

Why Cameo Suites is the Best Airbnb Halifax Downtown Alternative

Offering plenty of space, a sense of privacy and independence, and a convenient location in the heart of downtown, Cameo Suites is the best short-term rental alternative in Halifax, following the new Airbnb regulations.

With the now limited availability of entire-home rentals, our multi-bedroom suite options offer plenty of space for visiting families and groups, regardless of the purpose of the visit. 

Our 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom suite offers spacious open concepts for four and five guests, respectively, with fully equipped kitchens at affordable rates. Moreover, our hotel is surrounded by convenient services and amenities for comfortable accommodation whether you are visiting for a weekend or a few weeks.

Planning a family trip to the city? Or maybe you are visiting for medical reasons. Either way, check our availability to book the best short-term rentals in Halifax following the new Airbnb bans.