Register your tourist accommodation

Most tourist accommodations need to register with the Tourist Accommodations Registry to operate in Nova Scotia. This includes tourist accommodations in a primary residence or attached to a primary residence.

By law, tourist accommodations must register to operate in Nova Scotia if they provide short-term accommodations for 28 days in a row or less. For example, if you provide accommodations for a few days (or a few weeks) at a time, you need to register.

Your registration is valid from 1 April of the current year to 31 March of the next year.

You don’t have to register your tourist accommodation if you provide:

  • only long-term accommodations (like a year-to-year lease, month-to-month lease or more than 28 days in a row)
  • accommodations at campgrounds that are not roofed (like campsites where travellers bring their own tents or trailers)

Tourist accommodations

A tourist accommodation is a roofed accommodation that’s rented for 28 days in a row or less (including a tourist accommodation in a primary residence or attached to a primary residence). You can have 1 or more rental units within a tourist accommodation.

A primary residence is the home where you live as an owner or tenant. It’s also the address you use for bills, identification, taxes and insurance.

Types of tourist accommodations

Examples of tourist accommodations that need to register include:

  • apartments, condos, houses and vacation homes
  • bed and breakfasts
  • cottages, cabins and tiny homes
  • dormitory-style rooms and hostels
  • hotels, motels and inns
  • resorts
  • rooms (including a room in a home)
  • self-contained secondary suites (like a basement apartment or a loft above a garage)
  • unusual lodgings (like yurts, domes and camping trailers)

Registration number

You get a registration number when you register your tourist accommodation (keep the number for your records). You need the registration number to list your accommodation on booking platforms (like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and Vrbo). You also need it to participate in provincial government tourism programs and marketing (like the Doers & Dreamers Travel Guide and novascotia.com).

Transferring a registration number to a new owner

If you’re selling an already registered tourist accommodation, you can’t transfer the registration to the new owner. The new owner needs to register the tourist accommodation before they start operating the accommodation.

If you’re buying an already registered tourist accommodation, you need to register the tourist accommodation before you start operating the accommodation.

Tourist accommodation requirements

Tourist accommodations need to:

  • comply with municipal land-use by-laws (check with your municipality to see what applies to your location)
  • include their registration number in all listings on accommodations booking platforms (you don’t need to include your registration number on platforms that only list hotel or motel accommodations for their own properties)

Eligibility

Most tourist accommodations need to register to operate in Nova Scotia. You need to register your tourist accommodation before you start operating the accommodation.

You need to register each accommodation location with a different civic address (each location gets a separate registration number). You can register multiple accommodations at the same time.

The accommodation host or operator needs to complete the registration.

How to register

  1. Register online.
  2. Submit your completed registration.
  3. The Tourist Accommodations Registry emails you a receipt and registration number. Keep a copy for your records.

How long it takes

You get your registration number right away.

Cost

The cost of registration is based on the number of bedrooms within your accommodation. A bedroom is considered any guest room, dormitory-style room, suite or bedroom in home.

If an accommodation doesn’t have a dedicated space for a bedroom (like a studio apartment or 1 room cottage with no separate bedrooms) each accommodation counts as 1 bedroom.

Activity Fee
Registration (1 to 4 bedrooms) $50.00
Registration (5 or more bedrooms) $150.00
Renewal (1 to 4 bedrooms) $50.00
Renewal (5 or more bedrooms) $150.00

If you register multiple accommodations with different civic addresses at the same time, the cost of registration is based on the number of bedrooms at each address. For example, you own 2 accommodations. Each accommodation has a different civic address. One accommodation has 4 bedrooms, and the other has 6 bedrooms. In this case, the fee is $50 for the first accommodation and $150 for the second accommodation, for a total registration fee of $200.

If you register multiple accommodations with the same civic address at the same time, the cost of registration is based on the total number of bedrooms at that address. For example, you own a cottage with 4 bedrooms and a motel with 6 bedrooms. Both accommodations have the same civic address. In this case, the fee includes both accommodations, for a total registration fee of $150.

Payment options

Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), debit card.

When you pay online you need to pay the fee by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Visa Debit, Debit Mastercard).

Before you start

Make sure you have:

  • civic address of accommodation and number of bedrooms in the accommodation
  • name, mailing address, email and phone number for host or operator
  • your registration number, if you previously registered your tourist accommodation

Register online

Start now

Renewal

You need to renew your registration by 1 April each year. You should get a renewal notice by email. It’s your responsibility to renew on time.