Potential regulation for Airbnb rentals

by Justin da Rosa07 Sep 2016
Two major GTA cities may crack down on this popular investment option.

"I think the city has the right to regulate land use, and those type of zoning bylaws are in place especially to make sure that everyone is aware that when you purchase a property, this is what you get to do with it," Toronto Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam told Metro Morning Tuesday.

Airbnb is becoming an increasingly popular investment strategy for homeowners in Toronto to make some extra cash; a quick search of the site returned 300+ listings. Many homebuyers are surely considering the potential for making money through Airbnb and that could be made more difficult and, indeed, less lucrative if the government steps in.

For their part, agents will want to advise clients who may consider using their homes as an Airbnb rental that possible regulation could be in the offing.

Still, there have been many complaints, according to Wong-Tam, who argues Airbnb units should be licensed and inspected in a similar way rooming houses are.

"It seems that Airbnb units are popping up everywhere," she told Metro Morning. "We need to build a regulatory framework so everybody knows how they are supposed to be operating."

And Toronto isn’t the only city considering implementing new rules and regulations.

Mississauga Coun. Karen Ras was also on the CBC program Tuesday morning. She said that although a ban of Airbnb rentals is currently under consideration, that move may not be “doable.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Alister 9/7/2016 11:54:06 AM

    We must not allow Government to dictate and remove or restrict every aspect of ownership rights! Otherwise ownership of property itself will be of little value. As it is government taxes on real estate are already stifling, and if an owners ability to make some income from their already over taxed property is yet further compromised we should demand, that our taxes be reduced to offset the lost potential income that government would have denied the property owner.

  • by Al Daimee 9/7/2016 12:11:57 PM

    I think it is time for there to be some kind of regulation for short-term rentals within Condominiums, since there is often friction between long-term residents and neighbouring units with transient "guests". Most condos have rules implemented that restrict the minimum rental term, but there are others that have a Declaration that prevents such rules from being enforceable.

    I have been a condo board director for over 6 years in 2 different buildings. The Declarations between these 2 buildings were quite different with respect to rental rules and allowed one building to implement a minimum 6 month term and the other is prevented from putting any kind of restrictions on the timeframe of a rental at all. This means rooms could even be rented by the hour, if so desired.

    The Condominium Act should be addressing specifically the use of short-term rentals, which are considered by many to be the equivalent of hotel rooms and using a unit for commercial purposes. These guests are often free to use the amenities, visitor parking, leave bags with the concierge upon "check-out" and can sometimes be quite disruptive to neighbours with little repercussions, since they are often gone within a short period of time before any form of punishment can be administered.

  • by AL 9/7/2016 1:33:51 PM

    I am all in favor of some sensible rules but when you suggest wide sweeping rules I despair at your lack of knowledge, painting everything with the same brush you have failed to recognize that that the majority of owners are responsible and are concerned about who they allow to use their units such as myself, we purchased a condo for personal use but do not reside there full-time! We chose our condo on the basis that we could in actual fact offer it when it is vacant to Airbnb guests. This helps pay the over inflated taxes and the condo fees. We are very selective who we let in and Airbnb does an excellent job of pre-screening and providing details of the guests in advance.
    Why are some people so narrow sighted as to suggest removing our property rights and their failure to see the impact that would have on individual freedoms etc, the only route to consider is strict penalties on individuals who cause problems, you should not be penalizing everyone.
    As for suggesting a minimum rental period that is totally the wrong direction, that would mean the owner loses control of his property to a tenant who has all the rights under the landlord and tenant act, so if you land up with a bad tenant everybody suffers until finally at great expense to the landlord, that bad tenant can be finally be evicted from the property.
    Generally speaking an Airbnb guest pays considerably more than a residential tenant. This means that the guest is most likely a person with responsibility and a credit card! So far we have had doctors, teachers, pilots, nurses, mature students & international visitors stay at our condo usually from a week to a month at a time!
    A noise ordinance is certainly acceptable to impose but, be be very careful about giving local authorities more powers, over our ownership rights!


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