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airbnb.com vs. condo rules

partypenguin

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If you changed the Declaration (which is possible but difficult) this is much more easily enforced - if necessary by the Courts; if you only changed the Rules (which is easier) it is certainly possible to enforce. In fact your Board has a legal obligation to enforce the Rules.

I think there is a difference if someone is renting out their Unit when they are not present and someone renting out their spare bedroom while they are there. The former is clearly a short-term rental, one could, probably, argue that the latter is like having (new) friends stay overnight and being given a gift of $$ by them. In our condo we have a Rule saying that guests & visitors can only use our rec facilities "if accompanied by a resident' so one way to discourage rentals would be to actively enforce that Rule.
The problem is that the declaration says that no rules should be made re: limiting these short term rentals...

But isn't it a by-law restriction, rendering the clause void?
 

PinkLucy

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That's what your lawyer is for -- get him/her to help you determine how and where to cover this -- declaration, by-laws, rules ....
Your lawyer can find out if this has come up in court yet and how it was treated so that you can cover your bases appropriately

There is also the issue of running a business from a condo -- how is that covered in your declaration?

Are you scanning the Air BnB listings, kijiji, craigslist, etc. regularly to see if anything is being listed in your building?
 

DSC

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The problem is that the declaration says that no rules should be made re: limiting these short term rentals...

But isn't it a by-law restriction, rendering the clause void?
I absolutely agree with Pink Lucy that this is exactly what your Corporation lawyer is for - hopefully an experienced condo lawyer. That said, and NOT being a lawyer, I suspect that if your declaration specifically allows short-term rentals then any by-law or Rule cannot trump that. The hierarchy is: the Act, The Declaration, the by-laws and the Rules. (You may need to rely on City by-laws about hotels?) However, it seems an odd thing to put into the Declaration....
 

PinkLucy

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Agreed on both counts -- hierarchy and oddness :)

Is your building a condo hotel? That would be a whole other kettle of fish.
 

partypenguin

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Here's a sample of what they dumped in:

Each dwelling unit shall be occupied and used only for residential purposes. In addition, any of the dwelling units in this Condominium may be occupied and used for the business of providing transient residential rental accommodation on a furnished and/or unfurnished suite basis (with or without ancillary maid, cleaning and/or laundry services), through short term or long term license/lease arrangements, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable zoning by-law(s) of the Governmental Authorities, as may be amended from time to time.

And pretty much any clause about reasonable use of the common areas also includes a note saying it is not intended to limit transient rentals at all.

To clarify, it even states: "any unit owner, or any property manager acting on behalf of any unit owner or group of unit owners, from leasing or renting any dwelling unit(s) in this Condominium from time to time, for any duration and on any number of occasions, and whether in a furnished or unfurnished state, with or without ancillary maid, cleaning and/or laundry services."

I called zoning to see their take on it... and they want you to show up between 8:30 and 4:30 and refuse to speak by phone...

That's what your lawyer is for -- get him/her to help you determine how and where to cover this -- declaration, by-laws, rules ....
Your lawyer can find out if this has come up in court yet and how it was treated so that you can cover your bases appropriately

There is also the issue of running a business from a condo -- how is that covered in your declaration?

Are you scanning the Air BnB listings, kijiji, craigslist, etc. regularly to see if anything is being listed in your building?
Paying for my own lawyer to go over this seems to be way too much of an expense to be worthwhile for one person alone.

Anywhere it says that you cannot run a business, it also says that the clause does not apply to short term transient rentals.

AirBnB has tons of units in my building. Then there's the one month "executive rentals" as well - I don't mind those much. One month is fair game in my book.

I absolutely agree with Pink Lucy that this is exactly what your Corporation lawyer is for - hopefully an experienced condo lawyer. That said, and NOT being a lawyer, I suspect that if your declaration specifically allows short-term rentals then any by-law or Rule cannot trump that. The hierarchy is: the Act, The Declaration, the by-laws and the Rules. (You may need to rely on City by-laws about hotels?) However, it seems an odd thing to put into the Declaration....
I get Tridel dumping in transient rentals being okay to protect their DelSuites business (even though I think it's scummy to force that on buyers)... I don't understand why they royally screwed us by explicitly saying there is no minimum rental time to these rentals.

It's written into pretty much every page of the declaration that nothing is intended to stop these transient rentals so I doubt the lawyer could even do much... though it'll probably never get to that phase since I assume Del property management isn't going to create trouble for their sister companies...

I thought hotel-rentals were against Toronto zoning... I think that would be the only thing that could stop this.

Agreed on both counts -- hierarchy and oddness :)

Is your building a condo hotel? That would be a whole other kettle of fish.
Nope. Just a normal condo.
 
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partypenguin

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I can't think of a better response! It's bizarre and I am surprised your lawyer did not pick up on it and complain, it's extraordinary!
My lawyer brought it up when I bought the unit and said that this could potentially be an issue... but you'd think the first condo board (if it wasn't stacked with the builder's random sister companies) would have done something...

I thought Tridel was supposed to be one of the better developers. What gives?
 

PinkLucy

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The declaration is written by the developer. The first condo board made up of actual owners gets stuck with it, and it is so difficult to change
 

partypenguin

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The declaration is written by the developer. The first condo board made up of actual owners gets stuck with it, and it is so difficult to change
That was an awful move on Tridel's part. Between this and forcing an exclusive relationship for all residents with Rogers for internet, I'm not terribly happy with them.
 

neuhaus

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My lawyer brought it up when I bought the unit and said that this could potentially be an issue... but you'd think the first condo board (if it wasn't stacked with the builder's random sister companies) would have done something...
I thought Tridel was supposed to be one of the better developers. What gives?
It's more widespread than you think. It's the sign of the times, especially when real estate prices are no longer affordable, rental vacancy rates are still around 1.5% and foreign investors are taking advantage of our strong market and looking for ways of maximizing their investment.
AirBnB and other property rental companies are actually starting to work with developers (many of them big and highly reputable) in developing short term rental strategies which works to the investor's favour and in return help sell the units quickly. Foreign investors are no longer just buying a few units at a time, they would buy entire floors or sections of the building which are managed by a secondary property manager. Think of it as quasi-hotel floor within a condo, but quietly operated.

By the way I checked on my condo docs and our short term lease was written into our condo rules, not our declarations. You are right DSC, changing the declarations would be difficult and very costly to do.

Any condo you buy, you and your lawyer should carefully examine the Condo Rules & Regs, Declarations and the Status Certificate. You never know what kind of clauses would be included in these documents.
 

partypenguin

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It's more widespread than you think. It's the sign of the times, especially when real estate prices are no longer affordable, rental vacancy rates are still around 1.5% and foreign investors are taking advantage of our strong market and looking for ways of maximizing their investment.
AirBnB and other property rental companies are actually starting to work with developers (many of them big and highly reputable) in developing short term rental strategies which works to the investor's favour and in return help sell the units quickly. Foreign investors are no longer just buying a few units at a time, they would buy entire floors or sections of the building which are managed by a secondary property manager. Think of it as quasi-hotel floor within a condo, but quietly operated.

By the way I checked on my condo docs and our short term lease was written into our condo rules, not our declarations. You are right DSC, changing the declarations would be difficult and very costly to do.

Any condo you buy, you and your lawyer should carefully examine the Condo Rules & Regs, Declarations and the Status Certificate. You never know what kind of clauses would be included in these documents.
The thing with the larger property management companies is that they all seem to say one month minimum... I'm inclined to believe that this is due to some kind of zoning requirement due to the uniformity... I'm not even terribly upset about that. One month is better than the sea of luggages in the lobby and the friday night pre-drink/crashpad rentals.
 

DSC

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The thing with the larger property management companies is that they all seem to say one month minimum... I'm inclined to believe that this is due to some kind of zoning requirement due to the uniformity... I'm not even terribly upset about that. One month is better than the sea of luggages in the lobby and the friday night pre-drink/crashpad rentals.
The length of time allowed for rental is NOT set by PM companies. The times are in one of the Corporation's documents (usually the Declaration) and the Board of the Corporation is legally obligated to enforce them. The PM company is "only" the enforcement agent of the Board and has no rights to SET any rules. The problem in the case above is that the developer put the info on short-term rentals in the Declaration which is the most powerful Corporation document and is very hard to change.
 

partypenguin

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The length of time allowed for rental is NOT set by PM companies. The times are in one of the Corporation's documents (usually the Declaration) and the Board of the Corporation is legally obligated to enforce them. The PM company is "only" the enforcement agent of the Board and has no rights to SET any rules. The problem in the case above is that the developer put the info on short-term rentals in the Declaration which is the most powerful Corporation document and is very hard to change.
Oops, a slip on my part. I meant the legitimate property rental companies. They all say, "one month minimum"
 

Taxact

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On a separate note, is having a condo neighbor that runs an Airbnb really that bad?

I own and live in a condo building with a lot of tenants (presumably long term), both of immediate neighbors have changed many times over the years. None of them had been perfect:
- rowdy students
- an opera singer in training
- a guy who laughs throughout the night (to a point that im guessing it maybe some type of disability/mental heath issue)
- a family who cooks really strong smelly food
- students who spilled their bubble tea on the hall way and just left it there (including the tapioca and the cup).

Many times I wish my neighbors runs an Airbnb instead, at least, even if this time the tenant is bad, it's only for a short period of time, and besides, I usually have more peace and quiet with Airbnb as the units will never be 100% booked, and most Airbnb guest don't just hang out at home or to use the amenities (you would think they have better reasons to pay to rent a room just to hang out in it).

You think luggages are bad? My building have students moving in/out every month, and they do NOT pack well, they have all their stuff filled the hall way, and do they have movers? no, they had their friends.

Of course, I wish everyone in my builders are residing owners, but that's never going to happen.

I do believe a responsible Airbnb Host who screen their guests is better than an oversea investor rents out their units to anyone who pays.
 
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