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airbnb.com vs. condo rules

baklobak

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Dear Taxact, yes, having a condo neighbour that runs an AirBnB is that bad. Speaking as a condo owner, here's a small list of what I've seen go wrong with AirBnB and similar short term rentals. NIMBY? You bet your a$$ that I don't want short-term rentals in my building.
  1. Theft: Keys are often left in flowerpots, next to fountains, etc. Thieves search the locations, take the keys, and now have access to the parking garage and steal bikes, cars, and other personal effects. In my building, this has happened 3 times in the past 4 months.
  2. Insurance: My neighbour had AirBnB guests stay, they left the water running in the bathroom, flooded their unit, and the water damaged the surrounding units, including my own. I had to pay the deductable, and my insurance covered my unit, but the neighbour's insurance refused to pay for the damage to their unit and to the common elements as having an AirBnB guest was not covered under their insurance. The host is attempting to get the AirBnB's host insurance to cover the repairs, but are having issues resolving that. Now our condo corporation and the AirBnB host are involved in a legal battle to sort out payment. AND we still have to sue the host to cover the deductible since it was caused by their tenant in the first place. On top of all that mess, our premiums are going to rise as a result of having the AirBnB tenant in the building. Feel free to argue that a resident could have done the damage as well - but then it would have been covered by insurance on all sides since insurance is mandatory in Ontario. And theoretically, the resident also would have cared enough about their home to turn off the water in their home.
  3. More Insurance: Even without the damage to our unit, our insurance company told us that they check short-term listings, and if our building is listed among them, it is considered a liability and the premiums for the entire building go up.
  4. Damage: Short-term rentals typically don't care about maintaining or taking care of the building, so they don't think twice about damaging anything - I've seen non-residents slam their luggage carts against edges of elevators and residential doorway frames (and breaking them) on their way past individual units without even leaving a note apologizing for damaging people's homes.
  5. Criminal Checks: Hotels check ID's, Owners renting out apartments long term check ID's, AirBnB doesn't. What's to stop a burglar or pedophile from staying in the building and preying on children in the pool or locker room or breaking into units throughout the building? We have a number of families and elderly folks in our building that would be vulnerable.
 

theGuest

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What a mess! Renting out to Air BnB sounds like a nightmare to me. I wouldn't do it as a condo owner and it's something I'm nervous about with my neighbours. I bought into a condo from plans a few years ago which is coming up to the move in date. Due it's location (near Ryerson) I'm sure many of the purchasers were investors. This has me worried about Air BnB and other transient tenants. If I knew someone was running an illegal Air BnB according to my condo rules, I would not be pleased.
 

PinkLucy

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check your declaration; some newer developments are allowing short-term rentals
 

DSC

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I'll have to double check but I'm pretty sure it's not allowed...
It can also be in a By-Law or even a Rule - of course, it is not that easy to 'catch people' renting through Air B&B or other similar systems but it is the Board's responsibility to enforce the Corporations legal documents.
 

theGuest

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Can't you just do a search for your building though? See if there are any units to rent in the area?
 

DSC

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Can't you just do a search for your building though? See if there are any units to rent in the area?
Yes, that's how we found a unit in our building on Air B&B (and soon stopped it) but many ads do not really give address and many more only tell you which Unit it is once one books.
 

PinkLucy

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You can, but hosts are crafty -- you should search in the area around your building too. You also need to check kijiji, home away and booking.com. They're not all listed on Air B&B!
 

James

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I've seen front condo lobbies full of lockboxes with AirBnB host keys. It looks ridiculous, to say the least but often times management says they can't do anything about it.
 

PinkLucy

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Rules around requiring information regarding who is living in a unit before fobs are activated are particularly helpful. Also, if tenants are renting out their place, landlords can be informed.
 

rbt

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Of course they can. It's their job, along with the board, to enforce the rules.
They can only enforce rules that exist and get approved by owners. If a large number of unit owners start renting on AirBnB (5% would be more than enough if they're friendly with others on their floor), they'll get a plurality on any rule vote to create such a rule.
 
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PinkLucy

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My point was that management that says they can't do anything isn't doing their job if rules currently exist. The Board sets rules; owners don't vote on rule changes unless 15% of owners requisition a special meeting to do so. Boards create/revise rules which are then circulated to owners and which take effect 30 days after notification provided that no such special meeting is requisitioned. A group of short-term rental owners could take over the Board, however, (which has happened in at least one instance that I know of). However, if the declaration prohibits short term rentals, which many do, they can't have a rule that contradicts the declaration. Changing the declaration is extremely difficult.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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We have a rule against short term rentals and it has been there for 40+ years. A few months ago, there was a suspicion from the surrounding units that one unit on one floor was being used as an Air BnB. We heard about it, believe me. We ran an electronic check on the fob use and found nothing out of the ordinary. I called the owners (who live out of town and use this as a Toronto crashpad) and they said they had lent their unit to some out of town friends who were visiting town. There seem to be no reason to doubt them.
 

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