Condo boards are ﬁghting
owner-residents are often shocked to realize that the unit next door is
being used as a low-cost hotel room. The other residents resent sharing
the elevators with people with suitcases and having strangers, who are
on vacation, muscling in on "their" amenities.
The transient renters have no interest in the long-term upkeep,
maintenance and repair of the building. They don't know the rules and
they have no vested interest, as do owners and long-term residents, in
abiding by them. There can be issues with late-night partying, noise,
litter and increased wear and tear on the common elements.
The owners feel
that their security, privacy and the value of their investments are
owners in the newer condominium corporations are not aware that their
declarations allow for short term rentals, boarders and roomers. In
a growing number of GTA condos, many owners don't
realize that the developer has a subsidiary renting
condo units as short-term hotel rooms in their building.
Charles Hanes, a prominent Toronto condo Realtor stated on his blog:
rather disconcerting flash point that I've come across in Mississauga
is what I see as an abnormal number of short term rental units in
condos. In Tridel's Ovation condos, a four-tower development on
Burnhamthorpe, for example short term rentals seem to have taken
If I was an owner in one of these towers I would be upset to say the
Condos fight back
In the United States, and in Ontaro, some condos are starting to fight
back against the illegal hotel rooms that are operating in their
What to do when Airbnb moves into your condominium complex?
By Rodrigue Escayola
Here is an article written by a well-known condo lawyer on some ideas
on how a board can prevent short-term rentals in their corporations.
Toronto condo owners warned over
The Globe and Mail
02 April 2015
As summer approaches, some people who currently own houses and condo
units in Toronto will be thinking of renting them out.
And some who aren’t even thinking about it will find out that their
Real estate industry observers say this year will likely bring an
increase in short-term rentals as Toronto prepares to host the 2015 Pan
Am and Parapan Am Games in July and August.
One young owner at an upscale downtown condo building was surprised
recently to receive a sharply worded letter from the board of directors
insisting that she stop offering her unit for short-term rentals.
She hastily got in touch with her tenant. She was shocked when she did
an online search and recognized her unit advertised for rent.
The tenant responded that he only took it on in order to rent it out,
so he’s clearing out. Now she’s stuck with his sudden departure, though
she acknowledges that it seems a case of good riddance.
Davelle Morrison, a real estate agent with Bosley Real Estate Ltd., has
some advice for condo owners who rent out their units: Put the address
into such websites as Airbnb, couchsurfing.com and Kijiji and see if
your tenant is offering it up for short-term stays.
“I don’t think people even realize it’s happening.”
Ms. Morrison is the president of the board of directors at a condo
building in the Distillery District in which she lives.
In the condo declaration, it states that rental terms shorter than six
months are not permitted.
She knows that owners are not likely to wade through the fine print so
the board sends out a terse letter the first time they notice someone
seems to be breaking the rules.
“Most people aren’t up on the condo declaration,” she says.
“After two nasty letters, we’re going to get the lawyers – you’ll have
to pay them at your expense.”
In one case, they discovered, a woman was letting people use her second
In another instance, an occupant was away for a time, listed the unit
on Kijiji and suddenly young, out-of-town guests were coming in for the
weekend and throwing raucous parties.
Ms. Morrison says the recipient of one letter was a landlord who
responded very quickly to say he had no idea what the tenant was up to.
The condo board is typically tipped off, she says, when someone notices
a sudden increase in traffic to the unit. Sometimes it’s other
residents on the floor who launch a complaint.
“You only know in the case of high traffic.”
If you own a house or you’re in a building that doesn’t ban short-term
rentals, you may want to go ahead with the plan but be sure to find out
how it will affect your insurance.
Anne Marie Thomas, a spokeswoman for InsuranceHotline.com, says owners
should notify their insurance company, even if they are only renting
out their place for a week or two.
“Most policies will exclude any damage,” she says.
In other words, if an owner occupies the condo unit and rents it out on
a short-term basis, the policy will likely not cover any wrecked walls,
furniture, appliances or hardwood.
She says some websites are more thorough than others in checking out
the backgrounds of renters and offering back-up insurance policies for
It may be possible for the owner to purchase extra short-term coverage,
she says, but the expense would take a chunk out of the rental income.
“The money you make for that couple of weeks may not be worth the
Ms. Morrison says the boards at most condo buildings in Toronto have
rules preventing short-term rentals.
In Ms. Morrison’s opinion, “vacation renters” don’t tend to care about
the welfare of the building.
She urges owners and long-term tenants in condo buildings to spend some
time monitoring the rental sites. If they see a unit in their building
being advertised for short-term stays, she recommends they report it to
property management and the board.
“As a condo board we’re going to have to watch it a lot more closely.”