Company defends right to rent condos on Airbnb
“Most of the condos nowadays are these huge... buildings like the ones in Liberty Village. You don't know your neighbours, there's already high traffic and a huge amount of turnover in a lot of buildings like that.”
—Lisa Marion   H&P Properties

CBC News
By Simon Nakonechny
19 August 2016

Amidst calls for government regulation of short-term rentals, some condo owners are considering legal options to protect their ability to keep hosting through sites like Airbnb.

condo boards use "pretty nasty tactics"

H&P Properties helps owners find guests for their home and co-founder Lisa Marion said she's seen condo boards use "pretty nasty tactics" to prevent people from hosting, including hiring a private firm to monitor short-term rental sites.

And while in one case, Marion said she helped an owner find a long-term tenant instead, she said she has other clients who looking how they can protect themselves from "vindictive" condo boards. The regulations vary depending upon the building, with some allowing the practice while others ban it.

"We have some who are lawyered up and ready to fight for their right to host."

A few bad apples
Marion says her clients—and their guests—are getting a bad rap because of a few bad apples.

"For every horror story you hear about, there's got to be thousands of other positive stories," she said.

And while she said she understands the concerns of those who feel their home is becoming more like a hotel, she said condo dwellers should know that's a lifestyle they're buying into.

"Most of the condos nowadays are these huge ... buildings like the ones in Liberty Village," she said. "You don't know your neighbours, there's already high traffic and a huge amount of turnover in a lot of buildings like that."

'I thought it was just going to be a condo'
But Studio on Richmond resident Maya Ismail says she didn't sign up to live in a hotel. 

"I thought it was just going to be a condo," said Ismail, after moving into her home in the downtown core. She said the number of short-term renters clog up the hallways and stretch out the wait for the elevators.

"It's already busy enough and now they're adding that to it," she said. "It's just not fun for the residents that live there."

Johnny Wilkes
Condos are shared communities. I certainly would not want to live in a condo that allowed AirBnB rentals because you'd get a ton of people coming to party with no respect for the place...every single day. I don't mind if my neighbours are loud or party sometimes, but it can't be every day. And most people that own or even rent long-term in a building have a certain level of respect that short-term renters never would.

Why should condo boards not be allowed to restrict this type of rental? It would benefit the vast majority of condo owners.

David Hayes
"And while she said she understands the concerns of those who feel their home is becoming more like a hotel, she said condo dwellers should know that's a lifestyle they're buying into."

This is utter nonsense. Our condo prohibits short term rentals in the charter. In fact the board of directors is elected by owners to represent their interests. Making changes to the rules is allowed and depending on the change can be made with a simple or 2/3 majority of owners voting for the change. People that want to treat a residential property as a business should know that the other owners have rights too.

Jamie Taylor
Residents' reasonable enjoyment and safety should take presidence over investors' greed.

Spadina Room
We had a condo at 88 Wellesley East that we sold because of AirBNB'ers clogging up the two small elevators and making noise inside the units and in the halls. If we wanted a vacation everyday we'd have moved to St. Barts! I agree with all the pro-no-airbnb-in-my-condo comments here because they all make sense. Wellesley is a small condo in comparison to some of the others mentioned here, so any additional occupants get noticed fast, especially in the small gym upstairs. Another point I don't see much comment on, but I'm sure has crossed everyone's mind, is the added risk of non-vetted strangers having carte blanche to the entire facility with cards and keys. This is utter nonsense, as only owners are permitted to hold keys. Why should I go out and work hard to get a mortgage then have everything I worked for diminished by a bunch of strangers. How do you know who is a AirBNB guest and who isn't? Maybe that guy leaning against the wall waiting for the elevator isn't an AirBNB guest? If condo tenant/owners get so used to seeing unfamiliar people in their hallways and buildings this will only numb a person's normal function of being aware. AirBNB has to go. I feel it's great for anyone who lives in a house or a condo and wants to rent a room, but the owner should have to live in the house. Renting whole apartments and condos does not create a home-living atmosphere. For some, especially some woman, it creates and environment of fear.

Jimmy Jones
How is it that short term renters "clog up hallways and stretch out wait times for elevators"? Unless they are renting by the minute, I'm not sure I understand how this would be any different than having long-term renters occupying the units.

Alex Davidson
I don't get it... Why exactly are owners gunning to use airbnb as opposed to standard renting procedures, ones that last more than short-term, in the first place?

Angela Kung
@Alex Davidson
Because they can make more money through airbnb and are not subject to the Residential Tenancy Act.

James Doiron
First of all the reason I bought a condo ..
1 Security as you don't have this security in rental properties so anyone can come to your door or door to sales people.
2 People who own their Units in a Condo building pay respect to the property they live in and not do damage to the building.
3 As everyone knows the cost of a Condo is far less then owning a home in the downtown core of Toronto. So that comes into effect in your choice to own a condo.

I could go on but what got me mad the most when like David said when she said people who buy Condo should know what we are buying into. Bull I would say to her as I bought in 07 and I never heard of AirBnb as all she's worried about is lining her own pockets as like many others they bought a home not a home in a hotel. I think Condo Boards should approach the hotel industry as its in their interest as well to put a stop to this.

What I learned as my condo had to stop the Airbnb in my building as if any damage is done to the building and was caused by the guest of that unit and the insurance company finds out it was a unit rented out like a Hotel they can refuse to pay for the damage and the cost will come out of the owners pocket to fix it.

I guess if enough owners fight back maybe the city will listen when it comes to election time.

Jean Leblanc
short term rentals for these types should be off limit. I rented an AirBNB in a condo and it was a weird experience. Wouldn't recommend it.

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