To AirBnB or not to AirBnb, that is the question.

Is Airbnb allowed-

Let me break it to you quick and easy like ripping off a band-aid: If you own a condo in Toronto and you’re using it as an AirBnB or even a short term rental of less than 6 months you’re most likely in violation of your condominium by-laws. To put it simply: You’re not allowed to.

In fact in the decade I’ve been selling real estate I’ve never seen a condo that doesn’t have the following by-law written into the declaration. Although we’ve seen it say six months vs. twelve.

A lease or tenancy of any residential or retail unit shall be for a term of not less than twelve (12) months. No unit shall be occupied under a lease, sub-lease, contract, or license agreement for transient or hotel purposes. No roomers or boarders are permitted. A lease or tenancy of any residential or retail unit shall be for a term of not less than twelve (12) months. No unit shall be occupied under a lease, sub-lease, contract, or license agreement for transient or hotel purposes. No roomers or boarders are permitted.

We know many clients who run successful B & B businesses from their condos and lofts but the moment management gets wind of this activity, they shut you down immediately. What are your options? Well, you have to change the by-laws in the building and in most cases that means getting 80% or more of the unit owners to agree to the change. I don’t know if you’ve served on any condo boards (I’ve served on 5) but it’s virtually impossible to get that many people on the same page.

What’s the solution?

Lawyers and developers should begin to understand that the consumer mindset is changing. People are owning less and sharing more. AirBnB and whatever comes next is here to stay so it’s not the consumer behaviour that needs to change, it’s the way-it-has-always-been-done mentality that does. AirBnB and services alike have so many safeguards in place to help protect the property with up to $5 million in coverage for every host. There’s also a screening process in place to help you choose the right guest.

There needs to be education on both sides. The consumers needs to learn how to select the right guest while lawyers, developers, and the City need to understand the changing consumer landscape and build around that new mindset (expectation).

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