An Airbnb recent court decision provides significant power for condominium boards in dealing with short term rentals

A recent article by Drew Hasselback of the Financial Post, illuminated a precedent setting case in the ever changing world of how condominiums have been trying to deal with Airbnb's. (to read the entire article, click on this link   http://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/ontario-court-ruling-says-condo-buildings-can-ban-sharing-services-such-as-airbnb)

In a case that was released on December 8, 2016, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Beaudoin found that Airbnb operators were essentially running a business out of their residential dwellings in contradiction of the framework of rules set up in most condominiums.

This ruling sets the groundwork for condominium boards and their property managers to prevent condo owners in the province from listing their units on Airbnb or other short-term rental services.

Condominiums have long been aware of the inherent challenges, costs and risks that arise when Airbnb’s operate within their community.

A key element to Justice Beaudoin’s ruling was his definition of “single-family dwelling” units, which he determined was inconsistent with the activities of Airbnb and other short-term leasing services.

The aspect of “checking in and out” along with other provisions that are typically offered in Airbnb’s such as fresh towels, linens and other amenities, was not in the spirit of a residential condominium.

While this case does provide a solid position for most condominiums, boards should check with their condominium property manager in reviewing the corporations governing documents to ensure wording captures the necessary elements which align with the ruling, which restrict Airbnb and other short term rental services from surfacing in your community.