In condominium high-rises and town-home complexes across Ontario, there is an increasing number of short term rentals that are popping up at alarming rates.
In condo buildings where neighbors share hallways, rooftop gardens and common area grounds, the appearance of unfamiliar faces can cause friction and raise safety concerns.
Companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway are darlings of the so-called sharing economy, where people make money renting out their homes for rent to tourists who are looking for a short term place to stay.
In fact, Airbnb has assumed a staggering importance in world of short term rental, as the company is said to be worth $30 billion.
Payments between the renter and host are completed online. AirBnB is typically charging between 6-12% with the condo owner keeping the rest. This can add up to a substantial amount of money annually.
There are operationally challenges that condominium corporations will inherently face with having larger flows of guests in a building, putting strain on equipment and facilities.
Additionally, with no ability to monitor who is coming and going, there truly is no way in knowing who is living in your building.
Unlike traditionally hotels which are set up to thoroughly clean and inspect their rooms between visits, there have been increased reports of bed bug activity in buildings which are operating AirBnB’s.
Condominium Corporation’s also may be exposed to insurance limitations or even exclusions should they allow AirBnB’s to exist in their community.
Condominium corporations are encouraged to update their rules to clarify when owners can sublet units, in many cases expressly forbidding the kind of short-term rentals found on Airbnb and even house or condo swaps, where money isn’t exchanged.
If you have any concerns that your condominium may be prone to an AirBnB problem, contact your Condominium Property Manager.
For those who are still not convinced that AirBnB’s could be a problem for your condominium. Some of the top AirBnB stories from all time:
That time a guest totally ransacked an apartment.
In 2011, Airbnb had its first real PR nightmare when a host named “EJ” wrote a blog post describing how her apartment was ransacked after she rented it out for a week.
That time someone used Airbnb as a temporary brothel.
In 2012, some enterprising individuals in Sweden evidently used Airbnb to set up a temporary brothel. The host came home to find a note in the mail from police saying the place had been raided after two women were caught performing sexual acts.
Which may have in part led to the time a hooker was stabbed.
Two years later, the same practice had crossed the Atlantic. While using Airbnb may save New York prostitutes a bundle it doesn’t save them from the dangers of the world’s oldest profession. Publicist Jessica Penzari received a phone call from police when a prostitute was stabbed in an apartment Penzari had listed on Airbnb. To make amends, Airbnb replaced belongings, changed her locks and put her up for two nights at a nice hotel while they cleaned up the mess.
That time somebody decided to host a “XXX FREAK FEST” and advertise it on Twitter.
After renting his apartment on Airbnb, comedian Ari Teman returned home for some luggage only to find that his guest was in the middle of throwing a full-on orgy. The guest, who originally said he was in town with family for a wedding, had even advertised the “pantie [sic] raid” featuring “Big Beautiful Women” on Twitter, and Teman said he faced eviction as a result of the episode. Airbnb soon removed the offending user and made sure Teman had a new place to stay — but not before the episode went viral first.
That time somebody used an apartment as a party house/bathroom.
In a similar incident, Airbnb host Rachel Bassini returned home to find her apartment trashed, littered with used condoms and covered in what was apparently human feces. The man who rented her apartment told her he was vacationing with family but later did not exactly deny the raucous party to Business Insider’s Julie Bort.
That time a squatter actually threatened the owner of the place he was squatting in.
Cory Tschogl’s attempt to rent her apartment using Airbnb turned into a nightmare when her guest, a man going by Maksym, refused to leave after requesting a refund on the second day of a 44-day booking. After staying in the apartment for 30 days, Maksym even cited his legal rights as a squatter and threatened legal action against Tschogl, accusing her of blackmail and discrimination. While Airbnb covered the cost of Maksym’s stay, it appears it will be up to Tschogl to legally evict him.