Airbnb Toronto

Toronto wants to ban basement apartments from Airbnb

The City of Toronto wants to stop local homeowners from renting out their basements as vacation accommodations through Airbnb – which makes total sense from the perspective of someone who's lived in a basement apartment.

But it's not the lack of light or abundance of spiders that city councillors are taking up issue with.

Rather, it's the idea that short-term rental units are choking the market for long-term apartment rentals in our increasingly populous city.

Read: If local homeowners keep renting out their secondary suites (such as basement apartments) to Airbnb vacationers, there won't be much available in terms of affordable housing for the people who actually live here.

"We have an entirely unhealthy vacancy rate in this city," said Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao yesterday to the city's planning and growth committee. "If you are a renter trying to find a place to live in this city, you are really having a bad experience. It's frustrating; it's desperate."

To help combat the problem, Bailao put forth a motion to ban homeowners from listing their secondary suites (units within a home that have their own entrance, bathroom and kitchen) on short-term rental websites such as Airbnb.

The committee voted unanimously to pass the motion during yesterday's meeting.

When Toronto's proposed short-term rental regulations go before city council for final approval next month, they will now include secondary suites in the same category as other apartments and houses that are not someone's principal residence.

If the rules are approved as they are right now, people in Toronto would be banned from renting out any property that they do not own and live in full-time for fewer than 28 days.

Lead photo by

Marcanadian


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