Toronto cracks down on Airbnb to free up apartment space
Toronto renters can breathe a little bit easier after city council voted yesterday to further regulate short-term rentals in the city.
In a lengthy debate that saw the proposed regulations compared to that of Fidel Castro's Communist regime, councillors eventually voted to help ensure Toronto's already abysmal rental market didn't get any worse.
Short-term rental item from Planning & Growth Management Committee passed 36-8. Licensing & Standards Committee portion passed 40-3. Airbnb now regulated and legal in Toronto. pic.twitter.com/hnks94OALi— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) December 7, 2017
The new regulations stipulate that a house, condo or apartment can no longer be listed on Airbnb for a short-term rental (defined as less than 28 days) unless its the home owner's principal residence.
Entire homes will also be prohibited from being rented out for more than 180 nights a year.
Homeowners will also no longer be able to list 'secondary suites' on Airbnb - basically, anything with a separate entrance like a basement apartment - unless a tenant is living there and its the tenant's primary residence.
More documentation and fees are coming too. Want to list on Airbnb? You'll now be required to pay the city an annual fee of $50 and keep records of what you're doing.
Absolutely ridiculous. You bought the condo/house and should decide whether you want to rent it or use it for #Airbnb. Governments need to back off from controlling every aspect of our lives. #toronto https://t.co/Ms1vRyAJCc— CanadianPolitics (@canpolinews) December 8, 2017
For tenants, these changes mean that landlords will have fewer incentives to evict them in favour of short-term renters; a sentiment that underlined a lot of the anxiety surrounding yesterday's debate.
Thank you for your amazing advocacy and support, @TorontoTenants! Every member of the Fairbnb.ca Coalition should feel proud of yesterday's victory. Together, we're standing up to protect Toronto's renters and rental housing market! #TOpoli #ONpoli https://t.co/QReQl75Ycz— Fairbnb.ca Coalition (@Fairbnbcanada) December 8, 2017
While all of this might seem strict, it's meant to combat the city's affordable housing and rental shortage that's currently sitting at a terrifying %1.6 vacancy rate.
The new rules go into effect on July 1.
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