In a recent case the Landlord and Tenant Board (the “(Board”) awarded a condominium unit owner damages in excess of $4000 payable by the tenant of the unit as compensation for excessive and undue damage resulting from unauthorized Airbnb rentals.
The unit owner discovered that the tenant had never occupied the unit, but instead, the unit was rented out on Airbnb more than 70 times without the owner’s consent or knowledge. After conducting an inspection of the unit, the owner discovered numerous items of damage in the unit: broken knobs on the stove, heavy staining of the carpets, mildew in the shower, broken shower door, damaged slats in the vertical blinds, dented and marked wooden floors and scuffs, stains, chips and dents on the painted surfaces.
The tenant unsuccessfully argued that the damage was ordinary wear and tear. The Board agreed with the owner that the damage was not the usual damage expected with normal everyday use given that the tenancy was less than two years. The Board concluded that most of the damage was excessive or out-of-the-ordinary and consistent with negligent or careless behavior or wilfulness.
In response to the owner’s application, the tenant had also brought an application for an order determining that the owner had harassed, coerced, threatened or interfered with the tenant and substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the unit. The tenant did not attend the hearing but was represented by an agent. The tenant’s application was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, as the tenant did not attend the hearing and the tenant’s agent was not properly authorized by law to represent the tenant.
The tenant’s tenancy was terminated before the hearing and the owner regained possession of the unit.
This case illustrates the aggravation and damage caused to unit owners when tenants rent out units using a short-term rental platform such as Airbnb, without the knowledge or consent of the owners and often in contravention of the condominium declaration and/or rules. This case also shows that many tenants who do engage in unauthorized Airbnb rentals will put up a fight in order to continue with these unauthorized lucrative rentals.