With the growth in the “sharing economy”, many condominiums have been forced to turn their minds to the issue of short-term rentals. While some investor owners are listing their units on short-term rental sites in order to maximize the revenue generated from their units, many resident owners do not welcome short-term rentals.
From the perspective of resident owners, short-term rentals have negative ramifications:
- They detract from the sense of community that many residents desire
- There are increased concerns about safety with so many strangers coming and going at all hours
- There is increased wear and tear on the common elements
- Inappropriate behavior by many short-term renters interferes with the quiet enjoyment of residents
- The condominium is in effect an unlicensed, unregulated hotel.
Without any legislation that prohibits short-term rentals in condominiums, many condominium corporations are finding it quite challenging to put a stop to this type of activity in their building. However, there have been recent reports in the media about some condominium corporations that are winning the battle against short-term rentals.
CBC News reported about a condominium where owners were able to successfully oust from the board, directors who favoured short-term rentals, even though the condominium documents prohibited rentals for a term less than a year. In this case, there were two short-term rental companies that leased units from investor owners and then in turn, advertised and rented the units on a short-term basis and had been doing so for five years. It took two years for the resident owners to get control of the board so that the prohibition on short-term rentals in the condominium documents would be enforced.
The Globe and Mail recently reported about a condominium concierge who was spending several hours a day scanning short-term rental websites looking for units being offered in his building. He was also keeping a diligent lookout for strangers arriving with luggage and refusing to allow them entry into the building.
While it may not be easy or quick to put a stop to short-term rentals, these two stories show that it can be done.
Click here to access our Practical Guide to Short-Term Stays (Hoteling), which provides practical steps to condominium boards to effectively address this issue.