With the increase in “sharing” websites that enable condo owners to rent out their units for short-term stays, many condominium corporations are dealing with the new challenges that this has created. Short-term rentals of condo units not only detract from the sense of community among residents, but raise concerns about the safety and security of the residents, with so many strangers coming and going on to the condominium property.
These short-term rental websites have also created concerns for hotel operators who claim that these short-term rentals are unfairly competing with hotels as they do not have to meet the standards and charge the hotel taxes imposed by the government on hotels.
A recent article in the Phuket Gazette reported that in Phuket, Thailand legislation has been enacted which will require those owners renting out their condo unit on a short-term basis to register as a hotel. Any unit owner who fails to do so and is caught renting out their unit on a short-term basis could find themselves facing a fine of up to 20,000 baht (being approximately ($750 CDN) and prison terms of up to one year. Two reasons prompted the government to enact this legislation: concern for the safety of foreign tourists, and loss of hotel tax income to the government. Condo owners who register would then be required to comply with the laws governing the operation of hotels. This requirement might discourage some owners from engaging in the short-term rental of their units (as would the potential prison term for failure to register!).
Currently there is no legislation in Ontario prohibiting or specifically governing the short-term rental of condo units. So condominium corporations are on their own in their efforts to eliminate/regulate short-tem stays.
Click here to download Lash Condo Law’s Practical Guide to Short-Term Stays (Hoteling).