In a prior blog post, we blogged about a downtown Toronto condominium corporation that had entered into an agreement with Airbnb to regulate Airbnb rentals in the building. As the corporation’s declaration permitted short-term rentals it could not stop them – but entering into this agreement under Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program was an effective and the only way to give the corporation some control over the Airbnb activities in the condominium.
The agreement contained a number of provisions that benefitted the corporation:
- the corporation would be provided with real-time information about which units were being rented through Airbnb, the dates that guests checked in and out and the number of guests.;
- all guests would be required to provide government-issued ID to Airbnb;
- Airbnb’s property and liability insurance would be extended to cover the corporation and the common elements;
- the corporation would receive a portion of the revenue from the rentals to compensate for the increased wear and tear on the common elements and increased security costs resulting from short-term rentals;
- Airbnb would refuse to allow hosts to use its booking platform if there were too many complaints (e.g. nuisance, noise) generating from the rentals.
Since then, Airbnb has updated its Friendly Buildings Program to make it more attractive to condominium corporations whose declarations permit short-term rentals. Additional measures have been included which will increase control and visibility for condominium corporations that enroll in the program. Below is a summary of these new features:
- Once a condominium is registered as an Airbnb-friendly building, hosts cannot become an Airbnb host outside the program. Condominium corporations can create hosting rules such as quiet hours, parking rules, and amenities that are available or off-limits to guests. Residents have to accept these terms before hosting, as do guests. Whenever a resident in the condominium decides to host and enters their address in the Airbnb system, they are automatically routed to the condominium hosting rules and commission percentage payable to the condominium corporation.
- The Friendly Buildings Program also gives management the ability to see which residents wish to host via Airbnb and the right to approve or decline each host’s listing before it goes live on the site if they choose.
- Airbnb will conduct checks on guests and only allow Airbnb guests who have 100% positive reviews.
There is no cost to condominium corporations to enroll in Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program and corporations can receive a 5% to 10% commission on every booking. Airbnb provides each corporation that enrolls in the program with a dedicated account manager to assist the corporation in managing and controlling Airbnb rentals in the condominium.
While enrolling in the Friendly Buildings Program will provide condominium corporations with more control over short-term Airbnb rentals, residents can still use other short-term rental platforms unless the corporation enacts a rule prohibiting the use of other rental platforms. If an owner challenges the rule, the justification would be that being part of the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program increases the safety and security of the condominium by giving the corporation more control and visibility of short-term rentals in the condominium. Condominium corporations have the power to make rules to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and the property and assets of the corporation or to prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements, the units or assets of the corporation
Enrolling in the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program is not an option for any condominium whose declaration prohibits short-term rentals as the corporation has a statutory duty to enforce the declaration.