“It could potentially spell the end for companies like us…This isn’t a fad — short term rentals…The impact from the potential regulations is very far reaching. We’re going to lose our livelihoods.”
These are the words of Lisa Marion who is the co-founder of H&P Properties. It is a company that is in charge of the management of short-term rentals for owners of properties who are rarely at home due to travels.
She said these words towards the start of the debate on short-term rentals.
The proposed regulations are left up to Mayor John Tory’s executive committee to agree on.
Here are some recommendations:
# Banning persons who do not live in the listed units areas
# Revision of zoning by-laws to make an autonomous category called “short-term rental.”
# Licensing the likes of Airbnb and others.
# Beginning a registry for anyone operating a short-term rental unit
“We are trying to get the right balance,” said Coun. Ana Bailao, who represents Ward 18 and chairs the city’s affordable housing committee.
Data from Airbnb shows almost 3,200 units registered on its website are owned by investors for short-term rentals as their only reason.
# What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms.
Bailao is hopeful that the units will return back to the city’s long-term rental stock which is suffering at the moment.
“We need to minimize the negative impacts this has on the affordability and availability of stock.”
However, Lisa Marion makes it clear that that is not always the case—some persons offer short-term rentals simply because they use the units themselves. “If we want to increase the vacancy rate, we really just need to build more units,” she said.
Irina Zusmanov says about 50% of her business comes from Airbnb’s clients, which goes up to 70% during the summer.
Irina and her partner, Katerina Pakman, created a mobile luggage storage company by the name of Bags Away. They have almost 20 persons on the payroll.
So she is hoping that the proposed rules won’t go through because if they do, her company will be affected.
“I think they should give it more thought in terms of the bigger impact.”
Forty individuals had signed up to speak before the executive committee this past Monday at Toronto City Hall.