“It could possibly spell the end for companies like us…This isn’t a craze, short term rentals…The effects from the probable regulations are of massive consequence. We’re going to lose our livelihoods.”
Those were the words of Lisa Marion, co-founder of H&P Properties. Their job is to take charge of the management of short-term rentals for owners of properties who are mostly busy on travels. She relayed these sentiments before the commencement of a debate on short-term rentals.
The recommended regulations are left up to Mayor John Tory’s executive committee to agree on.
Here are some recommendations:
#1. Imposing a ban persons who do not live in the listed unit areas.
#2. Review of zoning regulations to make a self-directed category called “short-term rental.”
#3. Certifying the likes of Airbnb et al.
#4. Creating a registry for anyone running 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.
Figures from Airbnb shows almost 3,200 units that are itemized on its website are owned by investors for short-term rentals as their only reason.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online bazaar and hospitality service, supporting people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds or hotel rooms.
Bailao is optimistic that the units will return to the city’s long-term rental stock, which is suffering at the moment.
“We need to decrease the negative effects this has on the affordability and availability of stock.”
However, Lisa Marion makes it crystal clear that, it is not always the case. Some persons offer short-term rentals solely because they use the units themselves. “If we want to proliferate the vacancy rate, we 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.
Consequently, she is anticipating that the suggested guidelines won’t go through because if they do, her company will be affected.
“I think they should give it more consideration due to the repercussions that might ensue.”
J C Loum