Company defends right to rent condos on Airbnb
'We have some who are lawyered up and ready to fight for their right to host'
By Simon Nakonechny, CBC News
Posted: Aug 19, 2016 2:48 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 19, 2016 2:48 PM ET
Amidst calls for government regulation of short-term rentals, some condo owners are considering legal options to protect their ability to keep hosting through sites like Airbnb.
H&P Properties helps owners find guests for their home and co-foudner Lisa Marion said she's seen condo boards use "pretty nasty tactics" to prevent people from hosting, including hiring a private firm to monitor short-term rental sites.
"We have some [owners] who are lawyered up and ready to fight for their right to host."- Lisa Marion, H&P Properties
And while in one case, Marion said she helped an owner find a long-term tenant instead, she said she has other clients who looking how they can protect themselves from "vindictive" condo boards. The regulations vary depending upon the building, with some allowing the practice while others ban it.
"We have some who are lawyered up and ready to fight for their right to host."
A few bad apples
Marion says her clients — and their guests — are getting a bad rap because of a few bad apples.
"For every horror story you hear about, there's got to be thousands of other positive stories," she said.
And while she said she understands the concerns of those who feel their home is becoming more like a hotel, she said condo dwellers should know that's a lifestyle they're buying into.
"Most of the condos nowadays are these huge ... buildings like the ones in Liberty Village," she said. "You don't know your neighbours, there's already high traffic and a huge amount of turnover in a lot of buildings like that."
'I thought it was just going to be a condo'
But Studio on Richmond resident Maya Ismail says she didn't sign up to live in a hotel.
"I thought it was just going to be a condo," said Ismail, after moving into her home in the downtown core. She said the number of short-term renters clog up the hallways and stretch out the wait for the elevators.
"It's already busy enough and now they're adding that to it," she said. "It's just not fun for the residents that live there."