Quick Poll: Airbnb / Short-Term Rentals In Cabbagetown

Issues Polls Safety and Security

Quick Poll: Airbnb / Short-Term Rentals In Cabbagetown

Poll Results: Poll was open from September 26 – October 18, 2016. Results posted October 20.

What should Toronto do regarding short-term rentals such as airbnb?

106 Responses

1. Ban them completely – commercial enterprise should not be allowed in areas zoned as residential. 14 votes (13.2%)

2. Allow short-term rentals without limitation or regulation. 29 votes (27.4%)

3. Limit short-term rentals by allowing only a certain amount of days per year, or days in a row where a residential property can be rented. 22 votes (20.8%)

4. Allow short-term rentals without limitation, but only if the owner lives in the property for a minimum amount of time per year. 33 votes (31.1%)

5. Other: 8 votes (7.5%)
8 people voted for “Other” and 4 provided the following comments:

– Make sure all landlords short term or long term are responsible.
– Some hybrid of option 3 & 4 – very few places for out of town family / guests to stay in Cabbagetown, so ABnB is providing a needed service. Some residence requirement (in house, if not in ABnB space) or # of guests at a time requirement would likely help manage party houses.
– The problem is people who run them as businessess and not as ‘sharing’. They are not zoned as such and they pay residential property taxes instead of commercial. People own multiple units on the same street or building. Tax then as a business is the first step.
– I can’t answer and suggest this poll will provide no useful information. You are talking about too many different things at the same time. There is a difference between subletting my apt. for the month of January and operating a de-facto hotel as an absentee. I oppose unlimited AIrbB type arrangerments, espcially with asbsentee landlords.But there is a danger of over-regulation that stifles freedom. My landlord forbids AirnNB put permits subletting with permission, such permission “not to be uncresaonably withheld.” It hsould be up to other landlords to do the same. Any new regulation should have a heavy burden of proof that cannot be met in this case. The danger of unintended consequences is too large.

Our Comments:
Surprising to us is that 27.4% of respondents voted for the unlimited, unregulated free-for-all approach (option 2). Combine the other options suggesting some sort of regulation (options 3 and 4) though and you get 51.9% with option 4 the most popular (the owner has to live in the property for a certain amount of time each year).

Click here for complete Airbnb / Short-Term Rentals Poll Results

Update: October 26, 2016
This topic was discussed at the Toronto Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2016. The committee …Directed the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report no later than the end of the second quarter of 2017 with proposed regulations for short-term rentals.

Read more about the agenda item…Developing an Approach to Regulating Short-Term Rentals (toronto.ca)

September 26, 2016
We have been monitoring the rising use of short-term rentals in neighbouring areas (especially Bleecker St.) for some time, but we have now received some complaints from residents in our catchment area so it’s time for you to let us know what you think using the poll below. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of the most well known participants in the market airbnb (currently valued at $30 Billion USD), has seen a 286% increase in Toronto listings between Dec. 2013 and July 2016.

Airbnb and other short-term rentals have gained popularity as a way for residents to profit from renting out all or part of their properties for short periods of time. In some cases, the owner lives in one part of the property and rents a portion to interested guests. We have heard from a few residents who rent parts of their homes for short periods and have the full support of their neighbours and by all accounts are operating responsibly.

However, some people have purchased homes (and condos in other parts of the city) for the sole, commercial purpose of renting them full-time or nearly full-time instead of living in them. This has led to complaints from full-time neighbours of overcrowding, excessive noise, littering and loitering and has changed the nature of some streets and neighbourhoods.

Hotels and other regulated rental properties are complaining that they are losing business to short-term rentals that don’t follow the rules that they are required to such as paying commercial tax, commercial insurance etc.

Some parties have suggested that the owner should have to live in the property for at least some portion of the year. Another suggestion is to limit the total number of days per year (perhaps 30), or days in a row (perhaps 3) that a zoned residential property can be rented in order to limit the impact on a neighbourhood. This could be thought of as similar to the limit of two days per year that residents of Toronto are permitted to have garage/yard sales in order to prevent situations such as a home owner from setting up a sale on their front yard every weekend or even every day of the year.

For some context:
Bleecker St. residents say ‘ghost hotels’ ruining neighbourhood (thestar.com)
Deputation by a resident of Bleecker St., and Board Member of the Winchester Park Residents Association at Executive Committee (January 29, 2016) (youtube.com)
Airbnb cutting into available rentals in city, study shows (thestar.com)
Toronto realtors say Airbnb is creating new challenges for homeowners (cbc.ca)
Rooming house conversions worry housing advocates (thestar.com)
City of Toronto Report For Action: Developing an Approach to Regulating Short-Term Rentals – October 11, 2016 (.pdf | toronto.ca)
Bleecker St. rentals charged with zoning violations – December 22, 2016 (thestar.com)

The Mayor’s Executive Committee is scheduled to hear further deputations and to discuss this matter at their October 26, 2016 meeting. We would like to represent your views at that time either by letter or in person, but we would like your input first. Let us know what you think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Become a Member

Household Membership

Just $20 Per Year

Learn More

Newsletter Sign-Up

Learn More