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Toronto Rental Cost (& AirBnB) Issues

The 30% number is derived from theoretical personal finance budget allocation exercises. It’s practically implausible in a major world city absent strong government mandated market distortion.

Contrary to the thesis of much of the media pieces on the subject, the market for rentals is a real functioning market with rates that are realistically determined. Unfortunately for tenants the income of the median tenant is only on factor in setting that price. Also, the sensitivity or response to changing variables setting the rental rate is not instant. Some changes occur quickly. Some important variables act slowly over decades.
 
UN releases human rights complaints against Toronto apartment owner

Jul 6, 2020

The United Nations’ Human Rights office has published accusations against Sweden-based Akelius Residential, which owns thousands of rental units in Toronto and Montreal.

The accusations are included in letters sent from Leilani Farha, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, to Akelius and the governments of Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. They detail alleged incidents and practices designed to create hostile living conditions, force out tenants and drive up rent prices.

“The Akelius business model actually requires in many instances for units to be empty,” Farha says in a phone interview. “It’s when a unit is empty that they are able to rent it out at a higher cost. There’s a two-pronged approach they take. They buy buildings that they believe require upgrades. They create conditions through those upgrades that make it very hard to live in those locations.”

 
A CBC news piece on the National caught my attention. It said 80% of units in the ICE condo building were rented as short-term rentals prior to the bylaw change which lead to a mass conversion of units shifting to long-term rent with listings languishing on the market for over 100 days. Need a fact check on that one but if true oh boy!
 
In other news: my landlord is foregoing rent increases this year for tenants paying current market rents (or near to). Such as me.

Nice one. Especially since next year's mandated limit based on inflation should be close to zero seeing as inflation is nowhere to be had in the current economic climate (except, luckily my investments and salary....lucky again).
 
News Release

August 25, 2020

City of Toronto registration of short-term rentals to launch September 10

This September, the City of Toronto will launch a new online registration system for short-term rental operators who are renting their homes on a short-term basis for a period of less than 28 consecutive days.

Beginning September 10, 2020, short-term rental operators will need to start registering with the City in order to operate in Toronto. Registration is a necessary first step to allow the City to effectively administer the new rules applicable to short-term rentals. People who are currently renting their home on a short-term basis, or planning to do so, must be registered by December 31, 2020. After this date, all new operators will be able to register on an ongoing basis and must register prior to short-term renting their homes.

Registration for short-term rentals and related payment processing will be available online. People can learn about the rules and view more details on the government identification and the information needed for registration at https://toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.

In Toronto, short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s zoning bylaws and the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals bylaw:

• City bylaws permit short-term rentals across Toronto in all housing types in residential zones and the residential components of mixed-use zones.

• People can short-term rent their principal residence only. This is the residence where they live and where the address is used for bills, identification, taxes or insurance.

• Both homeowners and renters in any housing type (for example house, apartment, or condominium) are allowed to short-term rent their home.

• People can rent up to three bedrooms in their principal residence for an unlimited number of nights per year or their entire home for a maximum of 180 nights per year.

• People can host a short-term rental in a secondary suite (for example a basement apartment) or a laneway suite, as long as the suite is their principal residence.

People can short-term rent their homes in Toronto only if they are a registered operator. A valid City-issued registration number must be included in all advertisements and listings.

Registered short-term rental operators will need to start collecting and remitting the four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on a quarterly basis starting January 1, 2021. More information on how to collect and make the MAT payments will be provided in fall 2020.

The City will also require short-term rental companies to obtain a licence from the City in order to carry on business in Toronto. A short-term rental company is any company facilitating or brokering short-term rental reservations online and receiving payment for this service, such as Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com. The City is currently working with short-term rental companies on the licensing process and more information is available on the City’s website.

On December 7, 2017 and January 31, 2018, Toronto City Council approved the regulations for short-term rentals. The City’s zoning bylaw amendments to permit short-term rentals as a use were appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

On November 18, 2019 the LPAT issued a ruling that dismissed the appeals and upheld City Council’s adopted zoning bylaw amendments for short-term rentals. Since November 2019, the City has worked to implement the short-term rental rules. Despite further delays resulting from the redirection of resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is now ready to launch the short-term rental registration portal.

With the registration for short-term rental operators beginning in September, over the next few months, the City will educate the public on the rules, encourage operators to register their short-term rentals, and work with companies to ensure compliance with the licensing rules.

The City continues to respond to short-term rental issues on a complaint basis. Residents can contact 311 to report issues related to short-term rentals, such as noise, waste and concerns if others are renting homes that are not their principal residence.

More information about short-term rentals can be found at https://toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.
 
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So what happens to all the landlords who bought units only for Airbnb style short term rentals and it is not their principle residence? Is that going to be banned now? Or they just need to register?
 
So what happens to all the landlords who bought units only for Airbnb style short term rentals and it is not their principle residence? Is that going to be banned now? Or they just need to register?
They will certainly need to register and that will lead to condos having evidence that, if they have 'no short term rental' rules, these Rules are being broken. It will also lead to Revenue Canada knowing about income. More importantly, the vacation market is NOT in great shape due to covid and if I were going on vacation I doubt I would use a private rental (as I often used to) as I think hotels are likely to be better cleaned etc. In short, it's a perfect storm for those relying on short-term rentals, which explains the huge increase in 'real rentals' at the moment and the rush of condos on the market.
 
My understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) is that landlords can’t rent their condos for short-term rentals unless they prove that condo is their principle residence. Registration is not the issue
 
My understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) is that landlords can’t rent their condos for short-term rentals unless they prove that condo is their principle residence. Registration is not the issue
Look at the City press release above where it states " Both homeowners and renters in any housing type (for example house, apartment, or condominium) are allowed to short-term rent their home. ". However, many condo corporations forbid ALL short-term rentals (though this would probably not apply if owner was actually living there at same time, i.e. renting out the 2nd bedroom.) The problem for a "landlord" is that registration will 'reveal' them to the tax folk, their condo corporation etc etc. and I bet that most are currently 'hidden;".
 
My understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) is that landlords can’t rent their condos for short-term rentals unless they prove that condo is their principle residence. Registration is not the issue
Depends on the fines. If the penalty is less than the reward, STR owners will just refuse to comply.
So what happens to all the landlords who bought units only for Airbnb style short term rentals and it is not their principle residence? Is that going to be banned now? Or they just need to register?
Many are likely over exposed on financing and mortgages now, having bought units solely to rent as as STR, or leasing to cooperations that then rented same as STRs. The whole house of cards is collapsing.
 
The issue is that a lot of people want to rent out their property but feel that they would get screwed over by bad tenants.


So people started using airbnb as a tenant management service.


So need to create a balance.

I still don't get how a person can live rent free in a house for 6 months but after 75 days of missing your mortgage payment you can get foreclosed on.
 

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