The 2015 Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto from July 10-26
followed by the Parapan American Games from August 7-15. This will
be an exciting time for Toronto on the world athletic stage, even
if it will be a nightmare for local drivers!
Many condominium corporations have expressed concern that they
will see an increase in short-term leasing in their buildings
during the Games. Websites such as Airbnb have made this type of
transient use easier than ever to arrange. With prices for scarce
hotel rooms at a premium, the influx of visitors to the city will
be looking for affordable accommodation. Event venues are spread
across the city and region, so this will not only affect downtown
Toronto condominium corporations. Any complex within reasonable
proximity of a venue or a transit line could see an increase in
short-term rental during this time.
In order to be prepared, your condominium corporation should
consider taking the following steps as soon as possible:
Review your condominium documents to ensure that they deal
effectively with short-term leasing. Unless your corporation has
passed a specific Rule to deal with short-term occupancy, the
relevant provisions will normally be found in the Declaration.
If your condominium documents do not contain a prohibition
against short-term occupancy, it is still not too late to pass a
Rule prohibiting short-term leasing which includes language
specifically dealing with Airbnb-type listings. The Condominium
Act permits corporations to pass Rules of this nature to
"promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and of
the property and assets of the corporation" and/or to
"prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment
of the common elements, the units or the assets of the
A notice should be sent to all owners reminding them of the
corporation's short-term leasing provisions, as well as other
applicable provisions against noise, nuisance, etc. The notice
should inform them that management and security will be on
increased look-out for this behaviour during the Games. It should
also remind them of the consequences of non-compliance such as
deactivation of fobs and chargebacks (if permitted by your
documents) of all legal and other enforcement costs.
Starting from now, management should implement a regular
schedule of reviewing websites such as Airbnb and Craigslist for
ads listing units in your building. Any such ads should be printed
or saved immediately for enforcement purposes before the
non-compliant unit owner has the opportunity to destroy the
evidence by taking down the ad.
Keep in mind that Rules take at least 30 days to come into
force! To be safe, any condominium corporation wishing to pass a
short-term occupancy Rule should send notice of it to owners by the
end of May.
We would be happy to help you prepare a Rule to deal with
short-term leasing. Then, let the Games begin!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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