Airbnb and Condos: Impact on Property Value and Quality of Living

Airbnb became a real alternative to hotel living. Some people prefer to book a property in a location they visits instead of hotels. Others still prefer hotels because of many reasons such as breakfast availability, no need to clean the unit at the end. But how important is Airbnb topic if you are planning e.g. to buy a condo in Toronto, get a condominium in Mississauga, or any other location?

Airbnb regulations vary by city impacting condos and their owners

Various cities treat Airbnb differently e.g. San Francisco and New York have rigid rules. In Canada rules vary. Here are how various locations in Canada treat Airbnb.

Airbnb Toronto regulations: The city of Toronto passed new rules in December 2017 to crack down on Airbnb. Listing your property as a short-term rental is restricted to your principal residence with a ban on listing secondary suites such as basement apartments.

Airbnb Mississauga regulations: In neighbouring city Mississauga, Airbnb is permitted in all dwelling types that function as primary residences. This includes condos that do not explicitly forbid Airbnb and short-term rentals.

Airbnb Vaughn regulations: In Vaughan, Airbnb is looking to fast track the rules for short-term rentals after a shooting in May 2018.

Airbnb Ottawa regulations: In Ottawa, there isn’t as much restriction as Toronto on Airbnb, although starting in August 2018, a 4 percent accommodation tax will be added to all Ottawa Airbnb listings similar to taxes faced by hotels and motels.

Airbnb Calgary regulations: In Calgary, new Airbnb rules are coming into effect. Calgary city council would like to see tiered licensing based on the frequency of rentals.

Airbnb Vancouver regulations: In Vancouver, the new Airbnb rules came into effect September 2018. If you rent out your place on Airbnb, you must have a business license and include it in your Airbnb listing; otherwise you could be fined up to $1,000 per offence. Vancouver is more lenient than Toronto. Unlike Toronto you can rent out your basement in your principal residence on Airbnb.

Airbnb and Quality of Condo Life

It is clear that Airbnb impacts the quality of your living from the several perspectives – here are a few ideas:

  1. Loud and a lot of parties / drinking. If your place is a condo and you’re renting it out downtown, don’t be surprised if people want to throw parties there.
  2. Potentially high risk of criminal issues e.g. non-residents entering the building
  3. More frequent involvement of police. Just refer to what happened in Vaughan at a house listed on Airbnb.
  4. Not caring about property and damaging it.
  5. Danger of multiple people leaving in one condo unit “consuming the unit.”
  6. Dangerous from insurance perspective – not all insurers cover Airbnb

On the other side condo unit owners might benefit from higher rental fees as often a single day staying in central condos could be worth several hundred dollars in rental fees.  

Airbnb and Condo Value

What is more concerning, Airbnb rentals also negatively impact condo value in the buildings that allow short-term rentals. Condo unit owners fear and not without reason that their properties in Airbnb-tolerant units might go down.

An Airbnb-friendly condominium typically offers lower quality of live / high degree of disturbance, quick wear and tear of common areas. Given a broad choice of condominiums in Toronto today, condo buyers should pay attention to an Airbnb aspect of condos and choose wisely.

The CondoEssentials real estate professionals can guide you in this choice finding a dream condo for you and provide insight about all condo details.

These insights have been shared by Sean Cooper who is the bestselling author of the book, “Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians.” He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30. Sean’s helping others burn their mortgage, too, as an independent mortgage broker.

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It’s hard to find a good deal nowadays when it comes to changing homes. I guess better to stick in one house as much as possible…

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