The verdict is in, and it looks like rules are finally getting stricter for Airbnbs in Toronto. Ghost hotels are being banned, which will put 5,000 homes back on the housing market where they belong. Toronto Airbnb rules are working to help the city find balance in the housing crisis that so many residents struggle with.
Landlords appealed the rules working against Airbnb rentals, citing them as overly strict, but ultimately lost the case.
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) ruled on Monday, November 18 that the only short-term rentals that will be allowed are going to be in the landlord's principal residence. They will also require landlords to register with the city and pay a 4% municipal accommodation tax, CP24 reports.
Short-term rental listings have tripled since 2015, and many Toronto residents found themselves displaced from their rentals so that landlords could convert those spaces into ghost hotels.
Secondary units or secondary properties will no longer be allowed to be rented out. That means that landlords can only rent Airbnbs in their own homes, not homes that are on the rental market. This will put over 5,000 homes back on the long-term rental market, the Toronto Star reports.
This is a huge win for prospective renters in Toronto.
"This is good news for Toronto residents and a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating short-term rentals and keeping our neighbourhoods liveable," said Toronto Mayor John Tory in a statement.
Furthermore, properties that rent out spaces on Airbnb will only be allowed to rent out for a maximum of 180 nights, according to the Globe and Mail.
"Whatever the number, one fact is indisputable: each dedicated (short-term rental) unit displaces one permanent household," tribunal member Scott Tousaw told CP24.
The first hearings for this appeal took place in June and August before they were settled on Monday.
The Globe and Mail report that there are about 21,000 short-term rentals listed in Toronto, but activists and researchers have found that 5,000 homes have been permanently converted into ghost hotels.
Airbnb spokesperson Alex Dagg said that "We continue to share our hosts' concerns that these rules unfairly punish some responsible short-term rental hosts who are contributing to the local economy."
Toronto initially passed a bylaw to regulate Airbnb back in December 2017, according to CP24, but the rules were put on hold during the appeal case, which was just lost.
It looks like rental properties will be back on the market for residents in Toronto.