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Toronto’s first Airbnb-friendly condo building

This week it was announced that the very first condo building in Toronto (and in Canada) has just signed on to Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program. The agreement will take effect on November 1, 2017.

As the name suggests, the program is about bringing greater legitimacy and structure to short-term Airbnb rentals. Here are two key measures from this particular agreement:

– Building security will now have full transparency with respect to who is hosting and who their guests are at any given time

– Airbnb will share 5% of the building’s revenue with the condominium corporation (hosts will also need to pay $50/month to cover any additional maintenance costs)

What’s compelling about the above is that there’s now a bit of a financial incentive for buildings/boards to support Airbnb rentals. 

At the same time, if something happens, it’ll now be a lot easier to figure out who was responsible and then chargeback any relevant costs. Right now it’s all happening under the radar.

My view on Airbnb is the same as the one I took (publicly on this blog) on Uber: It’s not going away. Many people clearly want it. An entire building just accepted it. So let’s figure out how to make it work better.

One regulation that Toronto is currently exploring and that I think will materialize in some form is a limit on short-term rentals when the unit is not your principal residence.

This is the difference between Airbnb’ing your place when you leave on vacation (or when you have an extra room) and buying a condo strictly as a short-term rental investment.

It’s interesting to see the evolution of companies like Uber and Airbnb. Both would never have been successful if they started out by first asking for permission. 

But now they are mature enough that they are being forced to play nice.

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