Toronto’s low vacancy rates could have something to do with the city’s large quantity of Airbnb listings. As many as 6,500 Toronto homes are listed on Airbnb a number that has almost doubled since 2016.
Fairbnb, a group focused on fairer policies for short-term rentals, says by amending city laws regarding short term rentals, we can increase the supply of affordable housing in the city.
In the past year, short term rentals increased by 25 per cent.
“Returning even a fraction of these homes to the city’s housing market would make a difference to thousands of families seeking permanent homes in Toronto,” Fairbnb’s report explains.
The short term rental debate has long been a conversation in the city. Many condo buildings prevent owners and tenants from posting their suits on ghost rental sites like Airbnb. But the City of Toronto has yet to make any official policy changes.
In 2017, City Councillors voted 40-3 in favour of implementing a licensing and registration program for short term rentals. The new rules would require owners of short term rental units to register their units with the city. It would also cap rentals to a 180-day limit. Owners would also be prevented from owning multiple short term rental properties.
Thorben Wieditz of Fairbnb says, 30 per cent of Airbnb’s 10,000 Toronto hosts control at least 8,241 listings on the site. And about 65 per cent of all Toronto Airbnb listings are for entire homes.
Toronto’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will meet again in August to further discuss short term rental policies in the city.