The rise of short-term lending websites like Airbnb has raised questions for landlords and condo boards alike. In Ottawa, one landlord has raised condominium law questions related to these sites after a tenant rented his unit on Airbnb without his permission. The owner, who was in Europe at the time, has approached Airbnb with the issue but is concerned with the lack of response and recourse for this issue.
The owner of the condominium rented his furnished Rideau Street unit to a tenant for six months while he was in Berlin for work. The unauthorized rental of his unit made the condominium owner very unhappy, especially since he had not met the people who stayed at his furnished suite. The owner had left art, furnishings, and decorative items around the unit. The tenant was profiting $60 per night compared to the rent that the owner was charging.
This is not the first time that the person who rented this Ottawa condominium has made a profit in this way. The unit was posted by a verified Airbnb user without a personal photo, named “Stay.” The user posted at least 20 units, including this Rideau Street condominium.
Without intervention from Airbnb, the condo owner fears he may have little recourse for the unauthorized use of his unit under condominium law. The tenant in question denies renting the unit out. For their part, Ottawa police note that if fraud did occur in this case, it would be a civil matter instead of a criminal one. Landlords and condo owners who are facing similar legal challenges should reach out to a lawyer for information on their options.
Source: CBC News, “Condo owner furious after tenant rents out unit on Airbnb,” Trevor Pritchard and Ashley Burke, March 13, 2018