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Tenants and Airbnb

  • July 20, 2017

“Sharing isn’t always caring”

Let’s say your tenant is going away for a couple days around New Years. They lease out their place to some random person who hosts a huge party. Someone gets drunk, slips and gets hurt. You get sued, and insurance doesn’t cover it.

A recent case in Victoria resulted in the landlord being legally unable to evict tenants who were renting out their apartment on Airbnb. There was a sublet clause in their lease, but it did not cover Airbnb rentals, so the landlord’s hands were tied.

When people are just staying for a weekend or a couple days, they have little incentive to take good care of the property and treat it with respect. Uni students like to rent out cheap Airbnbs for parties. Adult movie shoots (and believe it or not, much worse). Just do a quick Google search for “trashed Airbnb.” The results are horrifying.

Most apartment bylaws forbid short term rentals, creating problems with the strata. And there’s also a liability risk for you, as most landlord insurance doesn’t cover folks that are not on the lease.

If you’re not sure whether you’re protected from these problems, check your lease agreements. Has your property manager included a special condition banning short-term rentals (over and above a general ban on subletting?) If not, you could be exposed.

Aside from checking the lease agreements, directly ask your property manager what they’re doing to protect you from Airbnb and other short-term rentals. If the answer is “I’m on Airbnb every day!,” take that as “I’m not really doing anything.”