I decided to do a post on airbnb because people keep asking about it. The rules in Toronto are still a bit fuzzy so I am going to speak on my view of the situation.
So on July 1st a ban was supposed to be implemented by the city on no basement apartments, the unit had to be your primary residence, only 180 days a year you could book. There would be a $1 a night booking fee, $5000 registration fee of your unit/home with the city and I believe a year $1000 renewal fee.
I have a lot of clients that use their investment properties as airbnb and so far I have not seen any of these things implemented and it is August 15th. Also on the airbnb site there is nothing posted saying that any of these rules are in affect. So as it stands now I believe nothing has changed.
However!!! A lot of individual condo buildings have put a ban on short term rentals. They do this by setting a minimum lease term for the building. Usually this is around 6 months but some buildings have gone as far as to make the minimum stay 1 year. Residents of the building vote on this.
If you get busted doing this in a building this you could face a heavy penalty from your condo and also lien on your condo if you dont stop.
Some of the condos I know that do allow airbnb are:
50 Bruyers Mews
300 Front st
20 John st
As of right now that these buildings allow this to happen, although things change and these short term leases could get voted out in these buildings.
Expect to get about double what you would get from a regular long term unfurnished lease. You are charging a premium for the furniture and the shorter stay.
If your going to do this make sure you bump up your price in the summer months and lower it in the fall/Winter months to make sure you never have any vacancies.
Most Airbnb tenants have a profile so you can read about their past stays so make sure to do your due diligence. I would also suggest building in a cleaning fee and a damage fee.
Airbnb has their own photographers so you wont have to worry about that and they have their own insurance as well but make sure you yourself have the proper insurance covered for this type of property.
A huge reason Airbnb is getting cracked down on is because people aren’t claiming what they make. A lot of landlords were not claiming anything at all! The CRA is starting to keep a closer eye on this so dont mess around.
The key with having a successful airbnb is to price it properly and to make it worthwhile for the guest. They are going to compare you to a hotel. So the more people you can sleep the more cost effective the unit becomes for them. So if you have a den turn it into a bedroom. If you have a couch in the unit make sure its a pull out. Give them access to parking, laundry, the amenities wifi, etc. This way you will be well above the obvious choice when comparing a condo vs a hotel.
Buy smart and do your research before pulling the trigger on a condo you plan to airbnb. Also make sure you pick a condo that if things change regarding the rent rules in your building that you will still be able to rent it easily in a long term scenario.