Ontario tribunal upholds rules on short-term rentals in Toronto

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The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by several residents opposed to the rules that put limits on how people can rent out their properties.

Tribunal member Scott Tousaw says in his ruling that while the exact numbers involved are in dispute, it’s clear that each short-term rental displaces a permanent household.

He found that the Toronto rules, which don’t allow secondary properties to be rented out for short-term use, still allow a number of short-term-rental uses while not threatening the city’s strained housing supply.

According to him, the rules represent a “reasonable balancing” between housing needs and supporting business and tourism economies.

Toronto mayor John Tory issued the following statement on the matter:
“Today, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) upheld City Council’s comprehensive rules for short-term rentals in Toronto – the so called ‘Airbnb’ regulations.

This is good news for Toronto residents and a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating short-term rentals and keeping our neighbourhoods liveable.

“When we approved these regulations in 2017, we strived to strike a balance between letting people earn some extra income through Airbnb and others, but we also wanted to ensure that this did not have the effect of withdrawing potential units from the rental market.

“I have always believed our policy achieves the right balance which in this case falls more on the side of availability of affordable rental housing and the maintenance of reasonable peace and quiet in Toronto neighbourhoods and buildings.

“As the LPAT decision notes, these regulations represent ‘good planning in the public interest.’

“ The decision also notes, correctly, that these changes do not prohibit short-term rentals but permits and regulates them in a manner that does not displace households. They also provide opportunities to meet the needs of residents and visitors requiring or preferring short-term rental accommodation in a residential setting.”

For its part, Airbnb and owners of condos in the city by and large believe the rules may “unfairly punish some responsible short-term rental hosts who are contributing to the local economy.”

“We remain committed to working closely with the City of Toronto and the Airbnb community as these new rules are implemented. We encourage other platforms to also come to the table and support responsible home sharing in Toronto,” they said in a statement.

Many investors who have bought condos in Toronto find it highly lucrative to rent out their dwellings on Airbnb, especially those who’s jobs require them to travel often on business or pleasure. There are plenty of snowbirds who depend upon short-term rentals to augment their pensions and fund their winter retreats in the sun. -CINEWS

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