Hotel unions demand Airbnb landlords register for a permit, secure insurance

Hotel unions demand Airbnb landlords register for a permit, secure insurance | Insurance Business

Hotel unions demand Airbnb landlords register for a permit, secure insurance
A report issued Friday by a coalition of Toronto’s hotel unions proposes that Airbnb landlords in the city should register for a renewable city permit and also secure suitable insurance, among many other requirements.

The coalition, called Fairbnb, is pushing for restrictions on Toronto’s short-term rental industry as the city prepares to consider regulating the business.

Aside from proposing permit and insurance requirements, Fairbnb also suggested that Airbnb landlords should be restricted to a single rental unit that can be let for a maximum of 30 days a year.

Fairbnb is additionally calling for Toronto to maintain a registry of condo buildings where Airbnb services are not allowed, similar to what the US city of Chicago is currently doing. The interest group is also pushing the city to develop a zoning bylaw specific to short-term rentals.

The Toronto Star noted that while the coalition’s proposals do not suggest a specific licensing fee, the report recommends that Airbnb landlords be required to provide proof of sufficient insurance coverage. Landlords must also prove that the space they are renting is a habitable room in the principle residence and that they are not violating any condo rules.

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Fairbnb elaborated that it is not against home sharing, but the group explained that services like Airbnb give unfair advantages to businesses over actual sharing homeowners. Large businesses can rent out multiple accommodations through the service, putting pressure on Toronto’s low rental housing supply.

The group further alleged in its report that Airbnb is not exactly about private home sharing. The company is responsible for creating “ghost” hotels by filling condos with short-term tenants, who have no stake in the building and leave units vacant in the middle of the week.

Airbnb has responded to Fairbnb’s report, saying that the data gathered was “unreliable” and funded by the hotel industry in an effort to quash the competition.

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