Airbnb is driving up rental rates in Toronto, says home sharing watchdog

Airbnb Storefront

Just as Airbnb comes under review by the City of Toronto, a local group has singled out the short-term rental company as contributing to the high price of real estate in the city.

Fairbnb, an anti-Airbnb coalition group, is calling on the city to impose stricter rules on the San Francisco-based rental platform. The group recently published a report stating that Airbnb is a large contributor to soaring rental rates in Toronto.

The city of Toronto is about the begin consultations on the best way to regulate this burgeoning industry, whereas other Canadian cities have already begun the conversation.

Fairbnb will be asking the city to protect the rental market for legitimate homeowners by enforcing a one host, one listing policy. This will prevent users of the service from buying and renting multiple properties.

As the discussion surrounding Airbnb’s legal status in Toronto looms, the scenario seems increasingly similar to the Uber debacle of 2016. Over the first half of the year, the City debated the legality of the service until finally granting Uber approval to operate last summer.

Before that took place however, the city had to endure a slew of protests from taxicab drivers who argued that allowing Uber to operate would be detrimental to their livelihoods. It’s important to note however, that it’s still early days.

In addition Airbnb appears to be increasing its marketshare in a number of ways. One of these ways suggests a nod towards luxury rental services with the purchase of the Montreal-based rentals company, Luxury Retreats.

A second way Airbnb is looking to expand could be through its newly launched Trips feature, which lets hosts offer guided tours to customers. This could eventually lead Airbnb to play a greater role in the travel experience beyond the living arrangements.

A recent private members bill put forward by NDP MPP Peter Tabuns aims to make rental housing more affordable in Ontario by calling for an exemption that removes rent control from almost all rental units constructed after 1991.

Source: 680 News