Airbnb move could see big clampdown on hosts

Airbnb is hoping that the company can come to some agreement with municipal leaders as it sets up a permanent base here.  But will the hosts be happy?

Airbnb is hoping that the company can come to some agreement with municipal leaders as it sets up a permanent base here.  But will the hosts be happy?

Part-time landlords across Canada have enjoyed a huge surge of interest and cash from the growing popularity of Airbnb in recent months. But that could be about to change as the vacation lodging rental service sets up an official office here.

The new country manager for Canada, Aaron Zitfkin, says he plans to meet with local regulators, various levels of government and tourism officials to iron out legal, tax and other concerns that have been raised in recent years.

Airbnb has seen a 125 per cent growth in guests staying in Canada over the last year, with almost 20,000 listings across the country and more than one million bookings.

Officials in Quebec have been clamping down on home rentals in recent years with their laws stipulating that anyone renting out accommodations for less than 31 days needs a government permit and rentals.  In other cases, some landlords have been faced with issues of squatters taking advantage of local rental rules.

Zifkin says he wants to work close with regulators to find “sensible laws” but that the main issue is that current laws predate the internet itself and didn’t contemplate models like the sharing economy.

Full-time landlords want greater transparency in the market with calls for such homeowners to legally declare their income and ensure they are insured and licensed as required.

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