Tenants profit from unsuspecting landlords

Landlords are being urged to check their properties are not being sublet by tenants capitalizing on the tourism market.

An increasing number of tenants are cashing in on booming tourism markets and the ease of sub-letting on third party rental websites, including airbnb.

Tenants can generate as much as $150 per night by renting out a room or entire unit to unsuspecting short-term renters.
With the threat of the unit being occupied by squatters and violation of condo laws, landlords are being urged to be more vigilant and proactive when and during the rental process.

The Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is advising landlords to actively monitor websites on weekend dates, and particularly when there are big events and peak tourism seasons. “Specific addresses are not listed, but most listings have detailed photos and descriptions that will quickly confirm if your property is being used as a vacation business by your tenant.”

A Montreal-based landlord last week revealed last week that upon inspecting her property, she found a party of strangers and that her tenant was making almost double the rent she was charged.

While sub-letting is allowed in Quebec, this process falls into the grey legal area of commercial renting. Many condo tenants, says the board, are advertising their units as hotel rooms, which is being done in contravention of the condominium corporation’s by-laws and so placing an additional legal risk on the landlord.

If the rental unit is being used by tenants in this way, the board advises landlords to consult a licensed legal profession and if applicable, an N5 notice should be served.

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