Part-time landlords warned about using Airbnb

Short-term rentals are perfect for helping cover mortgage payments but it can prove more costly and hard work than envisaged…as one part-time landlord is discovering.

From capitalizing on world-class events to wanting help with monthly mortgages, more homeowners are embracing short-term rentals through third party service providers.

And while it’s a good income generator, such part-time landlords are being warned once again that their welcome and hospitality could prove very costly in the end. 

This call is being made in light of the “Airbnb squatter” tale in San Francisco. Cory Tschogl rented her condo for 44 days on the service, and two weeks after the checkout date, the guest is refusing to leave.  According to Californian law, landlords cannot evict tenants once they have been in place past 30 days so the unruly guest can stay (rent-free, as he is doing) for a while.

“This shows, once again, the risks associated with renting out accommodation on a short-term,” warns Davelle Morrisson from Bosley Real Estate in Toronto. “It’s a great service but you really have to be very careful of who you rent to. Most guests do not stay past two weeks, so anything past that should be an immediate red flag.”

While Airbnb is growing in popularity amongst travellers, the accommodation site is still in legal limbo in Quebec following years of controversy and months of formal consultations.

The law there requires anybody renting out accommodation for less than 31 days to obtain a $250 permit from la Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec. Renters must also be covered by civil liability insurance totalling at least $2 million per claim, and must pay a host tax (usually between $2 and $3 a night) to Revenue Quebec.

Many operators, according to officials, are illegal in that they do not have such government approval. Such homeowners could face fines ranging from $750 to $2,250.

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