We have already written on the legal implications of short-term rentals of condominium units.
Last week, the Province of Ontario announced a new pilot “partnership project” with Airbnb. The purpose of this pilot project is to raise awareness about homeowners’ and consumers rights and responsibilities when offering or booking online accommodations. The Province hopes to educate the “hosts” through email notification during tax season to remind them of their tax obligations. Airbnb and the Province are also to collaborate to create a webpage with content specific to Ontario regulations. Through this “partnership”, the province hopes to inform users on topics such as:
- How to follow tax laws such as reporting rental income;
- Consumer protection rights under contracts, such as cancellations or refunds;
- Accessibility requirements, such as allowing service animals on rental property; and
- Other regulatory and safety obligations, such as having a functioning smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors.
Coincidentally, this past weekend, an “Airbnb party” turned for the worse in Gatineau (Québec). CBC reports that a shooting took place at a private residence, which was occupied by some 25 people. The police apparently confirmed that the residence where the shooting took place was rented through Airbnb specifically for this party.