What Is A Short Term Rental?

What Is A Short Term Rental?

May 15, 2018

The phrase short term rental is often loosely used between different groups. To some in the rental industry, short term rental means 1 and 6 months in length. To others and a lot of Airbnb owners and users, the phrase short term rental means 30 days or less.

Today with platforms such as Airbnb, the definition of a short term rental has begun to evolve into something much shorter – stays even a short as a couple of days.

Here in Toronto, we’ve seen an enormous surge in 30 days or less short term rentals facilitated through Airbnb. The local community has unfortunately begun to see the dark side of these micro stays. Because of this, the City of Toronto has placed a new bylaw that defines a short term rental as any stay less than 28 days. The bylaw will include a series of regulations and prerequisites in order to maintain a legal rental.

In the upcoming months, property renters that use Airbnb as a way to rent out their units must conform to these new bylaws to avoid fines. In addition to primary perquisites, renters must also restrict their total short term rental stays to a minimum of 180 days out of the year and contribute a registration fee and rental tax to the city.

Prior to these actions implemented by the city, coalition efforts such as Fairbnb.ca were fighting against the “ghost hotels” and malicious outcomes of Airbnb renters circa early 2012 – so these regulations have been expected for quite some time now.

The master bedroom in a toronto furnished apartment, near St. Andrews Station

In 2015, Tom Lee, an author and researcher from the University of Waterloo commented on Airbnb’s global disruption in his book What’s Yours is Mine. In his findings, Slee concluded that the majority of AirBnb listings in cities are entire home listings that continue to rent year long. Take a look at this Toronto Airbnb data from insideairbnb.com, where almost 2/3rds of the 12,714 listings are entire home listings.

It will be interesting to see how the regulations affect the AirBnb market, and how rentals less than 30 days will survive in the city. Some Airbnb renters may start to rent property a longer term basis to avoid city fines or  turn to property management services such as Sky View Suites, where client demand and proper compensation will continue to exist without being affected by the regulations.