Condo corp partners with Airbnb in Canadian first

Thursday, November 2, 2017

As some condo corporations struggle to enforce community rules prohibiting short-term rentals, one condo corporation has rolled out the welcome mat for one of the biggest players in the market.

Neptune Waterpark Condos in Toronto has partnered with Airbnb to let residents offer their principal homes for short-term rental through the home-sharing platform’s Friendly Buildings Program, marking the first such agreement in Canada and following similar agreements in the U.S. Allowing the short-term rental of principal homes specifically  aligns with proposed regulations for short-term rentals that city staff are due to report back on to Toronto City Council before the end of the year.

“This is an important milestone for home sharing in Toronto, and in Canada,” said Aaron Zifkin, regional director for Airbnb in North America. “The program gives property managers and Airbnb the opportunity to work together to proactively manage home sharing in buildings.”

Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program has three planks: control, profit and insurance, and transparency. Buildings can set guidelines for guests for items normally captured in condo rules, such as pet restrictions and parking provisions. Buildings also benefit from Airbnb extending the $1 million in liability insurance all hosts possess to common areas as well as from profit-sharing that sees corporations receive a percentage of short-term rental bookings of anywhere from five to 15 per cent. Plus, buildings can monitor short-term rental activity — who’s hosting, how many guests and when — via a dashboard.

“Home sharers and condo corporations can happily co-exist,” said Nick Bednarz, vice president of Neptune Waterpark Condos. “An open dialogue and a formal framework contributes to the community of the building, and enables renters and condo owners to share their residential homes to make supplemental income.”

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