Time was if you were nosy and wanted to get a peek inside your neighbors’ homes you had to resort to some kind of trickery. Collecting for charity, or distributing election bumf afforded snoops an opportunity to have a scan of the premises and furnishing. Now all you have to do is look up Airbnb listings and voila there are pictures and descriptions of available rentals in your area.
My apartment building, described by one happy guest as “pseudo-Gothic/Victorian”, has seen a lot of traffic this summer; folks popping in and out. There is always some tenant turnover in July, but there have been days when I thought a revolving door would be appropriate. So far there have been no problems with noise or damage, although there was one incident of a smoke detector going off that seemed to completely baffle the ‘guests’.
However entrepreneurs in my building and others may be about to have their business altered.According to a CBC report, “Quebec’s rental board has ruled a Verdun landlord has the right to change the locks on a tenant to stop him from renting out his apartment every night, in a decision that could have consequences for other Airbnb users in the province”.The court ruled in favor of the landlord who was having his unit rented out at a premium to what he was getting in rent. The rent is strictly controlled in Quebec whereas the Airbnb rates are not.
Like the Uber Taxi situation, Airbnb attracts people (drivers and hosts) to make money without a concern for systems already in place. Like legitimate taxi drivers (i.e. those who have paid the significant taxi registration fee) facing Uber, landlords are/were being short-changed by Airbnb.
I have heard tales of people renting several units in various buildings solely for the purpose of renting them out via Airbnb.
Now before you go thinking I’m going to rat out my neighbours and call our landlord forget about it. Unless of course a rowdy group of guests arrives in which case all bets are off.