Short-term rental brouhaha in Leaside

The LPOA is receiving more complaints about short-term rentals.
The LPOA is receiving more complaints about short-term rentals.

“Our (new) neighbours have turned their home into an Airbnb party house. It is not their primary residence. Last Tuesday, it was transformed into a rave scene – hundreds of teenagers, bouncers at the door, noise, alcohol and drugs galore. We even had people hopping our fence, trespassing on our property, using my son’s trampoline. Kids were stumbling drunk and high on the street until 4 a.m.”  

So read the distraught neighbour’s email message to the LPOA.

The neighbour did what anyone would do in the situation, she called the police, next day she called the councillor. She spoke to the owner.  For a time the house was de-listed from Airbnb (it’s now back up). Is this incident the start of an explosion of short-term, rental-generated neighbourhood disturbance problems in Leaside?

Crime Prevention and Disorder Management Officer Tim Somers from 53 Division says, “There have been no reports of other Airbnb properties having these issues. We have advised the original reportee of how to handle this with the property owner.”

However, short-term rentals such as Airbnb are still legal, and I attended the City’s recent public consultation on short-term rentals and heard at least one resident recount how several adjoining properties had been acquired for this purpose, and their street had effectively been turned into a hotel, with consequent noise, disturbance, and crime concerns for regular home owners.

But regulation of short-term rentals is coming.

City Council considered a staff report to regulate short-term rentals at its last meeting (July 4 to 6). The new regime would limit short-term rentals to owner-occupied dwellings, and also levy taxes on stays. The proposed regulations passed for consultation in July will lead to more consultation about the proposals under consideration, and a final report will come back in the fall. So no immediate action unfortunately, but the City’s proposals seem sound. In the meantime, complaints about rowdy parties should be forwarded to Municipal Licensing and Standards enforcement – this can be done by contacting and/or calling or emailing the 311 service.

The LPOA is receiving more complaints about short-term rentals.

About Geoff Kettel 222 Articles
Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”. He is currently Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, Co-Chair of the Federation of North Toronto Residents‘ Associations (FoNTRA), member of the Toronto Preservation Board and Past Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel. He writes a monthly column on heritage and planning in Leaside Life.