Airbnb crackdown in Victoria
The Victoria city council
is trying to restrict short term rentals.
Ironically when we moved to Victoria airbnb made the move much easier
than moving to Toronto a few years before. With airbnb it was possible
to search for various options and find a convenient 1 month rent.
In my previous move there was no airbnb. Despite Toronto being much
bigger, there were fewer choices. There were no reviews on the choices
and paying for it from outside Canada was inconvenient.
The airbnb that we rented for the move is a small basement in a
house. Not the kind of space that would normally be used as a regular
rental or bnb. We had a similar experience in Stratford. The
convenience of airbnb does seem to create options that would simply
not exist otherwise.
Airbnb is criticized for increasing the cost of long term rentals, which
is likely true, but it also creates interesting subletting
possibilities. In trips to Montreal and Vancouver we stayed in units
that were clearly sublet. By crashing at a friend's place for a
weekend a tenant can offset a substantial part of their rent.
But yes, in another trip we have stayed in a pretty conventional
apartment that could have been otherwise rented long term. Even here
it is important to discount the fact that a higher return on
investment for landlords incentivizes the construction of more
units. In the current construction boom in Toronto some of the
buildings are bought mostly for
Not as many would have been built otherwise
There is a fairness issue too. If when traveling to, for example,
Montreal we can stay in a airbnb, it feels wrong to deny the same to
Montrealers visiting Victoria.
Overall increasing the utilization of a scarce resource like space
seems like a good thing, even if renters like myself get the short end
of the stick.
The higher housing prices will also generate higher property
taxes. The surplus could be given back to the community as income, but
that would be another post.