QUEEN’S PARK —MPP Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale), Ontario NDP Housing critic, is calling on the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to crack down on illegal short-term rentals, after a family in Deer Park was illegally locked out of their short-term rental over the weekend.
“There are over 12,000 short-term rentals currently advertised on Airbnb in Toronto for stays of 28 days or more – a loophole Airbnb is exploiting to avoid complying with the city’s new short-term rental law and provincial rental protections,” said Bell.
Bell was joined by Fairbnb Canada and Tianning Ning, a Toronto Airbnb guest and tenant who was forcibly locked out of her home after living there since August 2022. Ning’s landlord cancelled the agreement early in January 2023 without Ning's permission and immediately relisted the home on an Airbnb for double the price Ning was paying.
“Ning and her family are just the beginning,” said Bell. “There are thousands of short-rental homes that should be available on the long-term rental market, and the tenants have limited protections. They are treated like transient guests who can be evicted with the click of a button.”
“It’s atrocious that tenants in Ontario are being treated like this. A landlord cannot use platforms like Airbnb to bring in tenants, then wash their hands of provincial rental laws,” said Thorben Wieditz, director of Fairbnb Canada. “The government should crack down on investors who use Airbnb to make money on the backs of people desperate for a home.”
Bell has written to Housing Minister Steve Clark and Attorney General Doug Downey calling on their government to uphold and enforce the province’s Residential Tenancies Act and crack down on illegal short-term rentals in investment properties.
“Tenant protections in the RTA exist for a reason – to ensure the right to stable, secure housing is met for renters across the province,” said Bell. “The housing crisis in Ontario means that people are finding housing in whichever way or means they can, sometimes through Airbnb. If we want an affordable city for renters, we need to crack down on illegal short-term rentals.”