With people around the world being urged not to leave their homes more than necessary in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – let alone board a plane for travel – companies like Airbnb and their hosts are finding themselves extremely difficult to find. business right now.
Hotels and other types of accommodation in Ontario are considered essential and therefore may remain open under the current state of emergency, but with record high health and safety risks and rates of occupancy at an all-time high, some have chosen to shut down anyway.
While Airbnbs can still operate by choice, condominium companies such as those behind ICE Condos and the Maple Leaf Square Residences recently stepped up the outright ban on short-term rentals due to the health risk of having so many foreigners in and out of their buildings.
If only there was a way for them to get a long-term deal to allow a cohesive, non-transient group of people to live in these spaces in exchange for some sort of fixed monthly fee; a “rent” if you will.
– Brand (@ 5goldentweets) March 11, 2020
Unfortunately for Airbnb owners who are now lamenting a dramatic drop in their income, people don’t feel very likable given that virtually everyone is under the financial pressures that the new coronavirus situation has brought.
There is also the fact that the prevalence of short-term rentals through companies such as Airbnb has helped to skyrocket rents in Toronto and the number of apartments available to local tenants to decline, leaving the tenants of the city with a loathing for what many have deemed ghost hotels and the people who run them.
(While new short-term rental regulations were designed to curb this, some still operated illegally.)
Now, as Airbnb owners run out of customers and cash, more and more old short-term rentals are starting to appear on long-term rental sites, more and more old ones. hosts planning to become real owners.
Many have obvious Airbnb style photos, linens and bedding included. pic.twitter.com/KfUl1DFQUM
– Robert Ruggiero (@robert_ruggiero) March 21, 2020
Toronto residents are noticing that units furnished with Airbnb-esque photos showing things like folded towels over fully made beds have increased on sites like REALTOR.ca and bungol.ca, while prices for Airbnb listings continue to rise. to lower. an attempt to solicit guests.
âTo me, it’s clear that it’s the Airbnb owners who are trying to earn income with long-term tenants,â remarked a Redditor in what became a popular thread on the subject earlier this year. this month.
My building now has 71 units available for rent. In recent years, there have rarely been more than 5 at a time.
– H (@ Cdn2018) March 22, 2020
With so many vacant rentals around the world, Airbnb has made a move to offer 100,000 frontline caregivers free or subsidized housing given current circumstances. Hosts have the option of joining the new initiative to make their property available for the cause, although they will need to agree to do so for free.
The company has also done its part on behalf of its hosts, pledging to offer $ 250 million to support those affected by the flood of recent travel cancellations – but it will only cover bookings made and then canceled since March 14. , and not a simple lack of reservations in the first place.
Perhaps all of this will culminate in some much-needed good news for Toronto’s notoriously tight rental market when this is all over.