Claim by Landlord Against Tenant For Unauthorized Airbnb

In the recent case Re Jovasevic, the landlord had rented a condominium unit to a tenant under a long-term lease. The tenant proceeded to list the unit “on the Airbnb website as a home share available for short term rentals” without the landlord’s knowledge or consent. The unit was then rented out to many sub-tenants, on a short-term basis, over many months.

The landlord alleged that, as a result of the numerous sub-tenancies, there was “undue damage” to the unit, for which the tenant was obligated to compensate the landlord in accordance with Section 89 of the Residential Tenancies Act.

The Landlord and Tenant Board agreed that there had been $4,232.87 of “undue damage” to the unit – being damage beyond “normal wear and tear” that would be expected if the unit had been used for one occupancy in accordance with the lease.  That Board awarded that amount to the landlord plus $175 incurred by the landlord to file the application.

I think it’s an interesting decision because it shows one of the risks that a tenant may be taking by deciding to rent to numerous short-term sub-tenants (namely the risk of added compensation payable to the landlord).

One thing I should stress is that there is no indication in the decision that the short-term sub-leases contravened the governing documents (Declaration or Rules) of the condominium corporation. That is not why the subleases were determined to be improper in this particular case. Instead, my reading of the Jovasevic case is that the contravention was simply that the tenant failed to obtain the landlord’s consent (for the sub-tenancies) as required by Section 97 of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Even so, the decision clearly shows that landlords may have their own claims against a tenant who improperly rents a unit to numerous short-term sub-tenants.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments respecting short-term rentals and condominiums.

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