City of Ottawa cracks down on use of Airbnb, 'ghost hotels' in the capital
OTTAWA -- Ottawa city council severely restricted property owners who use Airbnb and other short term online rental websites: you’re getting too big and things have to change.
Complaints about rowdy parties, absentee landlords and skyrocketing long term rents all pushed council to step in and change the rules.
“When people buy a home, they don’t want to be next to a ghost hotel or a party place”, said Mayor Jim Watson.
Residents will now be allowed to use Airbnb only to rent out their primary residence.
Owners will also be required to register with the city.
It’s hard to measure, but there are thought to be 1,100 Airbnb units in the Byward Market alone.
“This has become a big money maker for a lot of people. They don’t even live in the city in many cases,” Watson said of some Airbnb property owners.
Airbnb issued it's own statement criticising Wednesday's decision by council.
The company says this will "unfairly restrict some responsible Ottawa residents from sharing their homes and based on experiences in other jurisdictions, will not address any of the stated policy goals", wrote Alexandra Dagg.