August 12, 2017 1:44 am

This Victoria duplex is half family home, half Airbnb party house, and all headache

The owner of a duplex unit in Victoria is calling on city hall to enforce the rules because the other half of the building has been rented out through Airbnb, and is causing some major disruptions to their lives. Neetu Garcha reports.

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Most people have a neighbour or two on either side of their home.

But a Victoria woman who lives in one half of a duplex has found herself having to cope with new neighbours every few days. Loud ones, too.

Coverage of Airbnb on Globalnews.ca:

Melanie Wood works from home, and she hears noise coming from an Airbnb on the other side at all hours of the day.

Renters are holding rowdy parties, the garbage is overflowing and people are taking mint off an herb garden she keeps in the backyard.

“I know you want a mojito but please don’t take my mint,” Wood said in an interview with Global News.

READ MORE: Airbnb in Canada: 10% of hosts account for most of revenue, McGill study finds

The home is located in an area that hasn’t been zoned for short-term rentals.

But even with those restrictions, the City of Victoria has yet to address Wood’s concerns.

“I’m not sleeping at night, I’m crying on the phone to city councillors,” she said.

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“I’m crying on the phone to the police.”

The owner of the other half of the duplex said it was pitched to her as a great way to earn money through Airbnb.

She said the city hasn’t reached her about Wood’s complaints, but said she would follow any changes that the municipality asked for.

But it’s difficult to say when the city will address those concerns.

READ MORE: Break-ins at Vancouver condo tower blamed on short-term rentals

City clerk Chris Coates told Global News that bylaw officers currently have 18 complaints about short-term rentals, and that all of them have to be “actioned on a priority basis.”

A spokesperson for Airbnb said most hosts in Victoria are people who share their homes for a few nights every month just to “make ends meet.”

But hosts have to follow the rules before they list their homes, the company said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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