Toronto condo owner battles board over sharing unit with Airbnb customers

Don Mitchell / Global Newsradio 640 Toronto

One Toronto condo owner who used Airbnb to rent a room in his downtown unit is embroiled in a battle with his condo board after they accused him of breaking the “tenancy occupation” rule in the building’s charter.

Nick Christoforou, 53, told Global News 640 Toronto he believes that he didn’t do anything wrong taking money from some 70 strangers that stayed over between 2016 and 2017.

“It is your home, and your prerogative to invite guests into your home at your discretion.”

Christoforou contends the rules pertain to restrictions on short-term rentals and does not apply to his “guests.”

“Mine was an entirely different situation because my guests were staying with me, under my supervision.”

Global news obtained a copy of the latest rules for Radio City which state that “rentals and leases of less than six months are not permitted without prior written consent of the board, which may be withheld.”

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LISTEN: Downtown condo owner believes there’s nothing wrong sharing space with Airbnb customers


It goes on to say that any tenant that occupies a unit must submit a tenant information form and that failure to do so would deem such persons as a “trespasser.” Such policies are common in most condominium doctrine.

READ MORE: Renters and Airbnb landlords square off as Toronto considers new short-term rental rules

Christoforou is headed to arbitration with his board after being rejected the opportunity for mediation and sent about $7,000 to cover Radio City’s legal costs.

“They sent me a letter demanding that I stop even after I’d spoken with them about it,” said Christoforou. “They sent me a letter from their lawyer and billed me for their lawyer.”

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So far, including costs of his upcoming arbitration, he says he’s in the hole $25,000 and as such is looking for support for his cause through a go-fund-me page.

READ MORE: Proposed rules aim to address ‘competing interests’ for short-term rentals in Toronto

As a preventive measure, the board e-mailed and posted rules on short-term or rental-sharing arrangements in early 2017, stating it was against policy and that such rentals could result in an increase security and maintenance costs.

Although Toronto’s licensing tribunal is expected to look at the implementation of new rules regarding short-term rentals this week, none of their policies will benefit Christoforou.

Boards making rules for a particular building fall under provincial legislation and the condominium act.

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