Skip to content

Narrow screen resolution Wide screen resolution Auto adjust screen size Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color brick color green color
"OUR GUESTS DON'T THROW CHAIRS OFF BALCONIES !" Corporate lodging operators fight backlash & AirBnB 2019/05/07 18:08  
This is not legal advice.

Corporate lodging operators ( eg employee relocations, insurance dislocations, assignments away from home, etc ) have for some time already spread from purpose-built buildings into single unit-by unit client venues.

Right from square one this chair-throwing sounds like AirBnB territory with potentially lots of shrieking . . .. UPDATE : July 21/20 Chair-thrower gets lots of fame & mere $2 K fine /2 years probation/150 hours of community service. No injuries, but for comparison the deadly Flint Michigan I-75 overpass rock-thowing got one youth as much as 20 years in prison

( the Toronto highrise chair video : )

BUT in contrast some of the AirBnB "hostings" try to present a totally opposite, ultra-responsible image eg long term stays for business/ government travel status ; retired educators from Ohio etc . . .

But not only are those “traditional” operators facing a backlash from angry condo or strata owners already disturbed by transient AirBnb activity, but now even competition for corporate business from AirBnb itself.

Still below the radar has been a pair of B.C. judgments that strip one such operation from its claim of itself being a genuine long term “tenant”.

The somewhat overlooked B.C. judgments strip away a defence claiming a right to grand-fathering exemption on grounds of alleged compliance with strata by-laws prohibiting short term “transient” leasing.

HighStreet Accommodation Ltd claimed that the “guests” whom it brings into at least 200 client strata units scattered around urban B.C., typically occupy a unit for 60 to 80 days.

Its argument was that these physical presences are invariably well-behaved folks NOT like quicky inn-keeping which in Ontario in Dec 2016 was ruled NOT “single family occupancy” as construed from an Ottawa condo Declaration. ( Both B.C. adversaries argued from the 2016 Ontario judgment )

HighStreet ’s service contract ( with the strata owner involved ) even was labelled & purported to be a “Lease” contract. It even registered as a ( "Form K" ) strata "tenant" under B.C. strata law.

The “but we’re a current tenant in situ “ claim was directed to getting a grand-fathering exemption from a Dec 2012 strata by-law introduced to prohibit both any Lease less than 12 months and any form of “occupancy” less than 180 days.

On mildly different grounds, both B.C. judicial levels rejected those claims.

B.C.s Court of Appeal ruled that neither was HighStreet a genuine “tenant” nor did its actual occupant Licensees impart to HighStreet a physical “occupancy” . How could HighStreet Ltd – not a “natural person”- be concurrently a genuine tenant of more than 200 different units scattered around B.C. ? ( Some interesting discussions occur about "what does it mean to be a tenant ?" and "Can licensee occupancy somehow impart tenant-like occupancy to a rental pool type of operation ?". Some real basic stuff as in the brilliant 1913 discussion of "What is common land" by Ontario's Building Scheme legal superstar William Edward Middleton in the Lorne Park reference )

Yes it was B.C .

But is this another important condo lease judgment that may turn out to get a lot of traction ?

Such as 1974 ( Ontario condo ownership includes the right to lease ), 2001 ( but Ontario condo by-laws may set minimum durations ) and 2016 ( a Declaration’s single family wording may prohibit inn-keeping or sequences of transient short term single family usages ).

March 31/19 Financial Post / Canadian Press “Executive rentals are collateral damage in backlash against Airbnb” by Ross Marowits backlash-against-airbnb . This article is silent about the HighStreet defeats :

HighStreet Accommodations Ltd. v. The Owners, Strata Plan BCS2478, 2019 BCCA 64 issued Feb 21/19

HighStreet Accommodations Ltd. v. The Owners, Strata Plan BCS2478, 2017 BCSC 1039 issued June 22/17
  The administrator has disabled public write access.
contact webmaster