GTA

Toronto condo owner discovers unit listed on Airbnb behind her back

When Sanda Jovasevic agreed to lease her downtown Toronto condo to a tenant in May 2016, she hoped it would be a wise, long-term investment for her retirement.

But after a series of strange incidents the following year, including the unit’s front door being left wide open, Jovasevic and her husband learned something was going on behind their back: Someone was repeatedly renting out the unit on Airbnb. “It was a complete shock to us,” Jovasevic said.

A CBC Toronto investigation has found two condo owners whose units were being listed on Airbnb without their consent by a “host” who claims she works for a Toronto property management company.

Legal experts say the scenario shows why condo and tenant legislation needs to keep pace with the rising popularity of home-sharing websites.

For more than a year, the Jovasevics assumed all was well with their tenant, who paid $2,100 each month in rent. But in 2017, Jovasevic started to worry. In February that year, she got a call from her building concierge saying the unit’s door was wide open.

Then, in November, the concierge called to inform her of a noise complaint and said two Airbnb guests were staying in the unit. The concierge also told Jovasevic the unit had been listed in their system as an Airbnb condo the entire time.

Jovasevic started doing her own research and found her condo’s listing on the website — and it had more than 70 reviews dating back to 2016.

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