Former city councillor, and tenant advocate, Rob Davis says as Mayor he would ban AirBnB and other short term rental activities to release 20,000 rental units back onto the rental market. Davis is a candidate for Mayor in the City of Toronto byelection.
“The current situation in Toronto is that we have tourists occupying rental apartments units and houses for short periods of time, while Toronto residents who are unable to find affordable rental accommodation are staying in hotels and motels. That is madness. I will ban short term rentals in apartments and houses and bring 20,000 rental units back into the rental market,” announced Rob Davis on May 1, 2023, the day most tenants make their monthly rent payment.
“AirBnB, VRBO, and a handful of other platforms allow landlords to covert their rental units into ghost hotels, and circumvent the Residential Tenancies Act, thereby distorting the rental markets so that the vacancy rate is at 1.7 %. The reduction in the vacancy rate several years ago corelates to the introduction of AirBnB to the Toronto market,” added Davis.
“We have a vital and robust tourism sector, who follow the rules and employ thousands of people in the hospitality sector. When Toronto licensed AirBnB operators and stopped enforcement, they let hotel operators and their employees down,” said Davis referring to hotels that operate within properly zoned buildings.
“Tourists belong in hotels and motels. Residents belong in apartments and houses. Tenants are playing a cruel version of The Hunger Games as they compete for fewer and fewer affordable rental options. The odds are never in their favour,” said Davis referring to the popular movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.
“I don’t want to live next to a ghost hotel and neither do most Torontonians. That’s why we have zoning bylaws that restrict and determine land use on a property and in a neighbourhood. AirBnB is saying to residents of Toronto we don’t care how you’re affected we want to make money at your expense.”
“Ask any tenant looking for a rental unit and they will tell you ‘The rent is too damn high’, and I agree with them. My plan will make life more affordable for one million tenants by September.”
“My plan won’t cost a billion dollars but it will lower costs for tenants and bring rental accommodations back into the market for the cost of bic pen, the pen I will use to sign the bylaw,” concluded Davis.
Rob Davis has a history of tenant advocacy. As a city councillor he lead the fight to get a 6% retroactive rent reduction for the 2,000 tenants at Rosebury Square, a multi-residential complex located at Marlee and Roselawn Avenues in Toronto. He is running to be Toronto’s first Black mayor.