Vrbo exits Toronto rental market following new crackdown

Canada: Vacation rental marketplace Vrbo has announced that it is exiting the Toronto market due to the city’s recent crackdown on short-term rentals.

The online travel agency listed more than 300 houses, condos, apartments and studios in the city prior to the enforcement of stricter rules on short-term rentals, which came into force on 1 January.

The departure of Vrbo leaves Airbnb as the only licensed platform to operate short-term rentals in Toronto, and its hosts will now only be able to rent out their primary residences, rather than renting out units as investment properties or ‘ghost hotels’. Hosts were also required to register their property with the city between 10 September and 31 December to be able to operate short-term rentals in 2021.

Philip Minardi, Expedia’s director of policy communications, told The Logic: “After years of ongoing discussions, Expedia Group is saddened that the regulatory environment in Toronto has caused us to withdraw from the short-term vacation-rental market.”

Advocacy organisations such as FairBnB had been calling for stricter bylaws concerning short-term rental platforms in Toronto for a number of years, with rents rising and available housing supply becoming more limited.