Can my co-op stop members from renting their units on Airbnb?

Can my co-op stop members from renting their units on Airbnb?

The website Airbnb, which allows people to rent out their home, room, or couch, on a short-term basis, has been criticized for cutting into cities’ already short supply of affordable housing.  Others are simply concerned that their neighbours may be allowing strangers into their building.

Is it possible for your co-op’s bylaws to protect against members renting out their homes on Airbnb or similar services?

Our template bylaw does address Airbnb style rentals in a way that should provide enough protection for the co-op, but you could strengthen these areas to meet your needs.

Note, it doesn’t fall under Article 8: “Members’ Households and Guests”, but rather under Article 6: “Use of Units”.

Here are a few examples of the protections included in the template bylaw:

6.2 Principal Residence
Each member must use the member’s co-op unit as the member’s principal residence and personally occupy it.
[This protects the co-op from an individual renting the unit for the sole purpose of renting it out]

6.3 (b) No rooming or boarding houses
Related uses do not include using a unit as a rooming house, or boarding house, or providing food or lodging for others or renting space or anything similar. Those uses are prohibited except for sub-occupancy and sharing permitted under this By-law.
[This is where the co-op could specify that members cannot offer their unit in an online based rental, à la Airbnb: we would encourage the co-op to refer to the rental act, and not specifically the name, so that if other such services pop up you don’t have to name them specifically]

6.5 No Profit from Unit
(a) When leaving co-op
Members must not profit, directly or indirectly, when they leave the co-op.
(b) Sub-occupancy or sharing
Members must not profit, directly or indirectly, when they allow others to use their unit. This includes sub-occupancy of the unit when the member is away or any sharing arrangement.
(c) Examples
Examples of profit are key money and placing too great a value on the furnishings of a unit. Profit does not include guests or sub-occupants paying their fair share of the housing charges and other household costs if it is not a hidden profit on the housing charges.
[This clause protects the co-op from members profiting from sub-letting their unit through Airbnb and the like. Again, you could include and example in these areas to strengthen the co-op’s position]

If your co-op would like help with your bylaws, please contact CHASEO, we are glad to assign a contractor to assist.