Expert: Montreal residents decry Airbnb rentals

News

Published: 11Feb2020

The sound of people vomiting at 3 a.m., neighbours who open their windows to scream “I love you, Montreal!” at all hours of the night and a frat house atmosphere taking over the building. This is how Manon Wascher describes the “Airbnb nightmare” she has gone through since the apartment complex she lives in on Guy St. was sold four years ago. Wascher says there are between 30 and 50 of the building’s 230 units being rented on the popular travel website. (Montreal Gazette)

Here is a McGill expert who can provide on this issue:

David Wachsmuth, Assistant Professor, School of Urban Planning

The situation Manon Wascher has been facing in her Guy St. apartment makes clear what communities, policymakers and researchers have known for several years now: Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms need to be regulated much more strictly in Montreal, to ensure that our housing is protected from being converted into de facto hotels, and our residents don’t wake up to discover that their former neighbours are now a rotating cast of tourists. Our research suggests that 5000 homes in Montreal have been lost to short-term rentals, and that number keeps increasing. The City of Montreal has taken some positive steps to get the situation under control, and once new provincial rules come into effect in May, I hope that the Province invests the necessary time and resources into enforcing them, so that Montreal can keep its housing for local residents."

David Wachsmuth is an Assistant Professor at the School of Urban Planning, where conducts research on urban and regional governance, smart cities, and urban sustainability. He co-authored reports on the impact of Airbnb on Canadian housing markets, and more recently on the effects of short-term rentals in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

david.wachsmuth [at] mcgill.ca (English)

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