Airbnb asks government to bail out hosts in Canada

Airbnb spent the last decade ruthlessly going after all levels of government to remove or water down housing rules that stand in the way of long term rental units being turned into irregular hotels.

Airbnb hosts labelled government attempts to regulate short term rentals as government trampling on “individual property rights”.

But as bookings collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the short term rental is asking the government to bail out hosts.

And no, that’s not an April Fools joke.

Airbnb Canada’s public policy director Alex Dagg wrote a letter to Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland requesting government handouts for “regular Canadians who share their homes to earn extra income.”

Airbnb is asking the government to make employment benefits available to Airbnb hosts.

“Non-traditional workers like Airbnb hosts who are currently experiencing income losses could be supported through the El system,” Dagg wrote. “We suggest that additional benefits be made available to these individuals for loss of business income during the course of this pandemic. We further support temporarily cancelling the 12-month waiting period before an individual can access these benefits.”

Airbnb also wants the government to defer sales taxes for short term rentals.

“We are requesting a temporary waiver of the obligation for hosts above the $30,000
threshold to charge, collect and remit the GST/HST, while still allowing them to claim credits for their inputs,” Dagg wrote. “Accommodation would not be subject to GST/HST, but the host community could still get credits for the GST/HST paid on their business expenses. This type of tax treatment, referred to as “zero-rating”, already exists for certain suppliers and would be both effective and relatively straightforward to implement.”

The platform also wants the government to defer income taxes for Airbnb hosts.

“A well-known rate reduction scheme is the one available to the manufacturing sector,” Dagg wrote. “We request a conceptually similar treatment for the tourism industry. In other words, an overall rate reduction for Canadian-controlled homes and experience hosts generating income from the tourism industry below a given threshold.”

Airbnb’s ask for government bailouts come even as a study last year funded by the Government of Canada found that short term rental platforms have taken out at least 31,000 homes from the long term rental market.

The study led by David Wachsmuth, Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance at McGill University, found that lion’s share of the revenue was earned by commercial operators – hosts with two or more entire-home listings or three or more private-room listings.

When the City of Vancouver first proposed the idea of regulating short terms rentals, some Vancouver hosts called the city council a “Communist government.”

“It seems extremely unfair to penalize these owners for the basic freedom of doing what they want with it,” Airbnb host Nicole Chang wrote to the council. “Does the City of Vancouver have the right to tell people what and how to run their lives? It sounds like a Communist government, don’t you think?”

48 Responses to Airbnb asks government to bail out hosts in Canada

  1. Michael says:

    Do you have a link to the actual letter in questions?

  2. Mitcheroo says:

    No. Choke on your BnB’s you sycophants. You are the reason there is a housing crisis, I hope you all go bankrupt and kill yourselves, so people have somewhere to live.

    • Candice says:

      As a senior with an income of $1200. Per month income This is my only option to stay in my home. It is also my only means of social interaction . So if you can’t afford to pay for housing. you’re in the same boat as me Calm your arrogance

      • James says:

        I think the anger is more towards those who took advantage of the lack of regulations and basically became hotels. Renting out an area of your home or your home when your not there is the only way airb&b should have run. But most hosts are taking advantage and cover leveraging themselves on multiple properties, driving up housing prices, removing housing from the market and shirking any regulation that actual hotels etc require. It’s a sham. What you’re doing is not. I’m sorry this has effected you so adversely, and for your sake, I hope there is some help coming.

        • David Roddis says:

          Well said. You’re right: small scale AirBnB’s by people trying to stay in their homes or make a little extra is what this should have been about. Those exploiting the model are profiteering. But I share the original poster’s anger, though AirBnB is just one factor. Lack of an affordable housing policy is the root cause. The AVERAGE cost of a one-bedroom in Toronto is approx. $2000 per month. It’s a national scandal that people have to live in fear of homelessness.

      • Z says:

        Hey so I too made a risky investment that didn’t pay off.
        Can the government bail me out?

      • Smantha says:

        You can sell your home and supplement your pension with the proceeds. That’s the way it’s always been. No need of extraordinary measures to help you live beyond your means.

      • colin says:

        airbnb is cancer

    • Andy says:

      learn how to be intelligently critical.

    • Heather says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about! Perhaps you work for the hotel industry? This article is full of lies and misrepresentations. Airbnb is not asking for itself to be bailed out, but its hosts! The vast majority of Airbnb hosts are ordinary people of modest means who are running a home-based business to supplement inadequate retirement income, single moms and others who for a huge variety of reasons can’t work in corporate jobs and/or need to generate additional income from their homes in order to be able to afford to keep them.
      It’s hard, time-consuming work but good hosts delight their guests with a unique, local experience and make travel affordable to family groupings, out-of-town families travelling to be with hospitalized members, etc. Canada’s national hotel lobby, representing big international corporate interest considers Airbnb hosts an unwelcome threat to their standardized business model and has for several years been mounting a well-funded behind-the-scenes lobby campaign to get municipal government staff to pass bylaws based on the highly restrictive model that they advocate.

    • garry shearer says:

      I agree, airBNB are just undercutting hotels and motels

  3. Mr.Canadian says:

    Disgusting airbnb hosts are parasites they destroyed the housing market let them sleep in the bed they made, children live on the streets because of airbnb greed.

    • Andy says:

      Children live on the streets because of airbnb….hahahahha. Children live on the streets beccause they have shitty parents.

      • A says:

        Poverty drives poverty. Keep up the senseless driving of the housing market upwards and more of your taxes will go towards helping these kids.. oh wait, I forgot, YoY more and more Canadians don’t pay their taxes

    • Heather says:

      You don’t know what you are talking about! This article is full of lies and misrepresentations. Perhaps you work in the hotel industry?Airbnb is not asking for itself to be bailed out, but its hosts! The vast majority of Airbnb hosts are ordinary people of modest means who are running a home-based business to supplement inadequate retirement income, single moms and others who for a huge variety of reasons can’t work in corporate jobs and/or need to generate additional income from their homes in order to be able to afford to keep them.
      It’s hard, time-consuming work but good hosts delight their guests with a unique, local experience and make travel affordable to family groupings, out-of-town families travelling to be with hospitalized members, etc. Canada’s national hotel lobby, representing big international corporate interest considers Airbnb hosts an unwelcome threat to their standardized business model and has for several years been mounting a well-funded behind-the-scenes lobby campaign to get municipal government staff to pass bylaws based on the highly restrictive model that they advocate. Recently, the lobby has focussed on lobbying to deprive Airbnb hosts of the federal financial support being made available to help all other self-employed Canadians.

  4. AIR HEAD says:

    The government better not cuck now. FUCK AIRBNB

  5. Bad Ideas Forever says:

    This is the best April Fools joke I’ve seen all day.

  6. Bill Blaise says:

    Air BnB hostpocalypse needs to happen. Check out the AirBnB Reddit. Full of overleveraged hosts screaming for bailouts to pad the risk of running their own business. Curiously hosts don’t seem to comprehend that aspect and assume AirBnB profit comes with a 100% guarantee.

    These commerical and multiple property hosts need to get slapped with some reality right now on the path to ruin.

    • Heather says:

      THINKPOL.CA IS PROMULGATING OUTRAGEOUS LIES! Airbnb is not asking for itself to be bailed out, but its hosts! The vast majority of Airbnb hosts are ordinary people of modest means who are running a home-based business to supplement inadequate retirement income, single moms and others who for a huge variety of reasons can’t work in corporate jobs and/or need to generate additional income from their homes in order to be able to afford to keep them.
      It’s hard, time-consuming work but good hosts delight their guests with a unique, local experience and make travel affordable to family groupings, out-of-town families travelling to be with hospitalized members, etc. Canada’s national hotel lobby, representing big international corporate interest considers Airbnb hosts an unwelcome threat to their standardized business model and has for several years been mounting a well-funded behind-the-scenes lobby campaign to get municipal government staff to pass bylaws based on the highly restrictive model that they advocate. Recently, the lobby has focussed on lobbying to deprive Airbnb hosts of the federal financial support being made available to help all other self-employed Canadians.
      Please do some real journalism and investigate the truth about Airbnb hosts. Don’t be taken in by the lies and misrepresentations of the big hotel lobby!

  7. Sukhpreet Singh Aujla says:

    Does not seem real

    • Heather says:

      It’s not real. This article is full of lies and misrepresentations. One wonders what links Thinkpol.ca has to the hotel industry. They are usually behind these kinds of attacks.Airbnb is not asking for itself to be bailed out, but its hosts! The vast majority of Airbnb hosts are ordinary people of modest means who are running a home-based business to supplement inadequate retirement income, single moms and others who for a huge variety of reasons can’t work in corporate jobs and/or need to generate additional income from their homes in order to be able to afford to keep them.
      It’s hard, time-consuming work but good hosts delight their guests with a unique, local experience and make travel affordable to family groupings, out-of-town families travelling to be with hospitalized members, etc. Canada’s national hotel lobby, representing big international corporate interest considers Airbnb hosts an unwelcome threat to their standardized business model and has for several years been mounting a well-funded behind-the-scenes lobby campaign to get municipal government staff to pass bylaws based on the highly restrictive model that they advocate. Recently, the lobby has focussed on lobbying to deprive Airbnb hosts of the federal financial support being made available to help all other self-employed Canadians.
      Please do some real journalism and investigate the truth about Airbnb hosts. Don’t be taken in by the lies and misrepresentations of the big hotel lobby!

      • Lauri says:

        Heather, we all understand that the money Airbnb is asking for is going to the host. This is why so many of us feel so strongly about this topic.

        You say Airbnb are mostly ordinary people running a home-made business to make ends meet… the thing is, a lot of these people who are hosting have multiple homes, known as investment properties. There are risks associated with investments and these people do not deserve bailouts. It’s like me asking the government to give me money I lost with my stocks. No that would be stupid of me to ask because I understand and accept these risks.

        I am really sorry if you are one of the single moms trying to make ends meet, but tbh people need to evaluate next steps if they can’t afford to make their mortgage payments. Free money from the government is actually tax payer money – those of us who work hard to for our income. I can’t afford to buy because of inflated house prices so I choose to rent, and have not lost a nights sleep over this. Make choices that you can live with.

        And with money Airbnb hosts have been making, this is significantly more than what most landlords make to rent. How can they justify asking for government bailouts?

        It’s time to de-leverage!

  8. S James says:

    My rent doubled because of Airbnb,this should have stopped years ago greedy basterds!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The best thing that can happen to this country is thousands of Airbnb “investors” being forced to sell their condos by free-market forces.

  10. Anonymous says:

    there will be a challenge in enforcing the new air bnb rules but at the end of the day the water level of the real estate market prices will seek its own level . torontonions managed to over leverage themselves for more than the last decade and even though the BOC has dropped interest rates the 6 banks all charge more for their mortgages because they are justifiably fearful of torontonions being unable to honour their debt levels and also the banks do not want to end up foreclosing on endless number of homes resulting in them owning them as the prices of residences will drop dramatically over the coming months
    its all basic economics 101

  11. They’re not being penalized, they’re suffering a bad return on their investment. Like any other gambler.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m freelancer and I used to rent out a room in my house though ABB. I did so legally with all the correct paperwork, paid my taxes etc. ABB was only way for me to meet my mortgage payments. Many, many hosts are not in it to make profit, but need the extra money just to make ends meet. The hate towards us is disheartening especially when one might lose one’s home.

    • A says:

      Not my problem. That’s was YOUR RISK. Not mine. Sell your place while you can.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can rent it as a long term rental for someone who needs a home.

      • A says:

        The problem now is that with the inevitable big sell off, all current long term rentals are overpriced. A longer average days on market, plus increasing unemployment, increasing debt loads, increasing LTV, lower cash flow and lower demand, will drive the housing prices to places we haven’t seen in a while. It makes more sense now for those who want to rent somewhere in the core to wait for supply and demand to drive price down. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to be working, you save save save and buy at its absolute lowest. My prediction is that housing prices in general will fall by 30-45%.

  13. MAC says:

    A big NO!!!! These Airbnb is one of the reasons why we have rental shortages !!! They should not be allowed to take whatever funds the government is giving to the REAL people who are in need. The ones WHO LOST THEIR JOBS SND NOT THEIR EXTRA INCOME should be the one to benefit the funds from the government!!! 😡🤬

  14. MAC says:

    A big NO!!!! These Airbnb is one of the reasons why we have rental shortages !!! The ones WHO LOST THEIR JOBS AND NOT THEIR EXTRA INCOME should be the one to benefit the funds from the government!!! 😡🤬

  15. A says:

    Let’s also be mindful that I bet a lot of these short term rental property owners couldn’t be approved by the banks and took out loans with B Lenders. I bet those B Lenders are making a killing off of their inability to provide the same type of payment deferral arrangements that the big 5 can. Forcing people to sell.. or in this case ask for handouts.

  16. Jefferson says:

    Canada should agree but only if airbnb agrees to classify hosts as employees. It’s ridiculous that gig economy companies are all the sudden asking for government bailouts when they wanted 0 government intervention and don’t care about their employees

  17. Olivia says:

    It because of AirBnB that home prices are overinflated in Vancouver and elsewhere in Canada. People are using homes as a Cash Machine and Commodity while thousand of families working hard are finding it almost impossible to buy even the smallest condo or apartment.
    AIRBnB should be banned from metro towns in Canada.

  18. Like every Investor in the Stock Market and other Assets invested, an individual should know their risk appetite. If you cannot hold on to this sick investment, SELL. Govt does not bail out people who lost in the stock market or other business. Housing is no different. Let market forces define destiny.

  19. Mike Nike says:

    Air BNB’s are parasites on host communities. Give them nothing. Better yet, shut them down. You get zero dollars for turning your house into a hotel for profit while people struggle to find places to live. No way. You get nothing.

  20. Eric Zoukki says:

    I’m an immigrant. I sold my house in my country and moved to Quebec. After 7 years hard working I used my savings invested on the properties. Now I have 25 apartments on the rental market. 50 percent of tenants have never paid rent on time. It happened, just one or two of these 25 tenants didn’t pay and were evicted, my yearly revenue went negative. A real example, one tenant was evicted after 6 months waiting time ,. He still owes me 6 months. He said he had no job no income, he used his Mom’s name to sign lease with previous owner..I called his mom, she said she was retired, she had nothing. I have court decision but I don’t know where the guy is now. The bailiff and lawyer both told me not try to track him down, cause I would spend more money and time. Other than the rental loss, the apartment was completely damaged, I spent 15k on repairing. Insurance didn’t cover that kind of “long term” damage. I had to pay baillif 1.5k for the eviction. I had to think what was happening and why those people abuse me. 2 months later I converted that apartment to airbnb short term. So far, payment is always on time, most of guests left my place very clean. I don’t make more money from airbnb after taking out all expenses ( hydro, internet, cost of appliances and furniture) , but it is fair, I work hard, I earn my money, nobody is abuseing me, no extreme pro tenant law like long term. I will convert more of my properties into short term, definitely.

  21. Debra says:

    The negative attitudes, and endless sad stories about not having enough money, is exactly why I switched to offering vacation rentals instead of long term. Do any of you folks putting down homeowners and whining about your inability to find housing think that anyone wants to rent to folks like you? Change your attitude, your luck might change with it.

    • Lauri says:

      There are a lot of homeowners who are great genuine people renting out homes, not trying to scam people for excess money. For that I am extremely grateful to all of you, especially my landlord. With that said, there are a lot of people who are over-leveraging and buying (multiple – 2 or more) homes that they CANNOT afford thinking that house values always go up. Then these landlords think, how can we make even more money? Airbnb! This mentality affects so many of us young people unable/unwilling to take part in investing in an over-inflated home. Greed takes over and the ability of being able to afford your own house (a necessity) is no longer an option to many. Well, these investment buyers … are in for a rude awakening. Debra, honey, apologies if you aren’t one of these over-leveraged people who will have to sell or go back to renting to whining people who are always complaining … It doesn’t look like Airbnb host will have much income coming through anytime soon. Now, in the meanwhile, let’s see all these extra investment houses go back into the market driving house prices downward…

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