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Short-term rental hosts operated listings during restricted time frame: report

Airbnb sign

Despite COVID-19 restrictions on short-term rental activity in the province, nearly 12 percent of Airbnb listings in the city reportedly continued to operate between April and June.

According to a report by Fairbnb, obtained by the Toronto Star, about 2,800 hosts took in about 6,000 renters in Toronto during the restricted time frame.

While the vast majority received three reviews or less, suggesting they didn’t do much business during those months, nearly 100 hosts received at least 10 reviews.

Fairbnb says these were likely professional rental hosts, who operate guest accommodation, which violates the city’s short-term rental regulations.

A spokesperson for Airbnb, who hasn’t seen the report, says there were a number of reasons someone might need temporary lodging during that time, including being a health-care worker or self-isolating.

But the report notes only nine out of nearly 450 reviews included pandemic-related keywords.

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