Ontario government temporarily bans Airbnb and other short-term rentals amid COVID-19

Hosts could face up to $100,000 in fines if they don't comply with the emergency order

Airbnb sign

The Ontario government is temporarily banning Airbnb and other short-term rentals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new order has been issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Journalist Allison Smith posted a copy of the emergency order on Twitter.

It states that if hosts do not comply with the new emergency law, then they could face fines of up to $100,000. The ruling notes that as of April 5th, short-term rentals can only be “provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.”

It’s important to note that the ruling does not apply to hotels, motels or students residences across the province.

Airbnb has provided MobileSyrup with a statement noting that “leisure travel should not occur right now and we have encouraged our host and guest community to follow all restrictions.”

The company also says that it’s “glad theProvince of Ontario recognizes the situations where short-term rentals remain an available resource during this crisis, including for frontline responders, other workers requiring isolation and those sheltering in place during this crisis.”

Airbnb recently announced a new global initiative that will provide free or subsidized housing to healthcare professionals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company notes that this initiative will not be impacted by the new ruling.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, Airbnb has extended its no-charge cancellation policy. It has also committed $250 million (about $352 million CAD) USD to reimburse hosts with cancelled bookings. It’s unclear if hosts who are being impacted by the temporary ruling will receive assistance from the company.

Via: @QueensParkToday

Update 06/04/20 4:35pm ET: The article was updated to include a comment from Airbnb.