Victoria homeowner horrified after tenant lists condo on AirBnB
A Victoria condo owner said she was shocked to learn a tenant she trusted was illegally renting out her unit on the popular home-sharing site AirBnB.
Alix Causer-McBurney said she was working out of province when she found a tenant for her condo – a young man she trusted.
“References checked out, everything seemed fine,” she said.
But one day, Causer-McBurney’s brother called to inform her that her apartment was being rented out on AirBnB under the listing “Cozy Victoria Apartment.”
“Pictures of my place, my furniture, everything. It was super uncomfortable to read about,” she said.
Under B.C’s Tenancy Act, tenants can sublet their units if they have the landlord’s written permission.
But Causer-McBurney said she never gave it, and expects at least six strangers rented her unit, some of them giving the apartment good reviews on the website.
Her tenant, Nathan Wood, admitted to CTV Vancouver Island that he made a mistake by posting the unit on AirBnB – and claimed he did it because he needed quick cash.
Wood, who is also a co-founder of a Victoria rental management company called Rent Guru, maintained his actions were his own and not on behalf of the company.
“Of course I would have known better,” he told reporter Scott Cunningham.
Wood said it was simple enough to post the ad and get clients without the owner’s permission, and suggested rules should be strengthened.
Landlord advocates agree with him.
“There are regulations in place, they perhaps need to be beefed up,” said David Hutnaik of Landlord BC. “More importantly maybe there needs to be some taxation around this, etc. If it’s illegal, it shouldn’t be happening.”
Causer McBurney did evict her tenant and collected a month’s rent, as well as the damage deposit.
But she said she wonders if she’ll ever regain her sense of home.