One of Toronto’s most nefarious “ghost hotels” is getting into bed with Airbnb.
ICE Condos confirmed on Thursday that Airbnb will be the exclusive short-term rental platform for the pair of sky-scraping condo complexes, located at 12 and 14 York Street in the downtown core. Under the agreement, a 15% booking surcharge will be added to guest fees, which will be used to support building operations and services including access to around-the-clock security and check-in. In addition, Airbnb will dedicate a team to the premises and ICE management will have direct access to the Airbnb booking information.
Rumoured to be predominately investor-owned, ICE Condos have earned a nasty reputation over the years. The buildings are known to be a hotbed for rental scams and criminal activity, including multiple shootings, the most recent of which was in January of this year.
According to a statement from ICE, the newly minted agreement with Airbnb is a step towards improving conditions for both investor and resident owners.
“Our goal is to truly represent all our owners' needs equally. That means making ICE Condominiums both an excellent investment and a desirable place to live,” it says. “We feel this can best be achieved by improving the overall management of short-term rentals.
“Airbnb has a mature, well-established, user-friendly hosting platform and processes to enable responsible short-term rentals. They ensure hosts are licensed and compliant and have a partnership with the City of Toronto to support this. Airbnb also works closely with third-party property management agencies to support efficient, effective, and responsible short-term rentals end-to-end.”
News of Airbnb's partnership with ICE comes as Toronto ramps up its efforts to regulate short-term rental operations across the city. In the coming months, the City will hire new compliance officers to crack down on the 180-night maximum allowance for short-term rentals, including Airbnbs, and investigate any cases of non-compliance.