Some people don’t understand why others have an issue with Airbnb in Burnaby.
I recently detailed the company’s many negative impacts on communities in this blog post here, but if you don’t live next door to Airbnb units, you won’t truly understand.
Steve knows. He’s a Burnaby resident who successfully stomped out a whopping 10 illegal Airbnb units that were operating out of the big house next door to him. (I’m not using his last name to protect him from possible retribution by his neighbours.)
The absentee landlords were running quite a business out of this house and the impacts on the neighbourhood from this unchecked mini-hotel were numerous. Excessive noise, people arriving at all hours, vehicles sucking up all of the parking are just a few issues.
So Steve reported the mini-hotel to the City of Burnaby and inspectors eventually got the place shut down.
I would say score one for the little guy, but things actually managed to get worse, he said.
That’s because these absentee landlords just started renting out all of the units. Now there is nothing wrong with renting out your house. In fact, adding to the rental stock is one of the reasons why Airbnb is so bad because some prefer to do the hotel thing instead of giving people a permanent home to live in.
The problem is that these absentee landlords rent to anyone and won’t deal with the problems that come with some bad tenants.
“There has been no peace ever since,” Steve said. “There are so many problems and as long as they get their money, (the landlords) just don’t care.”
Steve sent me a photo of the huge mess that was left after one tenant just disappeared. All of that person’s items were just dumped out on the front lawn of the home. The photo can be seen above.
Some of the tenants – Steve calls them “hooligans” - come and go at all hours of the night. There is excessive noise in the middle of the night all the time. Sometimes it’s machinery, other times it’s drunken fights.
“I awoke at 3 a.m. to horribly angry screaming next door between tenants in a house I call ‘the neighbours from hell’.”
Steve is also suspcious that some of the rooms are being sublet through Airbnb.
Not all of the tenants are bad, Steve said. There is a couple who live quietly, but who suffer the same as Steve does.
I tried to interview the couple who live inside the house, but they haven’t returned the message. If I hear back, I will update this. Steve said they are good people who took their torture to the Residential Tenancy Branch in an attempt to force the landlords to take action. Steve even testified on their behalf.
“I really feel for them,” said Steve, who has rented in the neighbourhood for many years without any problems until this family bought the home.
Absentee landlords are a scourge on Burnaby. They don’t take care of their properties. They don’t deal with complaints.
To them, the property is a cash register and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.