The latest twist in the tale had the condo owners successfully removing four of the building’s five board members. In the previous version of the board, the erstwhile officials were non-owners, and had been alleged to be partial to the interests of the rental companies instead, CBC News
“Of course everybody's happy,” unit owner Igor Gurgs said. “We were applauding. People were drinking champagne.”
“I am so excited, so excited,” resident Ann Drysdale agreed. “It's been almost two years of craziness, and lies, and deception and inappropriateness.”
Owners cited the ordeals that they had to face during the reign of the previous board, which they said was stacked against the welfare of those actually living in the condo complex.
“There was a lot of rubbish that was thrown in the patio, there were cigarette butts, there were beer bottles, vomiting,” owner Atul Paul recalled. “I had to clean my balcony siding a couple of times over the last few months because someone threw up over the top.”
The rental companies, WhiteHall Suites and Red Maple Suites, do not actually own any spaces in the building, and lease the units from owners before putting them up for short-term rent via online portals such as Expedia.ca and Booking.com.
The firms noted that rentals have been a long-time fixture in the building, and expressed bafflement at the residents’ seemingly sudden change of tune.
“We have been operating for over five years in this building and our lease agreements were provided to the building property managements,” WhiteHall Suites president Adnan Khan wrote in a statement. “Why were we not informed for the last five years that short term is prohibited? Our lease agreements clearly state that the properties will be used for short-term renting.”
Red Maple Suites officials admitted to previous attempts to influence the membership of the building’s board of directors, having told their landlords “to vote for these people,” but added that their side had been treated “very unfairly” in the fiasco.
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A tight battle for control over a condominium complex in a bustling downtown Toronto area continues to rage between the owners of the residential units and the short-term rental companies that have been accused of operating the building like a hotel.