Landlord illegally collected $5K in rent from college students while listing their rooms on Airbnb

January 17, 2019

A student at Humber College in Toronto is warning others to know their rights after she and her roommates found out their landlord was collecting thousands of dollars in rent from them while subletting their rooms and listing them concurrently on Airbnb this summer.

Aleida Budgeon-Strating, 20, rented an apartment near Humber's Lakeshore campus with two other students during the last school year. It was her first time living away from home and her first experience as a renter. 

When the school year wrapped in May, she and her housemates decided they wanted to sublet their rooms for the summer. Budgeon-Strating and a housemate were headed back to Guelph, while another was going to Ottawa. 

The roommates sent landlord Kathleen Beal various prospects for subtenants, but Beal did not approve them.

One of Budgeon-Strating's housemates soon grew suspicious of the landlord's response and decided to search for the apartment on Airbnb, where he unexpectedly found a listing.

At the same time, Budgeon-Strating communicated that if there was no one subletting it, then she wanted to continue to have access to her home throughout the summer as she was still paying rent on it. 

"I sent [Beal] an email. She replied and said 'No,'" said Budgeon-Strating.

"I could not get my furniture back until Sept. 1. And because I had turned the keys back, I was no longer a tenant — which I thought was weird." 

Budgeon-Strating had given the keys back to the landlord before she left, she explained, because she assumed that if an appropriate subtenant was found, they would need them. 

Read more: Landlord illegally collected $5K in rent from college students while listing their rooms on Airbnb