Two Toronto homeowners have been charged with allegedly making their properties available for short-term rental online and could face fines up to $25,000 if convicted.
The properties are three neighbouring row houses on Bleecker Street in the Sherbourne Street and Wellesley Street East area.
A representative for Airbnb said the homes are no longer listed on the site.
On Friday, a group of tourists from Boston, Massachusetts was staying in one of the homes.
"We had a large volume of complaints about those particular locations," Scott Sullivan, Acting Director of Investigation Services for the city's Municipal Licensing and Standards Division said in an interview.
The homeowners allegedly violated the city by-law that prohibits short-term rentals in the area. They are scheduled to appear in court in January.
The maximum fine if convicted is $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for corporations.
Thousands of listings, 2 charges
City Hall is looking into regulating short-term home rentals. It's estimated there are roughly 10,000 Toronto listings on the website Airbnb alone.
But the increasingly popular business of "home-sharing" is in many cases illegal in Toronto, as it violates city zoning rules.
Still, this is only the second time the city has charged someone with a short-term rental violation.
Sullivan says short-term rentals are investigated when the city receives complaints about an individual listing, of which he says there's been a "limited number".
In the case of the Bleecker Street homes, Sullivan says the city received complaints about noise, parties, parking spaces and other "community-based issues."
In November, the owner of a home on Glenelia Avenue in North York pleaded guilty to violating zoning rules.
The short-term rental house was the scene of several loud parties, according to neighbours, and even the scene of shooting last March.
Tourist homes and traditional bed and breakfasts are permitted in some areas of the city but they must also be the owner's primary residence. Other regulations for thing such as parking and number of rooms must also be met.