Regulations for tourist accomodations such as Airbnb

Info CORPIQ (video)

This week, I’d like to talk about the issues surrounding short-term tourist accommodations, such as those found on Airbnb.

Regulations for tourist accomodations such as Airbnb

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As you know, CORPIQ has been lobbying the government since 2016 for better control and stricter regulation of this type of accommodation, which poses real challenges for landlords in the rental sector. You will also have noticed that in the past year, in a post-pandemic world characterized by the return of tourism, issues relating to tourist accommodations have become more common among landlords. This is why CORPIQ decided to consult you last summer through a major survey. The survey revealed that one landlord in 20 has had to deal with their accommodations being illegally listed on Airbnb-type platforms. This finding is frustrating because although the laws have been changed, they remain difficult to enforce. As a result, landlords face real challenges in protecting their rental housing stock.

CORPIQ has therefore been calling for changes in recent months. Specifically, we are calling for the strict and rigorous enforcement of the new legislation and increased oversight by Revenu Québec. As a landlord, like anyone else who wants to rent accommodations to tourists, you must meet certain requirements. You must obtain a classification certificate from the CITQ and:

  • Make sure that the municipal zoning by-laws allow for short-term accommodation (less than 32 days)
  • Have an insurance policy of at least $2 million
  • If your tenants are the ones who want to occasionally list their accommodations on Airbnb-type platforms, you, as the landlord, must agree to this use of your property

Despite the new laws, short-term accommodations continue to be rented out illegally to tourists, as we have seen in recent months. By some estimates, more than 80% of accommodations on Airbnb-type platforms are being listed illegally. In response to the increasing number of such cases, the Minister of Tourism has announced her intention to introduce new legislation. Other regulatory measures that have been mentioned in recent months include the requirement to hold and display a registration number issued by the CITQ to be able to list short-term tourist accommodations on Airbnb-type platforms.

CORPIQ would like to see other provisions put in place to ensure that landlords faced with the illegal listing of their units on Airbnb-type platforms have the tools to act quickly and protect their rental stock. As you know, some legal provisions are already in place when a lease is signed. For example, article 1892 of the Civil Code of Québec clearly states that any dwelling in Quebec must first be intended for leasing and therefore specifically for housing. As such, the rental of accommodations in Quebec for commercial purposes, in other words for profit, must be managed and regulated under the Tourist Accommodation Act.

For this reason, CORPIQ feels that it is important to make a number of appeals to the government. We will have the opportunity to discuss them in more detail when the bill is tabled, but until then I encourage you to contact our advisors if you have problems with your rental stock. They will be able to help you. Also, do not hesitate to report to Revenu Québec or to your municipality cases of tenants listing one of your units on Airbnb without your consent, which is against the law. I’d like to conclude by saying that we need to protect our rental stock to make sure things don’t get out of hand. You can always count on CORPIQ to represent and defend you on this issue, which is crucial for our entire organization.

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