Montreal is in the midst of a rental crisis and the Government of Quebec is finally doing something to combat it. Home and condo owners who want to post their residence to Airbnb must now have a registration number from the Ministry of Tourism.
This measure is an effort by the CAQ government to better trace and fine owners who abuse the law by offering multiple dwellings for tourist use only. Specifically, Airbnb has come under the microscope, facing scrutiny from rental unions across the city.
Owners will have until the first week of June to register their dwellings under the Ministry of Tourism lest they face fines of up to $50,000 per day in some cases. They will also limit the number of consecutive days that one will be able to stay in a place to 31 days.
Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx described the previous tourism accommodation laws as vague and said that these new motions aim to clarify the murkiest of the former regulations.
The CAQ government says that they don't want to discourage collaborative-economy apps such as Airbnb or Uber but instead wants to regulate the over-abundance of multiple tourist-only dwellings.
It is estimated that up to 5% of apartments in the Plateau-Mont-Royal are listed on tourist sites like Airbnb which is contributing to Montreal's overall rental crisis. What's most problematic is that corporations are buying homes and listing them to make a profit.
Rental unions in Montreal say that these new regulations are a step in the right direction. City councillors also say that fining illegal tourist accommodation will be good for the overall well-being of the tourist economy.
People who post their properties on Airbnb will also have to clearly display their registration number on their listings. If owners fail to comply with the new laws, they'll be heavily fined.
The popularity of short-term rentals is something that this city will have to deal with throughout the summer as Montreal is a huge tourist destination for people around the world.
If you are planning to rent your property via services like Airbnb, you will have to register your listing with the Ministry of Tourism by the end of the first week of June should the bill go into law.
To read about reactions from the public, please read Allison Hanes's piece in The Montreal Gazette.