Quebec Released A Plan To Crack Down On Illegal Short-Term Rentals — With Fines Up To $100,000

Those fines would be for sites that host illegal listings.

Staff Writer
The Quebec parliament building at midday.

The Quebec parliament building at midday.

After a devastating fire in Montreal and the revelation that many tourist accommodations are operating illegally, the Quebec government has tabled legislation to crack down on shady practices.

The legislation is called Bill 25 (not to be confused with the landmark privacy ruling formerly known as Bill 64) and modifies existing regulations surrounding touristic accommodation.

Among the tabled bill's new provisions are requirements that short-term rental sites only allow listings that display valid certification numbers and expiry dates, a response to the rampant use of fraudulent tourist accommodations numbers on sites like Airbnb. Those sites would also be responsible for verifying certification numbers.

The bill would further empower the Minister of Tourism to extend these requirements to other sites, such as Kijiji and Facebook, according to a press release.

The government also plans to impose penalties on rule-breaking companies, including fines of up to $100,000 for hosting sites that don't comply with the new rules and fines of up to $20,000 for sites that don't "have a designated representative established in Quebec."

Finally, Bill 25 would create a "public registry of tourist accommodation establishments."

"I had hoped that the tourist accommodation platforms would be good corporate citizens," the Minister of Tourism Caroline Proulx said in a May 9 press conference.

"I really believed that they would respect the laws of Quebec and that they would promote and market listings only where there was a registration number," Proulx continued. "I was wrong. Unfortunately, this was not the case."

"We are now going to force them to do so!" Proulx promised in the release. "With this bill, we are giving ourselves additional means to fight against illegal accommodation."

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.