Airbnb-type short-term tourist rental restrictions
Airbnb-type rentals are regularly in the news. Are you familiar with all broker obligations in these situations?
The offer made to tourists to rent accommodation for less than 31 days constitutes a short-term tourist rental, a practice regulated by law.
Persons offering to rent a building covered by the Act respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments must ensure that they hold a registration certificate issued by the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ).This certificate includes the Minister's signature, the registration number, the address and category of the establishment, the number of accommodation units offered for rent, the date of issue and expiry of the certificate and, where applicable, the name of the establishment.
The registration certificate must be visible to public at the main entrance of the establishment or, if the establishment is located in a building containing several residential units, at the entrance of the building. It must also be sent to the operators of digital transactional accommodation platforms who must verify its validity before posting the establishment's tourist accommodation offer. Finally, the 6-digit registration number must be included in any advertisement.
Failure to comply with these restrictions will result in fines ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 in the case of a natural person and from $10,000 to $100,000 in other cases
Therefore, homes offered for rent on any website ( e. g. Airbnb, Kijiji, Expedia.ca, Booking.com, WeChalet, or Facebook) with a rate per night or per week without any further formality may constitute a criminal offence under the Act, even if the accommodation is not actually rented.
Rental by long-term tenants
A long-term tenant wishing to use his dwelling for tourist accommodation purposes must also provide a copy of his lease authorizing the use of the dwelling for this purpose or, if not, the owner's authorization, to obtain a certificate from the CITQ.
Renting out co-ownership units
The lessor of a residence located in a building held in divided co-ownership must provide a copy of the declaration of co-ownership allowing the use of the residence for tourist accommodation purposes or, if not, the authorization of the syndicate of co-owners. For undivided co-ownership, a copy of the indivision agreement or the authorization of all co-owners is required.
Compliance with municipal by-laws
Before applying for a building registration with the CITQ, verifications must be made with the municipality, the borough, or the regional county municipality to ensure that short-term rentals are authorized (zoning, permits, emergency plan, etc.) and obtain a notice of compliance signed by the municipality if the proposed use is authorized.
Adopted on March 25, 2021, the Act to establish a new development regime for the flood zones of lakes and watercourses, to temporarily grant municipalities powers enabling them to respond to certain needs and to amend various provisions has been allowing, in particular, for the short-term rental of an accommodation establishment in the principal residence of the natural person operating it and no municipal by-law can prohibit the operation of such an establishment since March 25, 2023. However, municipalities may, subject to an appropriate referendum process, prohibit or limit the offer of tourist accommodation in a principal residence in certain areas of their territory.
When starting rental activities, the landlord must also ensure that he complies with the municipal by-laws pertaining to nuisance, safety, and sanitation. Should the landlord have been found guilty of such a violation, he must immediately notify the Ministère du Tourisme and his registration may be refused, suspended, or cancelled accordingly.
Broker's role in the sale of a short-term rental property
Whether he is representing a buyer who wishes to engage in short-term leasing or a seller who offered his property for short-term leasing in the past, the broker must verify the information he provides regarding the compliance of such a practice. He must inform the parties to a transaction without exaggeration, concealment, or misrepresentation. Finally, he must take steps to discover any factors that could conflict with the buyer's intended use of the property.
For more information, please contact Tourisme Québec at 418-643-2230 or 1-800-463-5009, or the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ) at 514-499-0550 or 1-866-499-0550.