Airbnb rental : Are you in good standing?

May 29, 2017 - The vast majority of Quebecers who lease their condo in the short term (less than 31 days) would be in breach of the law, according to information obtained by La Presse.

Of the 2,244 requests it received since the enactment of a law to regulate this practice, on April 15, 2016, the Ministry of Tourism confirms that it has granted 697 classification certificates. However, there were 19,400 Québec hosts on the Airbnb site in 2016, according to information gathered by La Presse, not including people renting their homes on other platforms, such as VRBO and Kijiji. It is therefore estimated that the compliance rate is less than 5% for the Airbnb site.

Valid for two years

Residential homeowners leasing their units on a short-term basis must imperatively hold this classification certificate valid for two years. The price to obtain one varies according to the establishment type. Insofar as the rental of an apartment in a co-ownership, it will cost the co-owner $ 247.78 in basic charges, annually. To this amount is added $ 5.22 per unit of accommodation, says the Ministry of Tourism.

The landlord co-owners are also obliged to display the sign (plaque) confirming this certification. In the case of a real estate complex, this sign must be posted at the reception desk. It should include the name of the establishment, its category and its classification level.

For their part, tenants must pay a lodging tax to the landlord, if applicable in the area where the lodging activity takes place. This tax varies from two to three dollars per night (or the equivalent of 3 or 3.5% of the price of an overnight stay). It must be remitted to Revenu Québec. The amounts resulting from this tax are paid into the Tourism Partnership Fund, which is administered by Tourisme Québec. Remember that if short-term rental income exceeds $ 30,000 annually, a landlord must register with Revenu Québec and collect the GST and QST.

The Ministry of Tourism does not take account occasional short-term rentals, that is to say those which are occasional and non-recurring, and for which no explicit advertising is attached. It reminds the public, however, that the municipality where the short-term leasing takes place must allow this activity.

Prohibitive fines

Owners who rent illegally (short-term) their property and are caught are subject to prohibitive fines ranging from $ 2,500 to $ 100,000. Tourisme Québec invites people to report any situation that may be irregular.

Source: François G. Cellier for and La Presse