The Quebec government has announced new rules that it says will level the playing field around renting property on Airbnb and other similar platforms.
The new regulations come into effect in the fall. Once in place, they will forbid people from renting a property in Quebec without a registration number. Even if the rental is only a room in a house or a short-term rental, all owners and subletters will need to register with Revenu Quebec under the new regulations.
“There’s going to be just one application form — easy, simple, accessible and fair for everyone,” said Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx.
Proulx added that the administration fee will be somewhere between $50 and $75.
There are specific rules for two rental categories: accommodation in a principal residence and accommodation in all other types of establishments. Proulx had a stern message for those who do not play by the new rules.
“We’ll find them and we’ll fine them,” she said.
Fines for violating the new regulations can reach up to $10,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a corporation. The minister said municipalities can also create stricter bylaws over and above the provincial regulations.
Alex Dagg, the public policy manager for Airbnb, says the company is disappointed but looks forward to hearing more details about the registration process. Quebec officials should move forward with a simple registration plan, the company added.
“We are disappointed the government has opted to create red tape, bureaucracy and needless friction for every day people who would like to rent out their cottages to visiting families or share student housing during the summer months,” Dagg said in a statement.
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The Quebec Hotel Association applauded the news. Board president Dany Thibault said the current industry is a “bit of a free-for-all,” which affects the bottom line of the association’s members.
“It’s not being taxed the same way,” Thibault said.
“The safety, security standards are not the same so the costs of operation are not the same…but I guess, above and beyond that, everywhere you go in the world, if there’s a business being run, tax should be collected.”
Those who rent their properties will now have to collect provincial and federal sales tax as well as a lodging tax. They will also have to claim their revenue.