The global housing crisis has numerous causes, and one of them is AirBnB. Of course there are competitors to the short term rental company but the impact of their presence on the housing market has been staggering in places with high level of tourism like Montreal. Back in March people died when a fire broke out in an AirBnB, the hotel wasn’t obeying occupancy laws among other issues. The public outcry at this tragedy was meaningful and led to policy changes. The Quebec government has introduced legislation to curtail the exploitation and high risks of running a AirBnB. Not only will the policy protect occupants of AirBnBs it will help alleviate pressure on their housing market.
“This new law represents a pretty significant step forward there, because it is really kind of tightening the constraints,” said McGill University Prof. David Wachsmuth, the Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance.
“That’s a really good template that I think other provinces, and certainly Ontario and British Columbia, the other big provinces, should be looking to emulate.”
Under Quebec’s new proposed law, titled “An Act to fight illegal tourist accommodation,” rental companies such as Airbnb would be obligated to keep records of each advertised accommodation’s registration certificate.
They would also have to validate the registration numbers of those establishments and designate a Quebec-based representative to make it easier to actually reach someone from the rental company.
The bill also provides for the creation of a public registry of tourist accommodations, to be maintained by the tourism minister or by a body recognized by the minister.
Fines against individuals who don’t comply would range between $5,000 to $50,000, while companies could face fines of $10,000 to $100,000 per posting.