September 23, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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New rules of the game are coming soon for Airbnb

New rules of the game are coming soon for Airbnb

From September 1, listings without an expiration date attached to the registration number and certificate will be prohibited on digital platforms like Airbnb. (Photo: 123RF)

Certain provisions of Bill 25, aimed at combating illegal tourist resorts, will come into effect on the 1stR September. Offending sites can pay up to $100,000 per illegal ad.

From 1R In September, listings without an expiration date attached to the registration number and certificate will be banned on digital platforms like Airbnb.

Depending on the type of establishment, registration certificates are issued by the Corporation de l’Industrie Tourique du Québec, the Fédération des Purvoirs du Québec or Camping Québec.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx issued a warning to digital companies like Airbnb: “Sites with 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 online ads, be sure that on September 1st, Revenu Québec. Keep an eye on it.”

Act 100, which came into effect in 2022, made it mandatory to register your accommodation for short-term rentals, but it is widely violated: in the spring, only 30% of housing ads in Quebec were legal, according to the Ministry of Tourism. .

In Montreal, the number of non-compliant homeowners is so high that the city launched a group two weeks ago to counter illegal tourist resorts.

In recent months, Airbnb has frequently indicated that it is the government’s responsibility to check compliance with offers on accommodation rental sites.

But Minister Proulx explained that the new rules require hosting platforms to ensure compliance of all hosts they run, and that failure to do so could result in fines of up to $100,000 per illegal ad.

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“If a site broadcasts 1,000 illegal ads, it will be fined 1,000, this is the new rule of the game,” the minister said. Canadian Press.

In an interview, Caroline Proulx recalled that Prime Minister François Legault gave her a mandate to stimulate tourism revenue.

“I think the hoteliers, who are the backbone of the tourism industry, will be happy about that (the new rules have come into effect), and then they’re going to be very happy to welcome tourists to Quebec.” said the minister.

Airbnb remains vague about its intentions

In an email exchange, Canadian Press On Thursday, Airbnb was asked if it intends to comply with the 1st ActR September.

Through its policy advisor Camille Boulais-Pretty, the agency said it is “continuing to work towards the September 1 deadline” and “expects to put a technical solution in place to comply with the province in the coming months.” Act”.

However, Airbnb added that “without access to government data to verify host information against official government records, sites cannot reliably guarantee the validity of a host registration number.”

But Minister Proulx noted that “Airbnb has been warned for years about the order in which they must operate in Quebec” and that the company has had plenty of time to develop a system to check its customers’ compliance.

In the coming months, the government plans to implement “two technical solutions that will allow digital accommodation sites to carry out regular checks” and establish a “public register of tourist accommodation establishments”. Helps to check compliance of rental offers.

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Appoint a representative in Quebec

Apart from requiring digital platforms to ensure that the registration number of the tourist accommodation displayed on the accommodation offer is valid and the expiry date of the registration certificate is displayed on it, the new law requires operators of digital hosting platforms to be appointed. A representative established in Quebec is subject to a fine of up to $20,000.

Airbnb has drawn attention since last spring’s fire at a heritage building in Old Montreal, with several apartments listed on the platform even though this type of rental is illegal in the industry.

Search crews have recovered 7 bodies from the rubble of the building where 22 people were present when the fire broke out.

By Stephen Blaze