Renting on Airbnb 6 Important Things To Know Before Listing Your Accommodation

Although it is tempting to offer a room or your accommodation for rent on the Airbnb platform, the rental rules have changed a lot in recent years. This once easy and lucrative practice is increasingly regulated at both the provincial and municipal levels, now making it a little more complex. Whether you plan to list once or short-term (31 days or less) on Airbnb, here are 6 important things to know before renting your place .

1. The classification certificate and registration number

From fall 2019, it will be necessary, in certain cases, to obtain a classification certificate from the CITQ before displaying your accommodation or house on the Airbnb platform. If you are in one of the following situations, you will need to get one:

  • If you wish to rent one or more of your residences (outside your place of residence) regularly.
  • If you rent one or more residences that do not belong to you.

If, as in many cases, it is your residence that is the subject of the rental, you are not required to obtain a classification certificate.

In addition, you will still need to obtain a registration number from the Ministry of Tourism, regardless of the type of residence rented. This number must be included in the advertisement for your accommodation. In case you apply for a certificate, you will have to meet certain requirements. For example: respecting municipal regulations, having $2 million in liability insurance, and passing an inspection.

2. Collect taxes

Whether or not you need to obtain certification, you are not exempt from collecting taxes (GST and lodging tax) and declaring them to Revenu Québec. Note, however, that the Airbnb platform complies with this rule and collects taxes for you and pays them to the government.

If your rental earnings exceed $30,000, you will need to obtain tax numbers (GST and QST) from Revenu Québec and make the necessary quarterly declarations.

3. Report your income

Whether you rent your room, apartment, or house regularly or not, you must declare this income when producing your annual tax return. Although renting may seem like a good source of additional annual income, you need to take into consideration that you will have to pay tax on it. Is it worth it?

4. Regulations

Do you want to rent your house? Make sure your municipality allows it. In fact, in recent years, several municipalities have established very specific rules regarding short-term rentals.

If it is your apartment, condo, or room that you display on Airbnb, be aware that the majority of co-ownerships and owners prohibit this type of rental. This information will be found on your rental contract, lease, or co-ownership regulations. Inform yourself to avoid penalties which can be hefty.

5. Montreal and Quebec: specific laws

Specific laws have been adopted by the large cities of Quebec and are added to the provincial regulations. In recent years, Montreal has established very strict rules regarding short-term rentals to avoid high-volume commercial rentals. Beyond the city’s rules, restrictions are added by the district, which complicates things when it comes time to list your accommodation on Airbnb. Although these are expected to evolve, here is what is important to consider if you are thinking of renting on the island of Montreal:

  • There must be 150m of distance between each short-term rental accommodation in very specific zones, where rental is permitted on the territory of the City of Montreal.
  • In many areas, renting is completely prohibited.

In Quebec, certain neighborhoods prohibit short-term rental of properties while other places allow it under certain conditions. For example, in certain sectors, there is a limit of 6 rental units per building, and only buildings or houses built before July 18, 2017 (or having obtained the permit before this date) can rent short-term.

Airbnb’s concierge site, Luckey, lists rental rules, but be sure to read your city’s rules and zoning since these can change at any time.

6. Insurance

We often neglect to notify our insurance company before renting on Airbnb. However, in the event of any disaster, your claim may be refused. Many insurers accept that your residence or room in your residence is rented to strangers, but generally for short periods only and up to a maximum of days per year. The insurance company will ask you several questions and could terminate your contract or impose specific conditions on you. Currently, the majority of insurance companies cover contract modifications free of charge for rentals totaling less than 30 days annually.

As you can see, it is no longer as easy as before to rent your apartment, room, or house on the Airbnb platform. To avoid fines and unpleasant surprises, take the time to find out from your city or district so as not to contravene the rules. The important thing is to make sure that beyond all the paperwork, it is still profitable and interesting for you to rent!

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