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This Montreal Borough Is Considering Restricting Airbnb and Other Short Term Rentals

Tighter limits on short term rentals... a good move or just an inconvenience?

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Montreal’s Ville-Marie borough (Downtown and Old Montreal) will be voting today on new regulations that may substantially reduce the number of short term rental allowed to operate in the city centre.

The proposed rules stipulate that “tourism residences” will not be allowed within 150 meters of each other, between Guy and Amherst streets along the St Catherine strip.

Airbnb’s effect on urban communities is a highly contested topic, in which individual homeowner rights are weighed against the communal rights of other residents in the building or in the neighbourhood.

The borough addresses this point in its proposal: “The worldwide phenomenon of renting tourism residences on platforms such as Airbnb, for example, can create benefits for some and inconveniences for others.”

Indeed, while Airbnb has allowed many Montreal homeowners to supplement their housing costs by renting out part or the entirety of their properties, others believe the influx of short term residents is detrimental to the overall stability of the community.

Downtown and the Plateau–Mont-Royal have, in particular, felt the brunt of the short-term tourism industry in Montreal. A McGill study on Airbnb found that two to three per cent of the housing stock in those neighbourhoods were run by property management companies offering short-term rentals.

Alex Dagg, a spokesperson for Airbnb, said the company is open to working with the borough, to make sure that any imposed regulations “balance affordability concerns with the right of everyday people to share their homes.”

Dagg hopes that the borough of Ville-Marie will wait for the province of Quebec to update their home sharing regulations, as currently proposed in the National Assembly, before voting in favour of overarching restrictive regulations.


A timeline of the legislative debate between Quebec and Airbnb

  • In late 2015, Quebec passes a law requiring homeowners who rent out their homes for less than 31 days to obtain a permit and pay a hotel tax.
  • In April 2016, the law was amended. Anyone advertising a rental accommodation for tourists for no more than 31 days on a “regular basis” were required to obtain a $250 permit, have at least $2-million of insurance and pay a nightly hotel tax.
  • In 2016, data showed that the majority of Quebecers who had listed their homes on Airbnb and Kijiji had ignored the law, and had failed to obtain the necessary permit or pay the hotel tax.
  • In August 2017, Airbnb struck a landmark deal with the government of Quebec, in which it was agreed that Airbnb would automatically pay the hotel tax on the behalf of all its users.

To some residents of Downtown Montreal, these restrictions come too late. Issues with noise and lack of neighbourly concern on the part of short term tenants has prompted certain homeowners to sell, leaving Downtown Montreal for quieter residential neighbourhoods.

At the end of the day, the debate boils down to two opposing sets of perspectives:

Pro short term rental homeowners: 

  • It’s my home and my financial investment, I should be able to rent it or manage it as I wish.
  • Short term rental platforms are important in an increasingly mobile world, where people travel more frequently than ever. For travellers, the system may be a more affordable alternative compared to traditional accommodation, especially hotels.
  • The government should not restrict free-market economic progress, including the right of residents to participate in the tourism industry.

Contra short term rental homeowners:

  • The city should implement overarching legislation that protects the wellbeing of the community, over the profit of the individual.
  • Airbnb promotes unfair competition between the hotel industry, which is strictly regulated, and individuals who do not have to comply with the same regulatory norms.
  • A over-concentration of short term rental buildings can increase the average rental price in touristic areas, making it difficult for local, long term, tenants to keep up.

This article, This Montreal Borough Is Considering Restricting Airbnb and Other Short Term Rentals, appeared first on Shupilov News. 

 

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1 Comment
  1. jay says

    This law is ridiculous simply because if airbnb is not allowed then tourists wont be able to afford a stay and it would impact quebec economy like never before …the hilton dont shop a the next metro or provigo its the resident that make money out of airbnb and spends it in ikea in groceries and pay mortgages with it…duh ect…thats for 1.
    2. The people who really need affordable prices will not be able to rent in downtown as the land lords and property owners that used to deal with airbnb practicer spend and invest to equip and make sure these appartments are well maintained to the hotels standards to make happy the guests which made happy the landlord aswell ,a regular tenant wont do that.
    Now the landlord or home owner will increase their rent prices to keep up with the appartments maintenance.
    3.Its just a way once again to raise the prices and not let the little people make a dollars that they will spend in the quebec economy providing more employement than a hotel downtown.
    The hiltons and similars benefits its ownself first,airbnb help normal citizen to gain more spending power and by the same time increase a better chance of a better quality of life in quebec and able to keep up with cost of life…mortgages and create employment ect.
    The people that complain do not realise the new market will be open for corporation sublet company that will increase the rent prices which will make it even worst to get an affordable appartment in downtown for any regular joe.
    Why a tourist will pay $ 200 a night to visit montreal at hilton hotel instead of buying a cuba trip package all inclusive?
    Once again big corporations and government find a way to take all from the masses,the happy one for the law and the non happy one will be played to pay no matter what….Its a double dipping at any regular joe expenses.
    It happened in london uk before now nobody can afford an appartment downtown but the elite.
    Get the middle class out of Montreal downtown like in Paris ,create suburb i.e banlieue like laval…joliette repentigny ect ..just making the gap bigger between the rich and the poors.
    Why dont they focuse on our horrible roads instead?
    All that above is just an opinion of a regular joe….but seems that quebec under estimate the economic advantages of airbnb.
    Uber drivers will be out of job..more uber driver than tourist to drive around…..
    This law will be the reason why nobody will dare to invest in this city as the taxes and regulation wont profit anyone as the weather do not allow this city to be the next Dubai…who in their right mind will pay $200 hotel room in minus 40 for christhmas when they use to pay $30..$50 a night in dowtown…the regular joe ? i doubt it……a voir

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