A verification of public information Wednesday evening by site monitoring Inside Airbnb allowed radio-Canada to find that while listings without a license number already show availability, several hosts have entered the same registration number to continue. to enjoy multinational services.
In Montreal, for example, 29 residences license number 123456 were still being offered on Thursday by various advertisers in different parts of the island.
However, the numbers assigned by CITQ to owners who want to rent out their main residence on a short-term basis are unique. Nor will license 123456 appear on the Bonjour Québec (Festre Nova) website, where all the city’s accommodation facilities in the area are listed.
Last Friday, Airbnb agreed to disable listings that are not easy to disable, and to force the field to force hosts who want to hire their listings for a short period of time to register their certification number — measures whose entry into force had been promised for Tuesday, March 28.
However, our checks carried out on Thursday suggest that multinationals do not check whether the registration number provided corresponds to an existing license, Radio-Canada also managed to create the 30th board with the number 123456.
The CITQ database, however, is not public.
It is in the province to execute its laws
When contacted about this matter, Airbnb declined to give us an interview on Thursday.
However, the multinational’s email address in the province of Quebec pointed to the CITQ number directly to the hosts, not to Airbnb.
As such, the task of the province is to carry out its laws, she argued, recalling that the gates of their cities were available to the government, so that the surveillance of the army would facilitate compliance.
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The addition of the registration mandate for field owners to enter the force of the owners’ license number of the city nevertheless seems to have had an effect on the amount of accommodation that is proposed on the platform.
In Montreal, for example, the most recent data from Inside Airbnb indicates that this number fell from 14,289 to 6,987 from March 16 to the 29th, a drop of just over 50%.
The rate of accommodation offered for short-term rental has also dropped from 83% to 40% in the same period – a proportion that could rise again in the future if hosts continue to be able to list any number of licenses, according to Inside Airbnb founder Murray. Cox.
Based on what has happened before in other cities, we expect this use of fraud to increase as Airbnb hosts try to return. »
— Quoted from Murray Cox, Inside Airbnb . founder
For this reason, Inside Airbnb and the Regrouping of Housing Committees and Tenant Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) are calling on the Legault government to act without delay to tighten the laws.
Quebec, they argue, should urgently move to hold hosting platforms like Airbnb accountable for the rights of properties on their site – which Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx has already promised to do, despite the multinational’s commitment made last week.
RCLALQ is concerned with seeing Quebec’s rental stock transformed for tourist purposes when there is a housing crisis. According to extensive research, the results of which were published on Monday, Airbnb offered almost 30,000 rental units across the province last month.
The minister praises Airbnb’s efforts
The debate over short-term rental has reignited in recent weeks after a fire that killed seven people at a heritage building in Old Montreal where most of the units are rented out through Airbnb.
Minister Proulx showed his indolence in this document in the days following the impending modification of the regulatory framework, going so far as to call Airbnb managers to their offices in person to inform them of his intention. .
A new meeting between the two parties was also on the agenda for Thursday.
We are going to continue the talks with them, there is still work that has been done this week, which I welcome, but I remain firm in my intention to amend the regulations as soon as possible, ie, before the end of the parliamentary session; The minister announced his arrival in the Blue room.
Mrs. Proulx knows that some owners use questionable license numbers. In a statement sent to the CBC a few days ago, his department also clarified a number of platforms [faisaient] promote accommodation without a number or with a fake registration number.
“We’re looking for all these cracks.” [sic] we have a bill that we want to introduce as soon as possible. »
– Quote from Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism of Quebec
Adopted in 2021, the Tourist Accommodation Act requires landlords to obtain a license to be allowed to rent their accommodation on a short-term basis. Rentals of 31 nights or more, which many advertisers on Airbnb seem to have turned to, however, fall under a different legal framework.
Also, some municipalities prohibit short-term rentals in part or all of their territories. But these regulations remain largely ignored both on Airbnb and on other digital platforms.
With information from Yessica Chavez, Sarah Leavitt, Mélanie Meloche-Holubowski and Marie-Isabella Rochon