Airbnb listings posted by tenants require landlord's approval, rental board rules

Tenants who want to list their apartment on home-sharing sites like Airbnb need to get their landlord’s approval first, according to a recent ruling by the Régie du logement.

Régie du logement also says tenant cannot charge tourists more than the cost of rent

Quebec's Régie du logement has ruled tenants cannot rent out their apartments to tourists without getting their landlord's approval first.

Tenants who want to list their apartment on a home-sharing site like Airbnb need to get their landlord's approval first, according to a recent ruling handed down by the Régie du logement.

Quebec's rental board reached the decision when it ruled on the case involving a Montreal tenant who rented out his downtown condo to tourists on Airbnb.

The luxury one-bedroom unit is situated near the Montreal courthouse. The landlord rents it for $1,770 per month.

But after receiving complaints from neighbours in the building about strangers coming and going and people smoking in the hallway, the landlord realized his condo was listed on Airbnb — and for $3,600 per month, more than double the rent.

The landlord, who felt his tenant was making a profit off his back, imposed a rental hike of $1,000 per month.

The tenant refused, prompting the landlord to call for his eviction.

That landed the case before the province's rental board.

Landlord's approval required

The board ruled that tenants cannot rent out their apartment to tourists without getting the landlord's approval first.

"The message that these lucrative sublets sends to landlords is that the value of the unit does not represent the value of the rental market," the board concluded.

It went on to say that it was clear the dwelling was not being rented for residential purposes but for commercial ones. The tenant admitted to owning a house in Beaconsfield and said he lives half the time in Toronto.

The rental board ordered that the tenant must notify the landlord and get his approval for each sublease in the future. The landlord has 15 days to refuse if he has serious concerns.

"The frequency, the difficulty in verifying the identity of sub-tenants, the inherent risks … are all issues that can be raised," the judgment read.

However, it also stipulated that a landlord had no right to spike rent because his tenant listed the apartment on Airbnb.

"If landlords raise rents in proportion to the non-residential market (ex. Airbnb) … this will result in higher rents at the expense of long-term residential tenants," the ruling read.

Tenants can't hike price

On the flip side, the board ruled that a tenant can't raise prices either.

A tenant who lists their unit on a home-sharing site cannot charge more than the price of rent.

In this case, the board said that the tenant should have been charging $60 per night instead of $120.


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