A $1,250 fine for an Airbnb listing he didn't post

It started with a letter.

Gerry Galiatsatos received a formal notice and fine from his condo association last Thursday for a $250-a-day fine for listing his property on Airbnb. It's against house rules. 

The problem? Galiatsatos rents out a condo in St Henri's Impérial loft, and he did not post a listing on the online rental site - his tenants did. 

The couple was being evasive when Galiatsatos questioned them. Then he got a call from a neighbour saying strangers were in the unit. When he went to knock on the door, he found four tourists from Toronto with a receipt from Airbnb. 

Taking a look on the site, Galiatsatos found over 60 glowing reviews for the unit. Tenants are supposed to notify landlords when they use Airbnb, according to new provincial rules on the books since 2015. 

Galiatsatos does not have a problem with the building's policy: 'This isn't a hotel, Montreal has hotels and even places for short-term rentals,' he said. 'This is a place where people need to live in safety. There's other owners, other tenants. Imagine having people you don't recognize come in and out of the building on a weekly basis. People using the pool, people possibly trashing the place.'

Galiatsatos believes the rules should be tighter for Airbnb postings.

'People need to have an official license from Tourism Quebec in order to even be able to post on Airbnb. They were verified, but these people did not have a license. They should never have been on the website to begin with.' 

He has since started eviction proceedings and has hired a lawyer.