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New rules for short-term housing rentals like Airbnb are coming into effect this fall.

As of September, those who rent out their homes for fewer than 31 consecutive days will need a registration number and a permit that will cost between $50 and $75, and it will have to be included in all rental documents and listings.

Tenants in duplexes or triplexes will require permission from owners to rent out on short-term rental sites, and condo owners will need permission from their condo association or syndicate.

The purpose of the new rules is for Revenue Quebec to ensure that each time someone rents a property on one of these platforms, they will be required to pay a 3.5 per cent accommodation tax.

It's so far unclear exactly how much tax revenue that's expected to generate, said Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx, but it will help even the playing field for those in the industry who are struggling since the massive hike in Airbnb rentals in Quebec since 2016.

"When municipalities decided to have rules that were extremely clear, half of the market dropped. Half of them really embraced the new rules, played the rule game. The other half just disappeared and decided not to do business anymore, so this is very interesting. Especially in Vancouver, this is what we saw in Vancouver," said Proulx.

 

Tenants' groups disappointed

An umbrella group representing tenants across the province, though, argues that the new regulations are targeting the wrong people. It said the problem, in its view, is those owners who rent on platforms year-round and take affordable housing off the market.

The new regulations will do nothing to stop thousands of apartments from being rented out on Airbnb year-round, resulting in a lack of affordable housing in popular areas such as the Plateau.