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Laval Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Laval , Canada

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Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Laval

Laval, located just north of Montreal, is a popular tourist destination that attracts many visitors each year. With its proximity to Montreal's international airport, historic Old Port, and numerous cultural attractions, Laval is an ideal base for exploring the region. The city's growing population and strong economy also make it an attractive location for business travelers.

This combination of leisure and business travel creates a strong demand for short-term rental (STR) accommodations in Laval. Platforms like Airbnb and VRBO have made it easier than ever for property owners to tap into this market and generate rental income from their homes or investment properties.

However, before listing your property on a short-term rental platform, it's important to understand the local regulations and licensing requirements in Laval. The city has introduced a number of rules in recent years to regulate the growth of STRs and address concerns around housing affordability, neighborhood disruption, and tax collection.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and legal penalties for hosts. It's crucial to do your due diligence and ensure your short-term rental business is operating within the bounds of the law. The following sections will provide an overview of the key requirements and considerations for starting an STR in Laval.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Laval

As of September 2023, all individuals and companies operating a short-term rental in Laval must obtain a registration number and permit from the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ). This provincial agency is responsible for regulating tourist accommodations across Quebec, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and short-term rentals.

To apply for a CITQ permit, hosts must first register their rental property with the agency and pay a fee ranging from $50 to $75, depending on the type of property. Once registered, the CITQ will issue a unique registration number that must be included in all online listings and rental documents.

Hosts who fail to display a valid CITQ registration number can face hefty fines of up to $100,000 per illegal listing. Short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are also required to ensure that all listings have a permit number, and can face penalties of up to $100,000 per non-compliant listing.

The permit requirements apply to all types of short-term rentals in Laval, including entire homes, individual rooms, and secondary suites. The rules are designed to ensure a level playing field for all accommodation providers and to help the city monitor the growth of STRs.

It's important to note that obtaining a CITQ permit does not automatically guarantee the right to operate a short-term rental in Laval. Hosts must also comply with municipal zoning regulations and other city bylaws, which may restrict STRs in certain areas or types of properties. The following sections will provide more details on these additional requirements.

Required Documents for Laval Short Term Rentals

To apply for a short-term rental permit from the CITQ, hosts in Laval must provide a number of supporting documents. These include:

  • Proof of ownership or the right to use the property, such as a property title or lease agreement. If the rental is a condo unit, the host must also provide the declaration of co-ownership demonstrating that short-term rentals are permitted.
  • Proof of civil liability insurance covering the rental property. The insurance must have a minimum coverage of $2 million and name the CITQ as an additional insured party.
  • Recent photographs of the interior and exterior of the property, clearly showing all rooms and amenities being offered to guests. The photos must be high resolution and accurately represent the current condition of the property.
  • A floor plan of the property, indicating the location and dimensions of all rooms and common areas accessible to guests. The floor plan must also show the location of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
  • Proof of compliance with municipal zoning bylaws and other city regulations related to short-term rentals. This may include a certificate of occupancy, a business license, or a letter from the city confirming the property is in an authorized zone for STRs.
  • Hosts must submit all of these documents along with their CITQ permit application and fee payment. The CITQ may request additional information or clarification during the review process, which can take several weeks to complete.
  • Once approved, the CITQ will issue a registration number that must be displayed on all listings and rental contracts. Hosts are responsible for keeping their permit information up to date and renewing it annually.

Failing to provide accurate and complete documentation can result in the rejection of a permit application or the revocation of an existing permit. Hosts who operate without a valid permit can face significant fines and legal action from the city and province.

Laval Short Term Rental Taxes

In addition to obtaining a CITQ permit, short-term rental operators in Laval must register with Revenu Québec to collect and remit several taxes on each booking.The first is a 3.5% lodging tax, which applies to all accommodations rented for less than 31 consecutive days. This tax is collected by the host and remitted to Revenu Québec on a quarterly basis. Failure to collect and remit the lodging tax can result in fines and interest charges.

Hosts must also register for and collect the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) on all rental charges and fees. The current rates are 5% for the GST and 9.975% for the QST, for a combined rate of 14.975%.

Hosts can register for these taxes online through the Revenu Québec website or by mail. They must provide their contact information, rental property address, and estimated annual revenue from short-term rentals.

Once registered, hosts must include the GST and QST in their rental rates and collect them from guests at the time of booking. They must then file periodic returns with Revenu Québec to report and remit the taxes collected.

Keeping accurate records of all rental transactions and tax collections is crucial for compliance with these requirements. Hosts should maintain detailed invoices and receipts for each booking, as well as proof of tax registration and remittance.

Finally, income from short-term rentals is considered taxable revenue by both the federal and provincial governments. Hosts must report their rental income on their annual income tax returns and may be eligible to claim certain expenses to offset this income.

Consulting with a tax professional can help ensure compliance with all applicable tax laws and maximize deductions for your short-term rental business.

Laval-wide Short Term Rental Rules

In addition to the CITQ permit and tax registration requirements, short-term rentals in Laval must comply with a number of city-wide rules and regulations.

One of the most significant is that short-term rentals are only permitted in the operator's primary residence. This means that hosts cannot purchase or lease a separate property solely for the purpose of renting it on a short-term basis.

The primary residence requirement is designed to prevent the proliferation of "ghost hotels" and ensure that STRs do not reduce the supply of long-term housing in the city. Hosts must be able to demonstrate that they live in the rental property for at least six months out of the year.

Another key rule is that short-term rentals cannot exceed 31 consecutive days to the same guest. This is to distinguish STRs from traditional long-term rentals and to limit their impact on the housing market.

Hosts who own a rental property in a multi-unit building, such as an apartment or duplex, must obtain written permission from the building owner before listing it on a short-term rental platform. This is to ensure that STRs do not violate the terms of the lease or create nuisances for other tenants.

Similarly, condo owners must obtain permission from their condo association or board before operating a short-term rental. Many condo declarations in Laval explicitly prohibit STRs, while others may have restrictions on the number of units that can be rented or the length of stays.

Hosts are also prohibited from installing key lockboxes or other access devices on public property, such as sidewalks or street signs. All guest check-ins and key exchanges must take place on the host's private property.In addition to these city-wide rules, certain areas of Laval further restrict short-term rentals through zoning bylaws. For example, some residential neighborhoods may only allow STRs in owner-occupied homes, while others may prohibit them entirely.

Hosts should check with their local permit office or zoning department to confirm that their property is in an authorized zone for short-term rentals. Failure to comply with zoning regulations can result in fines and legal action from the city.

Overall, while Laval allows short-term rentals in principle, the city has put in place a number of rules and restrictions to regulate their growth and impact. Hosts must carefully navigate these requirements to operate legally and avoid potential penalties.

Does Laval strictly enforce STR rules?

Based on discussions in online real estate investing forums like BiggerPockets and Reddit, it appears that Laval has been stepping up its enforcement of short-term rental regulations in recent years.

In particular, the city has created a dedicated squad of inspectors tasked with identifying and fining properties operating STRs without a permit or in violation of zoning laws. These inspectors use a variety of tactics, including online searches, neighborhood complaints, and on-site visits to catch illegal rentals.

Hosts caught operating without a permit or in an unauthorized zone can face fines of up to $2,000 for a first offense, and up to $4,000 for repeat violations. The city can also issue cease and desist orders and pursue legal action against non-compliant operators.However, some hosts on BiggerPockets suggest that many illegal STRs still operate under the radar in Laval by falsely claiming to be the operator's primary residence. These hosts may use fake addresses or claim to live in the property when in fact it is a dedicated rental.

Others note that enforcement can be inconsistent and that some areas of the city are more stringent than others in applying the rules. Hosts in suburban or rural areas may face less scrutiny than those in dense urban neighborhoods with a higher concentration of STRs.

Despite these loopholes and variations, the overall consensus among Laval hosts is that the city's STR regulations are relatively strict compared to other Canadian destinations. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver, for example, have taken a more hands-off approach to short-term rentals and have been slower to introduce and enforce permit requirements.

This means that while it is still possible to operate a profitable STR business in Laval, hosts must be diligent in complying with all the legal requirements and be prepared for the possibility of inspections and fines. Investing in properties that are already zoned for short-term rentals and obtaining proper permits and insurance can help mitigate these risks.

Ultimately, the decision to start an STR in Laval will depend on an individual host's risk tolerance, investment goals, and ability to navigate the regulatory landscape. Careful research and due diligence are essential to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a successful venture.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Laval

If you've weighed the risks and rewards and decided to move forward with a short-term rental business in Laval, here are the key steps to get started:

Research the zoning requirements and permit process for your specific property and neighborhood. Contact the city's zoning department or permit office to confirm that your property is eligible for short-term rentals and to identify any additional restrictions or requirements.

If your property is part of a multi-unit building or condominium complex, obtain written permission from the owner or condo association to operate a short-term rental. Review the lease agreement or condo declaration to ensure there are no prohibitions on STRs.

Register your property with the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ) and apply for a permit. Gather all the required documents, including proof of ownership, insurance, photos, and floor plans. Pay the permit fee and wait for approval from the CITQ.

Register with Revenu Québec to collect and remit the 3.5% lodging tax and the GST/QST sales taxes on all rental transactions. Keep detailed records of all bookings and tax payments for reporting and auditing purposes.

Obtain comprehensive insurance coverage for your short-term rental, including liability insurance and property damage protection. Consult with an insurance broker who specializes in vacation rentals to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Create a detailed and accurate listing for your property on Airbnb, VRBO, or other short-term rental platforms. Include your CITQ registration number, high-quality photos,

Who to contact in Laval about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning

For questions about short-term rental permits and zoning compliance in Laval, contact:

Permit Counter - Ville de Laval
1333 Boulevard Chomedey
Laval, QC H7V 3Z4
Phone: 311
Outside Laval: 450-978-8000For questions about registering with the provincial tourism ministry (CITQ) and collecting the lodging tax, contact:

Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ)
Phone: 514-499-0550
Toll-free: 1-866-499-0550

What do Airbnb hosts in Laval on Reddit and BiggerPockets think about local regulations?

On the BiggerPockets forums, some Laval hosts express frustration with the strict zoning rules that prohibit STRs in many residential areas of the city919. Others note the high fines for non-compliance and the increasing enforcement by the city1920.

However, hosts with properties in authorized zones say they are able to operate profitably by carefully following the registration and tax collection requirements20. The key is to do thorough due diligence on the municipal zoning and condo rules before purchasing an investment property for STRs in Laval19

.On the Airbnb subreddit, hosts discuss the new requirement to display a valid CITQ registration number on all listings. Some worry that the city will use this to crack down on illegal rentals operating in prohibited zones57. There are also concerns that some hosts may try to skirt the rules by using fake registration numbers520.

Overall, the sentiment seems to be that while it is possible to run a successful STR business in Laval, the regulatory hurdles are significant and the risk of penalties is high for those operating illegally. Careful compliance with all the licensing, tax and zoning requirements is essential.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.