A Montreal man who has boasted about earning more than $200,000 from
Airbnb says Revenu Québec is now charging him more than $60,000 in
sales and hotel taxes.
Dany Papineau says renting out his place on the popular home-sharing
services site helped turn his life around. He went from being $500,000
in debt for a failed movie-making attempt to netting more than $200,000
in three years.
He shares his story in an online video aimed at teaching others how to
be successful with Airbnb. He even offers classes on the subject.
Papineau says he has all the permits needed to rent his four
properties, some of them co-owned by relatives and his partner. He also
says he pays tax on his personal income from Airbnb. But he admits he
hasn't paid sales or hotel taxes.
He doesn't think he should have to.
"If I had made this money renting my place on Craigslist or Kijiji, I
would be 100 per cent responsible for paying these taxes," he says.
"It's Airbnb that collects all payment. It's Airbnb that sends the bill
from Airbnb to the client."
Airbnb 'eager to work with policy makers'
On its website, Airbnb says occupancy taxes are included in the bill
for certain cities, but leaves it up to users to check with their
jurisdictions and add additional charges if they must.
"Hotel taxes are the host responsibility – we are working to play an
intermediary role to make things easier," Airbnb said in a written
statement to CBC.
Airbnb added that the company is working with cities around the world
to help its users pay their hotel taxes. For instance, in San
Francisco, Airbnb has been collecting and remitting the 14 per cent
hotel tax since October 2014.
"Current tax law is complicated and was written for large-scale hotels,
not regular people sharing their space for a couple days each month. We
are eager to work with policy makers in Quebec to make it possible for
our community [to] pay their fair share of tourism taxes,"Airbnb said.
Revenu Québec says its mandate is to enforce provincial tax law which
assigns the accommodation provider responsibility to collect sales tax.
Papineau calls himself a pioneer and says though he's going to be
paying his tax bill for now, but will be fighting it. He says the
Quebec government is being short-sighted by going after individual
"What's easier? To collect $10,000 from users one at a time? Or to just
collect from one platform that will pay taxes for all the users?"
Revenu Québec says it has collected $7.2 million in taxes from Airbnb providers in 2014-2015.
Apartment owner has right to change locks on tenant for Airbnb abuse, Régie rules CBC News
By Benjamin Shingler
07 August 2016
Quebec's rental board has ruled a Verdun landlord has the right to
change the locks on a tenant to stop him from renting out his apartment
every night, in a decision that could have consequences for other
Airbnb users in the province.
In the July 26 ruling, the Régie du logement said the tenant, Quan
Sheng Li, must stop renting out the apartment and continue to pay rent
to the landlord.
The property is owned by Summit Property Management. Tristan
Pungartnik, the company's director of operations, said the unit was
being rented out constantly through the popular online vacation-home
"For example, in the month of August, it was booked every night except
for two," Pungartnik told CBC Montreal's Daybreak, explaining that he
tracked the rentals on Airbnb's website.
"I actually took my laptop in court and showed the judge."
The ruling specified that the property owner could change the locks because the tenant is living outside the country.
Quan Sheng Li will be allowed to regain access to the apartment if he decides to live there, the Régie ruled.
The tenant declined a request for comment.
Does the ruling set a precedent?
Summit Property Management had been fighting the case for two years.
The continual flow of short-term renters had led to complaints about
noise and smoking from the tenants of other units, Pungartnik said.
"We need to protect the interests of our tenants who are actually there
12 months of the year ... I personally wouldn't want a new neighbour
every week. One week it could be a quiet couple, the next week it could
be a bachelor party," he said.
A Quebec law that went into effect in April requires owners who
frequently rent out their properties to obtain the same provincial
certification as hotel and bed-and-breakfast operators.
However, it's still not entirely clear what property owners have the
right to do to stop tenants from turning their apartment into a hotel,
or if this ruling will apply to landlords dealing with renters living
in Canada, Pungartnik said.
"We tried different things because it was somewhat new to us," he said.
"He initially signed the unit to live in it. However, he has not slept in the unit one night."
Ted Wright, a consultant on rental board affairs at the Westmount Legal
Clinic, said the province doesn't give the rental board enough
resources to solve this problem.
He said landlords should inspect the unit they are renting out if they suspect something is awry.
"If indeed there are problems, send a legal letter," he said.