Abiding by the Act respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments
The real estate broker's licence is no longer required for leasing, including for tourism purposes. However, licence holders who continue carrying out short-term leasing of cottages, houses or apartments will still need to advise their clients properly. Here are the best practices to observe.
In the course of their activities, some licence holders act as intermediaries for the short-term rental of cottages, houses, or apartments. Considering their duty to verify, inform and advise, these brokers would be well-advised to know the ins and outs of the Act respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments.
An Act you should know
The Act and its regulations provide that any person operating a tourist accommodation establishment must have a classification certificate. A tourist accommodation establishment is an establishment containing at least one accommodation unit rented against payment for a period not exceeding 31 days and whose availability is made public through the use of any medium.
The classification certificate takes the form of a written notice indicating the number of the accommodation establishment and a sign with the name, category and classification of the establishment that must be visible to public at the main entrance. To obtain a classification certificate, the operator of the establishment must submit a written request to the Ministry of Tourism to this effect including the information and documents required by regulations. A temporary certificate can be issued during the period the request for a classification certificate issuance is being examined.
Once obtained, the number of the accommodation establishment must be clearly indicated on any advertising used to promote this establishment and, on any website, whether or not transactional, related to its operation.
A licence holder who is acting as intermediary to rent tourist accommodation units must:
- check that the establishment is covered by the Act respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments; and
- make sure that his client complies with it and holds the required classification certificate for the establishment concerned.
Failing this, he could be charged with encouraging or helping his client to commit an offence. He could be liable for fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 for a first offence, these amounts are doubled for a second offence and tripled for any additional offence. He could also be subject to a disciplinary complaint before the OACIQ Discipline Committee and have his OACIQ licence suspended or loaded with restrictions or conditions and even revoked.
For more information, please contact Tourisme Québec at 418-643-2230 or 1-800-463-5009, or the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ) at 514-499-0550 or 1-866-499-0550.