Montreal landlord fined after tenants rent out condo illegally
Published Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:07PM EDT
A Montreal landlord says he’s been fined more than $1,200 because the tenant living in his condo listed the space on Airbnb without his knowledge.
Gerry Galiatsatos said his unit came with tenants when he purchased it less than a year ago.
But he said he was shocked to learn the tenants listed the rental on popular apartment-sharing app Airbnb at least 65 times.
“And it was done without my consent, without my knowledge,” Galiatsatos said in an interview with CTV Montreal.
His condo board bylaws forbid renting out the luxury lofts on websites like Airbnb so Galiatsatos has now been fined more than $1,200 and he says, he could face more fines.
Galiatsatos said he doesn’t blame his condo board.
“They were within their rights and they had to do something because there’s a problem here, it’s not just happening with one unit, it’s happening with several,” he said.
In 2015, Quebec adopted Bill 67. Under that law, tenants must advise landlords if they’re renting to tourists and need to obtain a certificate from Quebec’s Ministry of Tourism.
But there are only 27 inspectors for nearly 10,000 listings. Reports show very few listings have the certificate.
“The laws that are in place are not protecting victims like me in this case,” Galiatsatos said.
In a statement to CTV, Quebec Tourism Minister Julie Boulet said more inspectors will be hired in order to crack down on illegal tourism rentals.
But, those inspectors will come from Revenue Quebec. The minister didn’t confirm how many inspectors will be added.
Quebec lawyer Ted Wright said he’s skeptical extra inspectors will help the situation.
“In my personal opinion, the law is a sop to the landlords and it is really without effect because there are not enough people to make it effective, and the people who are breaking the law are just not afraid,” he said.
Galiatsatos agrees, and said his tenants scoffed when he confronted them.
“They know that the laws don’t protect the owners,” he said, adding his tenants are “taunting” him into taking costly legal action.
But, despite the mounting costs, Galiatsatos said he is pursuing legal action.
With a report by CTV Montreal’s Angela MacKenzie