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  • Writer's pictureEric Turner

Start rental accommodation on Airbnb in 4 steps!


A person registering as a host on Airbnb

The growing popularity of platforms such as Airbnb has revolutionized the tourism industry in recent years. With affordable hosting now within everyone's reach, more and more people are considering becoming hosts on Airbnb. If you are reading this article, it is because you are thinking about taking the plunge, but you are wondering about the steps necessary to make this project a reality while respecting the legislation.


I am currently located in Lévis, Quebec, and I will guide you through the essential steps to becoming an Airbnb host in our beautiful province. Although these steps are generally similar everywhere, it should be noted that each municipality may impose its own restrictions when it comes to short-term accommodation. It is therefore crucial to follow these steps precisely, as operating an Airbnb without the necessary permits can result in fines ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.


Step 1: Check the Zoning of Your Property


The essential first step is to check the zoning of the property where you plan to offer tourist accommodation. You can easily find zoning information by entering the name of your city followed by the word "zoning" in Google.


There are different types of zoning that allow different types of accommodations, including:

- Hotel establishments (hotel, motel, inn): These establishments offer rooms, suites or furnished apartments with kitchenettes, as well as hotel services such as a reception and daily cleaning service.

- Tourist lodge: An establishment offering up to five rooms for a maximum of fifteen people. Breakfast is usually included, and the host must live on site.

- Tourist residence: This zoning allows accommodation in furnished apartments, houses or chalets, including a kitchen service. This is generally the best zoning for operating an Airbnb.

- Youth hostel: These establishments offer accommodation in rooms or dormitories with catering services or facilities for preparing meals, as well as full-time surveillance services.


Step 2: Obtain the Necessary Authorizations from Your Municipality


If your project respects the appropriate zoning, it has a good chance of being accepted by your municipality. This step is crucial, because it requires authorization from the city to operate as an Airbnb host.


It is recommended to complete the form "Notice of compliance with municipal regulations", available on the CITQ (Corporation of the Quebec tourism industry) website. Be sure to submit it to your municipality.


For main residence accommodation, authorization is generally granted in residential, tourist residence or gîte zoning, although this may vary depending on local regulations. In my case in Lévis, an operating permit of $176 was required, because my property was located in a zone allowing lodges.


Step 3: Make sure and Obtain CITQ registration


After obtaining authorization from your municipality, it is time to insure yourself and obtain CITQ certification. This certification is a legal requirement for all tourist accommodation in Quebec.


Here is what you will need to obtain your CITQ registration number:

- The title deed, the municipal tax bill or the rental contract.

- Proof of civil liability insurance of at least $2,000,000 per event.

- Photographs of the exterior and interior of the establishment intended to be published, where applicable, on digital accommodation platforms.


Once these formalities are completed, the process should be relatively simple, with the most stressful part usually being obtaining permission from the municipality. the delay of which can vary from a few days to several weeks.


Step 4: Register on Airbnb and Prepare Your Listing


Now that you have completed all the legal steps, it is time to create your listing on Airbnb. Register on the platform and start familiarizing yourself with how it works. Create your ad providing all the necessary details, but don't publish it yet.






A chalet perched in the treetops for rent on Airbnb


This guide gives you an overview of the essential steps to getting started as an Airbnb host. Be sure to follow local laws and regulations, as they may vary from region to region. Once you have obtained all the necessary authorizations, you will be ready to welcome your first guests and enjoy this enriching experience of short-term accommodation. Good luck on your Airbnb adventure!

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