Saint-Jérôme, Canada Short-Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Saint-Jérôme, Canada

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What are Short-Term Rental (Airbnb, VRBO) Regulations in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec?

Short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO have become increasingly popular in Saint-Jérôme and across Quebec. However, there are several regulations that hosts need to be aware of before listing their property.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Saint-Jérôme

Before renting out your property on a short-term basis in Saint-Jérôme, there are a few key steps to follow:

  • Check local zoning laws to ensure short-term rentals are allowed. In Saint-Jérôme, short-term rentals may only be permitted in certain areas. Contact the city's permits department to confirm your property is in an authorized zone.
  • Obtain a classification certificate from the Corporation de l'Industrie Touristique du Québec (CITQ). As of May 1, 2020, hosts must display their establishment number on any rental listing. Applying requires submitting a notice of compliance signed by the municipality.
  • Consider forming a business entity like an LLC to protect your personal assets and gain tax benefits. With new federal requirements, LLCs must also file a beneficial ownership report with FinCEN unless exempt.
  • Write a business plan outlining your rental strategy, target market, financial projections, and competitive advantages. A solid plan will guide your decisions and help secure financing if needed.
  • Determine competitive yet profitable pricing after evaluating your expenses, local market rates, and occupancy goals.

Other important considerations include:

  1. Reviewing your lease agreement, HOA rules, or co-ownership declaration for any restrictions on short-term rentals
  2. Obtaining proper insurance coverage, such as $2 million in liability insurance required by Quebec law
  3. Collecting and remitting applicable taxes, such as the 3.5% lodging tax in Quebec that Airbnb collects on behalf of hosts
  4. Complying with building standards, safety regulations, and municipal health codes

By carefully navigating the regulatory landscape and treating your rental as a business, you'll be well-positioned for success with your Saint-Jérôme Airbnb. The short-term rental market continues to evolve, so staying informed on the latest legal developments is key.

Short-Term Rental Licensing Requirements in Saint-Jérôme

To legally operate a short-term rental in Saint-Jérôme, hosts must obtain a classification certificate from the Corporation de l'Industrie Touristique du Québec (CITQ). This involves submitting a notice of compliance signed by the municipality to certify the property is in an authorized zone for short-term rentals.

The process is as follows:

  1. Check local zoning to confirm short-term rentals are permitted for your property. Contact the city's permits department if needed.
  2. Fill out sections 1-3 of the "Avis de conformité" (notice of compliance) form available on the CITQ website.
  3. Submit the completed form to the Centrale du citoyen either in person at 10 rue Saint-Joseph or online with the form attached. A $50 administrative fee is required.
  4. If approved, the signed "Avis de conformité" will be mailed to you. If incomplete or non-compliant, you will be notified of the reasons for refusal.
  5. After receiving the signed notice from the city, proceed with registration through the CITQ to obtain your classification certificate and establishment number.

Processing time is not specified but the city notes they will contact you by phone for payment when processing online requests.

There are two main categories of tourist accommodation in Saint-Jérôme:

  1. "Établissement de résidence principale" (primary residence) - authorized everywhere in the city if complying with applicable provisions
  2. "Résidence de tourisme" (tourist home like cottages, secondary residences) - only permitted in zones where the "Commerce d'hébergement et de restauration (C-4)" usage class is authorized and in compliance with urban planning regulations

Hosts are responsible for ensuring compliance with municipal regulations regarding nuisances, safety, and sanitation. Fines and penalties for operating without proper licensing are not specified. However, the provincial Act Respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments imposes fines of $2,500 to $25,000 for individuals and $5,000 to $50,000 for businesses operating without a classification certificate.

Required Documents for Saint-Jérôme Short-Term Rentals

To operate a short-term rental legally in Saint-Jérôme, hosts must obtain a classification certificate from the Corporation de l'Industrie Touristique du Québec (CITQ). This process involves submitting several required documents:

Notice of Compliance ("Avis de conformité"): This form, available on the CITQ website, certifies that the property is in an authorized zone for short-term rentals. Sections 1-3 must be filled out by the host before submitting it to the city for approval. The signed notice from the city is then required for CITQ registration.

Proof of Ownership or Lease Agreement: Hosts must provide documentation showing they own the property or have permission from the owner to operate a short-term rental. This could include a property deed, tax bill, or notarized lease allowing subletting.

Liability Insurance Certificate: Quebec law requires short-term rental hosts to have at least $2 million in liability insurance coverage. A certificate proving this coverage must be submitted with the CITQ application.

Site Plan: A scaled diagram of the property depicting the number and location of bedrooms, bathrooms, safety equipment, and parking spaces may be required. Check with the city's permits department for specific requirements.

Business Entity Documentation (if applicable): If the short-term rental will be operated under an LLC or other business entity, related documents like the operating agreement and business license should be provided.

Operator Identification: A copy of a valid government-issued ID for the rental operator, such as a driver's license or passport, is typically required.

Local Responsible Party Designation: If the operator does not live on-site, they must designate a local contact person to be available 24/7 to handle any guest issues that arise. The name and contact information of this person must be provided.

These documents should be compiled and submitted according to the instructions provided by the city and CITQ. Allow ample processing time and be prepared to pay any applicable fees.

Failure to obtain proper licensing and meet all requirements can result in significant fines. For example, the provincial Act Respecting Tourist Accommodation Establishments imposes penalties of $2,500 to $25,000 for individuals and $5,000 to $50,000 for businesses operating without a classification certificate.

By carefully following the city's short-term rental regulations and maintaining detailed records, hosts can avoid costly violations and provide a safe, enjoyable experience for their guests.

Saint-Jérôme Short-Term Rental Taxes

When operating a short-term rental business in Saint-Jérôme, it's crucial to understand the various taxes that apply and their rates. Here's a breakdown of the key taxes to be aware of:

  1. Lodging Tax: Quebec imposes a lodging tax of 3.5% on the rental price per night for short-term accommodations in its 22 tourist regions, including Saint-Jérôme. This tax applies to rentals under 31 consecutive days, primarily to tourists. Airbnb collects and remits this tax on behalf of hosts.
  2. GST and QST: If your total taxable supplies, including rental income, exceed $30,000 in a single calendar quarter or over four consecutive quarters, you must register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Quebec Sales Tax (QST). The GST rate is 5%, while the QST rate is 9.975%. These taxes apply to short-term rentals under 30 days.
  3. Income Tax: Rental income must be reported on your personal tax return. The tax rate depends on your total taxable income and tax bracket. As a sole proprietor, your rental income is taxed at your marginal rate. If the property is owned by a corporation, the rental income is subject to corporate tax rates ranging from 23% to 54.67%, with passive rental income taxed at the higher end of that range.

Tax Deductions and Write-Offs

To minimize your tax liability, keep detailed records of all expenses related to your short-term rental. Some common deductions include:

  1. Insurance premiums
  2. Advertising costs
  3. Property management fees and salaries
  4. Utilities
  5. Travel expenses for property maintenance
  6. Property taxes
  7. Renovation and repair costs (may be capital expenses)

Consult with a tax professional to ensure you are claiming all eligible deductions and maintaining proper documentation.

By understanding the applicable taxes and strategically claiming deductions, you can optimize your Saint-Jérôme short-term rental business for profitability while remaining compliant with all tax obligations.

Quebec Wide Short-Term Rental Rules

In addition to local regulations in Saint-Jérôme, short-term rental hosts must also comply with provincial laws in Quebec. Here are the key requirements that apply across the province:

Registration and Licensing: As of March 25, 2023, Quebecers who rent out their homes on a short-term basis (less than 31 days) are required to obtain a registration number through the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ). The registration costs between $50 and $75 and is valid for 12 months. Hosts must display their registration number on any advertisement or listing related to the short-term rental.

To register, hosts must first obtain a notice of compliance signed by their local municipality certifying the property is in an authorized zone for short-term rentals. This requirement continues even after the law changed in March 2023 to allow short-term rentals in principal residences province-wide, as municipalities can still restrict them in certain areas.

Insurance Requirements: Under the Tourist Accommodation Act, short-term rental operators must have civil liability insurance of at least $2 million per claim for bodily injury and property damage. Airbnb's Host Liability Insurance does not satisfy this requirement, so hosts need their own policy.

Tax Obligations: Quebec imposes a lodging tax of 3.5% on the rental price per night for stays under 31 days. As of October 1, 2017, Airbnb automatically collects and remits this tax on behalf of hosts. Depending on their total rental income, hosts may also need to register for and collect the GST (5%) and QST (9.975%) sales taxes. Rental income is taxable and must be reported on the host's income tax return.

Enforcement and Penalties: Under Quebec's tourist accommodation law effective September 1, 2023, short-term rental platforms like Airbnb are prohibited from listing properties without a valid CITQ registration number and certificate. Platforms face fines up to $100,000 per illegal listing. Hosts who display false registration information can be fined up to $50,000. From April 2023 to April 2024, over $1.5 million in fines were issued to illegal short-term rentals in Montreal alone.

By carefully navigating both the provincial and municipal regulatory landscape, hosts in Saint-Jérôme can operate successful and compliant short-term rental businesses. Proper registration, insurance, and tax compliance are essential to avoid costly penalties.

Does Saint-Jérôme Strictly Enforce STR Rules?

While Saint-Jérôme has clear regulations in place for short-term rentals, the level of enforcement appears to be moderate compared to larger cities in Quebec. The city relies on hosts to obtain the proper licensing and follow zoning restrictions, but there is limited evidence of proactive enforcement measures.

Saint-Jérôme is generally Airbnb-friendly, recognizing the potential economic benefits of short-term rentals for the community. The city has not implemented any outright bans or overly restrictive policies that would deter hosts from operating. However, it does require hosts to obtain a notice of compliance from the municipality and a classification certificate from the provincial tourism board (CITQ).

Based on discussions in real estate investing forums like Bigger Pockets, it seems that some hosts do operate in Saint-Jérôme despite not fully complying with the rules. The lack of strict enforcement may embolden certain hosts to skirt the licensing requirements, especially those renting out properties occasionally or on a small scale.

That said, the province of Quebec has been cracking down more aggressively on illegal short-term rentals in recent years. In larger cities like Montreal, authorities have issued significant fines to non-compliant hosts and implemented new laws to hold platforms like Airbnb accountable for unlicensed listings. While Saint-Jérôme has not yet seen this level of enforcement, the risk of penalties is growing.

Overall, Saint-Jérôme takes a relatively balanced approach to short-term rental regulation - neither fully embracing nor outright restricting the practice. The city's rules aim to allow compliant short-term rentals while preventing excessive commercialization and negative impacts on housing affordability. However, the actual effectiveness of these regulations is somewhat limited by the level of enforcement. Hosts should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of operating without full licensing and compliance.

How to Start a Short-Term Rental Business in Saint-Jérôme

Starting a short-term rental business in Saint-Jérôme requires careful planning and compliance with local regulations. Follow these steps to get your venture off the ground:

  1. Check local zoning laws: Before investing in a property or listing your own, confirm that short-term rentals are permitted in your desired location. Contact Saint-Jérôme's urban planning department to verify the property is in an authorized zone for this activity. Tip: If you're part of a homeowner's association (HOA) or co-ownership, review their rules for any additional restrictions on short-term rentals.
  2. Obtain a notice of compliance: Fill out sections 1-3 of the "Avis de conformité" form from the CITQ website. Submit the completed form to Saint-Jérôme's Centrale du citoyen in person or online, along with the $50 administrative fee. The signed notice is required for CITQ registration. Tip: Carefully review the form and provide all requested information to avoid delays in processing.
  3. Register with the CITQ: Once you have the signed notice of compliance from the city, proceed with registration through the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ). Submit the required documents, pay the registration fee, and obtain your classification certificate and establishment number. Tip: Maintain your registration by renewing annually and keeping your information up to date.
  4. Secure appropriate insurance: Quebec law mandates that short-term rental operators have civil liability insurance of at least $2 million per claim. Contact your insurance provider to obtain the necessary coverage and provide proof of insurance during CITQ registration. Tip: Airbnb's Host Liability Insurance does not satisfy this requirement, so you'll need a separate policy.
  5. Develop a business plan: Outline your target market, pricing strategy, marketing approach, financial projections, and competitive advantages in a comprehensive business plan. This roadmap will guide your decision-making and help secure financing if needed. Tip: Research your local market thoroughly to identify demand drivers, seasonal trends, and competitor pricing to inform your strategy.
  6. Prepare your property: Ensure your rental property is clean, well-maintained, and equipped with all necessary amenities. Consider hiring a professional photographer to showcase your space in its best light. Develop a comprehensive listing description highlighting unique features and area attractions. Tip: Provide high-quality linens, toiletries, and a welcome guide with local recommendations to create a memorable guest experience.
  7. List your property: Create a listing on popular short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. Set competitive rates based on your market research and operating costs. Establish clear house rules and communicate promptly with potential guests. Tip: Automate your pricing using dynamic pricing tools to maximize occupancy and revenue.
  8. Manage your operations: Develop efficient systems for cleaning, maintenance, and guest communication. Consider hiring a reputable property management company if you prefer a hands-off approach. Stay organized with bookkeeping, tax reporting, and performance tracking. Tip: Use vacation rental software to streamline reservations, automate tasks, and centralize communication.

By following these steps and prioritizing guest satisfaction, you'll be well-positioned to launch and grow a successful short-term rental business in Saint-Jérôme. Stay informed about local regulations and industry trends to adapt your strategy as needed.

Who to Contact in Saint-Jérôme about Short-Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information about short-term rental regulations and zoning in Saint-Jérôme, contact the city's Centrale du citoyen. They handle inquiries related to urban planning, permits, and compliance.

  1. Centrale du citoyen
  2. 10, rue Saint-Joseph, bureau 103
  3. Saint-Jérôme, QC J7Z 7G7
  4. Phone: 450-569-5000
  5. Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

For emergencies outside of business hours, the Centrale du citoyen phone line is available 24/7.

You can also visit the Centrale du citoyen in person during their office hours to discuss your short-term rental questions with a representative.

In addition to official city resources, connecting with the local host community can provide valuable insights and support. Some useful groups and forums for Saint-Jérôme hosts include:

  1. Airbnb Community Center's "Local Host Clubs" - Find your region's Facebook group to meet other hosts and exchange knowledge. Clubs are led by experienced hosts who share updates and facilitate discussions.
  2. Airbnb Superhosts Facebook Group - With over 50,000 members, this group is open to Airbnb Superhosts to collaborate and help each other succeed.
  3. Airbnb Masterminds Facebook Group - Nearly 10,000 hosts gather here to share best practices, ask questions, and network.
  4. BiggerPockets Forums - The "Short-Term and Vacation Rental Discussion" subforum is a top resource for hosts to learn about regulations, marketing, property management, and more. Local threads provide area-specific advice.
  5. r/AirBnB and r/AirBnB_Hosts on Reddit - These subreddits are active communities for both hosts and guests to discuss all things Airbnb. The host-focused subreddit has over 5,000 members.

By utilizing official sources like the Centrale du citoyen and tapping into the collective wisdom of host forums and groups, Saint-Jérôme short-term rental operators can stay informed and compliant.

What Do Airbnb Hosts in Saint-Jérôme on Reddit and Bigger Pockets Think about Local Regulations?

After searching Reddit, BiggerPockets, and other online forums, there appears to be limited discussion specifically about short-term rental regulations in Saint-Jérôme. However, some insights can be gleaned from hosts' experiences in other cities and general sentiments around compliance:

On the r/airbnb_hosts subreddit, a post titled "New York State Airbnb legislation coming?" discusses potential regulation changes in the Catskills region. One commenter notes that occupancy taxes on Airbnbs matching hotel rates are becoming common, and they see no issue with this as long as the taxes are the same for all short-term rentals.

In a BiggerPockets forum post, a host asks about setting up an LLC for their primary residence that they plan to rent on Airbnb. Respondents suggest that an LLC can provide liability protection but may hinder tax deductions. They recommend exploring other options like umbrella insurance policies.

Another BiggerPockets thread from a host looking to learn about rehabbing properties for short-term rentals did not receive any Saint-Jérôme specific advice.

Discussions on the r/airbnb_hosts subreddit often focus on navigating local regulations. In a post about San Francisco's policies, hosts share their experiences registering as an LLC, getting city and building approvals, and reporting stays. They note the importance of understanding and complying with local laws to avoid issues.

Regarding long-term stays and tenant rights, an r/airbnb_hosts post asks if Airbnb protects hosts when guests claim tenant status. Commenters advise setting clear limits on stay length, using proper lease agreements, and understanding landlord-tenant laws to mitigate risk.

While these examples are not specific to Saint-Jérôme, they highlight some of the common regulatory concerns hosts face in other markets. The limited discussion about Saint-Jérôme itself may suggest that the city's short-term rental market is still relatively small or that hosts are not encountering major regulatory hurdles. As the market grows, more local hosts will likely turn to online forums to seek advice and share experiences navigating the city's evolving short-term rental landscape.

Disclaimer: While we here at BNBCalc strive to keep all of our city regulation guides updated and accurate with all the latest local laws, we still do not suggest using them as your sole or primary source for local regulations. We also do not recommend you rely on the third-party sources we link to or reference, and we are not responsible for any of the information on these third-party sites. These guides are for entertainment purposes only and only provide basic information and should not be considered as legal advice.

We highly recommend directly contacting the responsible parties for each city and hearing what their officials have to say. Ultimately, it's your responsibility as an investor to ensure you fully comply with the local laws, and it's best to speak with professionals before making an investment decision.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.