7 great tips for renting out an apartment through Airbnb in Montreal
If you want to rent out your accommodations through Airbnb, HomeAway, Tripping, HomeToGo or another service, you’ll need to get it ready first and take a number of other steps. There are agencies that can fully manage your rental for a commission. If you don’t want to spend too much time on it, this might be a worthwhile option.
Check whether Airbnb-type rentals are allowed by your borough and get a permit
Each borough has its own bylaws governing tourist rentals. Some allow short-term tourist rentals only in certain areas. To operate a tourist rental unit, you must first obtain a city permit. This is called an , and it is mandatory for every business operating in the borough.
Contact the Ministère du Tourisme, Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency
In some cases, you may need to obtain a classification certificate from the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec as well as tax account numbers to collect the GST and QST on your rental income.
Contact your insurance company
It’s important to check with your insurance company to find out what’s covered by your home insurance policy and whether it includes losses caused by a paying guest in your home. Some insurance companies offer special products for property owners.
Preparing your unit for an Airbnb rental
Once you’ve decided to rent out your apartment on a rental platform, you’ll need to get it ready. This step can take time and cost a lot of money. Some of the things you’ll need if you want your apartment to be popular on a short-term rental platform:
- Household linens (bath towels, tea towels, sheets, etc.)
- Multiple storage areas
- Clean decor and design
- Wi-Fi internet connection
- Easy-to-use appliances
- Professional photos of your apartment
- Ad to promote your apartment
- Extra touches for your guests
In early 2019, the City of Montreal decided to crack down on the code-operated lock boxes that Airbnb hosts use to transfer keys so that no in-person meetings with renters are required. It is systematically removing any such boxes installed on public property such as parking meters and bicycle stands. There are smart locks (such as the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt) you can use instead that are connected to the internet via Wi-Fi. Renters can lock and unlock them using a code that you set for them.
You will need to clean the apartment between each rental to prepare it for the next visitors. Airbnb lets you charge cleaning fees, so it’s quite possible to use a service provider for this purpose. In Montreal there are various companies that specialize in cleaning Airbnb rentals.