123456: Are Quebec Airbnb hosts faking permit numbers to skirt new regulations?
Just a week after Airbnb tightened regulations for Quebec listings following a deadly fire, hosts may already be bending the rules.
Airbnb now requires its hosts to provide a six-digit policy number with their listing, obtained when a tourist lodging is registered with the provincial government.
But a scroll through the Airbnb website suggests users are falsifying their permit numbers to sneak past the authentication process.
For example, CTV News found at least five listings by the same host containing the policy number 123456. These listings were for units in various locations.
Two Montreal Airbnb listings at distinct locations, ran by the same host but different co-hosts, list 123456 as their policy numbers. Multiple other listings by the host include this number as well.
In fact, Airbnb uses 123456 as an example when prompting prospective hosts to enter their policy numbers.
Airbnb uses the numer 123456 as an example when prompting Quebec users to enter their policy number.
In another instance, two separate establishments that appear to be run by different hosts shared the same registration number of 299398.
Cédric Dussault, spokesperson for Quebec housing advocacy group RCLALQ, said he's come across similar discrepancies on the platform.
"It's clear that there's no crosschecking whatsoever," he alleged in an interview with CTV News.
"There are some users that have a registration number for one location, but they are using the same one for various locations."
Quebec law requires each tourist establishment to have its own registration number. To get this number, applicants must share proof of compliance with municipal laws, photos of the residence, and proof of civil liability insurance.
Until recently, Airbnb didn't require users to input their permit numbers when creating a listing. As a result, many of the accommodations on the site were unregistered -- including a handful of units inside a building in Old Montreal.
But when that building burned down earlier this month, killing seven -- many of whom were tourists -- the City of Montreal pressured Airbnb to tighten up its rules.
On Tuesday, Airbnb removed all Quebec listings without a permit number from its platform.
But Dussault believes this move is a "PR operation."
"Don't be fooled by the public discourse by Airbnb, they perfectly know what they're doing," he alleged.
When asked whether a system was in place to confirm the validity of permit numbers, Airbnb said the responsibility lies with the Quebec government.
"The Province issues the CITQ [Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Quebec] number directly to Hosts, not Airbnb. As such, it's the Province's responsibility to enforce their legislation. We have offered the City Portal to the Province," reads a statement from the company.
The City Portal tool allows participating municipalities to "view Airbnb listings within their registration systems" and offers "tools to help enforce their laws," according to the Airbnb website.
Quebec's Tourism Ministry has yet to respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante's office responded that "firm respect for the law must be enforced on all platforms if we want to recover the illegal housing that deprives Montrealers of a home."
Last week, the Plante administration announced it would form a team of investigators tasked with cracking down on illegal short-term rentals by June.
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Wildfire battles continue under heat, air quality alerts over most of Canada
The battle against hundreds of wildfires continues, as almost every jurisdiction in Canada remains under either heat or air quality warnings from the federal government. The day after what was supposed to be national Clean Air Day, dozens of alerts remain in place for unseasonable heat or smoky air quality.
Can face masks help protect you from wildfire smoke? Health expert explains
An official recommendation to wear a mask to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is being echoed by health experts as plumes of smoke make their way across parts of Canada, causing poor air quality.
Hundreds of American firefighters arrive in Canada to help battle wildfires
Hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada to help battle wildfires and more are on the way, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
Here's how major cities in Canada and the U.S. look blanketed by wildfire smoke
Photos show smoke-filled skies in cities across Canada and the U.S. as air quality warnings were issued in wake of the hundreds of wildfires from Quebec and Ontario.
RBC Canadian Open teeing off amid controversy in golf world
Some of the world's top players are teeing off at the RBC Canadian Open today amid the hotly debated LIV Golf-PGA Tour controversy that shook the golf world this week.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
Documents reveal what happened inside the discord at Canada's drug-price regulator
Internal emails from the agency tasked with regulating the price of patented drugs in Canada shows discord and division was sparked by a letter from the health minister, culminating in an indefinite pause on major drug-price reforms and several resignations.
Knife attacker injures several people, including children, in French Alpine town
An attacker with a knife stabbed several children and at least one adult, leaving some with life-threatening injuries, in a town in the Alps on Thursday before he was arrested, authorities said.
Philippines raises alert level around volcano, villagers told to leave danger zone
Philippine officials on Thursday raised the alert level for one of the country's most active volcanoes after superheated streams of gas, debris and rocks cascaded down its upper slope in a condition they fear could lead to a hazardous eruption within days or weeks.
Ontario to boost early childhood educator wages in bid to ease staff shortage
Ontario is set to increase the wages of early childhood educators in a bid to boost recruitment and retention amid a staff shortage that advocates warn could hamper the growth of the national $10-a-day child-care program.
consumer, | Toronto woman 'horrified' after losing $95,000 to romance scam
Romance scams have always been around, but they got worse during the pandemic, and fraudsters continue to use social media and dating sites to find victims.
Number of Ontario forest fires doubled compared to same time last year
Ontario has already experienced double the number of forest fires this year compared to the same six months in 2022.
'This is not helping': Frustrated evacuees say official communication lacking in wildfire recovery
Frustration is building among some people from neighbourhoods hardest-hit by the fires near Halifax. CTV's Heidi Petracek reports.
Irving Oil weighing its options, including the possible sale of its assets
Irving Oil says it’s undertaking a “strategic review” with an eye to its future. In a release Wednesday, the company says it’s looking at a number of options, including the sale of its assets.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Air quality statement in effect, thunderstorms possible this afternoon
According to CTV News London’s Meteorologist Julie Atchison, a large area of low pressure over the Canadian Maritimes and a blocking ridge over central North America is allowing a steady flow of northerly air to usher in smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec.
VIDEO | 'Hate and discrimination have no place in any TVDSB schools': Investigation underway after pride flag torn down
Students at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ont. are being investigated after a video was posted online showing students tearing down a LGBTQ2S+ pride flag.
City pitches new parking garage and extended free parking to aid downtown London, Ont.’s recovery
Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honk Mobile Parking App has offered two hours of free municipal parking in London’s core area business districts.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
Spreading wildfires prompt northeastern communities to evacuate
Communities affected by wildfires in the region are evacuating for safety reasons. The province says there is significant danger as several out-of-control wildfires affect air quality and physical safety.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
Council reconsiders decision to reject recommendations on affordability crisis
Calgary city council has reconsidered its decision to vote against recommendations made by an expert panel to address the city’s housing affordability crisis.
Man on mobility scooter hit by truck in northeast Calgary intersection
Police say a man on a mobility scooter has life-altering injuries after he was struck by a vehicle in a northeast Calgary intersection on Wednesday evening.
Hot, dry weather comes with cautions and a few benefits
Calgary was under a heat warning Wednesday with forecast high of 29C.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
There's high levels of air pollution in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Where to watch Kitchener's Jamal Murray play in NBA Finals
Kitchener is hosting a series of watch parties to cheer on basketball star Jamal Murray as his Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
Out-of-control wildfire on Lower Mainland sees massive growth
A human-caused wildfire on the Lower Mainland has grown to an estimated 800 hectares and continues to burn out of control Wednesday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
'You don't listen to renters': Vancouver Tenants Union disrupts housing announcement
Rental housing advocates interrupted an announcement by B.C.'s housing minister in Vancouver Wednesday morning to object to the provincial government's response to the affordability crisis.
Vancouver voice actors concerned about AI cloning voices without consent
Advances in artificial intelligence means software can generate accurate voice clones that sound just like the real thing, but that's putting some actors in a precarious position, including Vancouver's Bill Newton.
Albertans asked to conserve electricity Wednesday evening due to hot temperatures
Hot temperatures across Alberta prompted a grid alert Wednesday afternoon.
'A long time coming': Edmonton Catholics commit $3.2M to Indigenous reconciliation fund
The Archdiocese of Edmonton will spend $3.2 million on reconciliation initiatives with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in the Alberta capital region.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
Hazy days continue in Windsor-Essex, air quality statement in effect
According to Environment Canada, smoke plumes from forest fires in Quebec and northeastern Ontario have resulted in deteriorated air quality and poor air quality will persist into the weekend.
VIDEO | Weapon and drug charges laid after Lakeshore ‘road rage’ incident
A “road rage” incident has led to multiple charges for two Windsor residents after allegedly wielding a replica firearm at another driver.
'I just feel so empty': Mother opens up after teenaged daughter’s body recovered by police
The body of a woman reported missing in January has been found by Windsor police and her mother is struggling with the confirmation that her daughter is gone.
Future uncertain for residents of bulldozed Regina homeless camp
The dwellings of around a dozen Regina residents experiencing homelessness were bulldozed after calls from the property owner.
Less than 50% of Indigenous students graduate from provincial schools, report says
Indigenous graduation rates are sliding in the province, according to Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor.
Regina city council asks for debt limit increase
Regina city council has asked its administration to pursue permission from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) to increase its debt limit to $780 million.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Year-over-year home sales in Ottawa up 6 per cent in May
The Ottawa Real Estate Board says home sales were up six per cent in May 2023 compared to a year prior, marking the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since early last year.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" Wednesday morning. Conditions improved in the afternoon.
Plug-in air purifier blamed for row house fire in Craig Henry area
The Ottawa Fire Service says a plug-in air purifier is to blame for a fire on Craig Henry Drive Tuesday.
Saskatoon property taxes could see 13 per cent hike as city confronts $75M revenue gap
Significant property tax hikes may be needed to cover a funding shortfall, according to City of Saskatoon administration.
Saskatoon builder looking to flip abandoned homes to first time buyers
A Saskatoon man wants to play matchmaker for the unloved homes in the city.
Latest season of survivalist series 'Alone' filmed in Sask., set to premiere June 8
The rugged wilderness of northern Saskatchewan was host to survivalists from all walks of life, vying to win the top prize of the popular series 'Alone.'