Mon­treal en­lists pub­lic in il­le­gal apart­ment fight

City claims key boxes are be­ing put on pub­lic prop­erty as a way to fool in­spec­tors

StarMetro Edmonton - - BIG OPINIONS -

mu­nic­i­pal work­ers and the pro­vin­cial Rev­enue Depart­ment in its fight against il­le­gal apart­ment ren­tals that use on­line plat­forms such as Airbnb.

The city re­cently di­rected its em­ploy­ees to seek out and re­move from pub­lic prop­erty small lock boxes that con­tain keys al­low­ing short-term renters to en­ter apart­ments on their own.

Mayor Va­lerie Plante has asked res­i­dents to re­port any lock boxes they see at­tached to pub­lic prop­erty, such as park­ing me­ters and bi­cy­cle racks.

The city con­tends peo­ple who are il­le­gally rent­ing apart­ments are putting key boxes on pub­lic prop­erty as a way to fool in­spec­tors and dis­tance them­selves from their ac­tiv­ity. Un­der pro­vin­cial rules, a li­cense is re­quired for short-term ren­tals of a sec­ondary prop­erty.

Coun­cil­lor Richard Ryan says pop­u­lar neigh­bour­hoods

such as the Plateau-Mont-Royal and down­town have strictly lim­ited short-term ren­tals since the sum­mer in an ef­fort to in­crease the avail­abil­ity of hous­ing for cit­i­zens.

Ryan says the city is also call­ing on the Rev­enue Depart­ment to in­ves­ti­gate res­i­dents sus­pected of il­le­gal ren­tals.

PRESS RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANA­DIAN

Lock boxes for keys to Airbnb units are seen at­tached to a park­ing me­tre post in Mon­treal.

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