Short-term rental regulations

Francine Bastien 

The short-term rental of buildings, that is to say for 31 days or less, is a worldwide problem to which the Town of Brome Lake is not immune.

Here are the outlines of a draft by-law adopted by the city council. 

The by-law is entitled “By-law amending by-law 599 on permits and certificates.” It therefore only provides for the issuance of permits to regulate the practice. Obtaining the permits requires the disclosure of a series of information concerning the landlord as well as the rented property. The landlord must agree to comply with municipal regulations regarding noise and nuisances. The regulations also provide for fines that can reach $4,000 in the event of repeated violations. 

Principal residences 

As of March 25, 2023, a new provincial law will allow the rental of any principal residence on the territory of the province. The town will require a permit ($200/year) in addition to the “registration” required by the Corporation de l’industrie touristique du Québec (CITQ). Rental in a building held in divided co-ownership is subject to the provisions of the declaration of co-ownership. 

Secondary residences 

This is where it gets complicated. To rent a secondary residence for 31 days or less in Brome Lake, you must obtain a Québec permit as well as a “certificate of authorization” from the municipality; the residence must also be located in specific sectors called “zone C-61” in the town’s zoning plan. These areas are mostly in commercial areas: downtown Knowlton, along Routes 243 in Foster and 104 in West Brome. There are 94 second homes in these areas and nine of them are currently registered with the CITQ. According to data from TBL, the CITQ has issued 49 registrations on the territory for short-term rentals. Of these, nine are in the C-61 zones and 16 are for primary residences. However, in practice, there are second homes that are rented out on a short-term basis outside these areas. Twenty-four of them have even received a permit from the CITQ. This was before the debate on the short-term rental regulations. How to regulate this practice from now on? The council will have to find a solution. The final regulations must be adopted at the next council meeting in March.