It’s not just Montreal, but many other cities - what it illustrates is how one person or one company can acquire quite a bit of residential housing stock, turn it into short-term rentals, then operate under false pretences, deceptive listings, shoddy practices, and pretty much do a hit-and-run fleece job with unsuspecting tourists, in an unregulated market, and through a ‘broker’ that really doesn’t care much about you & your trip experience either.
What I particularly found interesting about this article is how much of the AirBnB inventory in Montreal that this guy controls, and the lengths he went to, to continue fleecing tourists. Essentially, he’s still getting away with it because Montreal is pretty much the Wild West, crossed with high seas piracy, when it comes to the unregulated short-term rentals market there.
I’ve had good luck with AirBnB (in Montreal too, with a room in someone’s home), but I’ve had some so-so experiences as well. The most bizarre was in Portugal last year: instead of the rooms in a farmhouse that we were expecting, we ended up in a new agey commune, with a daycare and drop-in centre for youth. Our booked night was during their grand opening’s open house and party for the community spaces. There were people partying in our rooms when we arrived - they politely left our rooms when asked, but still... the party went on & on.
That one in Portugal was an exception for me - it was one of multiple listings by that owner. Although I usually have booked where the owner offers just one or two listings - now I make it a point to be diligent about this criteria. I have more AirBnB bookings coming up for next year in Australia and New Zealand, as well as conventional direct-booked B&Bs, and hotels/motels through Booking.com for that trip. I do rely on the sharing economy for savings, and hopefully an enhanced experience as well, when I travel.