The market for short-term rentals has experienced a significant surge in recent years, primarily attributable to the emergence and expansion of hundreds of online platforms such as Airbnb, Booking, Expedia and TripAdvisor. This type of accommodation comprises about one-quarter of total tourist accommodation in the EU, with expectations of further growth. While such rentals offer advantages for hosts, tourists and many regions, some argue that the lack of appropriate rules also contributes to problems like higher housing prices, permanent residents being displaced and disturbed, over-tourism, and unfair competition.
Addressing these concerns, negotiators from the European Parliament and Council reached a consensus in mid-November 2023, paving the way for new regulations pertaining to the collection and sharing of data related to short-term rentals. This initiative aims to promote a transparent and responsible platform economy in the EU and to implement effective local policies.
Under these regulations, short-term rentals can be registered online at no cost or for a pro-rata fee, with landlords receiving a unique registration number for property rental purposes. This registration number serves as a means for users to identify the property on platforms, ensuring the reliability of the information provided. Platforms are obligated to exert "reasonable efforts" in conducting random checks on this information. Through the registration number, relevant authorities gain access to the host's identity, enabling verification of their information. Violators of these rules risk suspension of their registration number, with authorities authorized to remove illegal advertisements and impose fines. Member States will establish a singular digital entry point to receive monthly data from platforms regarding host activities. This information will be instrumental in compiling statistics, enabling public authorities to comprehensively assess the situation and enhance tourism services in their respective regions.
According to the proposal, national and local authorities retain the autonomy to formulate rules and policies concerning short-term rentals, encompassing areas such as health and safety, urban planning, security, and taxation.
Following the agreement, the European Parliament and the Council will prepare the text of the new rules for formal adoption. Only then will it be published and become law. After it enters into force, Member States will have a 24-month period to establish the mechanisms for data exchanges, which are already being prepared with the support of the Commission.