Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.43 20 Jun 2019


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Several European cities are asking the European Union for help against Airbnb.

They disagree with a recent non-binding opinion of the Advocate-General of the EU Court of Justice, which found the rentals provide "an information society service", rather than being treated as a traditional real estate agent.

The 10 cities - Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna - are concerned about the "explosive growth" of this type of rental platform.

They are calling for new rules to protect the housing market, and claim the ruling "undermines the confidence of citizens".

They say the issue must be on the agenda of the next European Commission.

"This will have, we fear, one major implication: Homes needed for residents to live and work in our cities, will become more and more considered as a market for renting out to tourists", an open letter says.

"We think that cities are best placed to understand their residents’ needs.

"They have always been allowed to organise local activities through urban planning or housing measures.

"The [court opinion] seems to imply that this will simply no longer be possible in the future when it comes to internet giants."

"Cities must protect the public interest and eliminate the adverse effects of short term holiday rental in various ways.

"More nuisances, feelings of insecurity and a ‘touristification’ of their neighbourhoods is not what our residents want.

"Therefore (local) governments should have the possibility to introduce their own regulations depending on the local situation."

"Platforms like Airbnb have exact rental data and they provide numerous services to guide the supply, simplify the process and influence the prices.

"Yet, according to the AG’s opinion, they would have no obligation at all to provide municipalities with information about the rentals to help them prevent violations of local or national regulations, for instance on the maximum number of days allowed.

"Enforcement would be for the authorities concerned alone, which have to identify anonymous addresses (data held by platforms), which places an excessive burden on public funds."


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Advocate-General Of The EU Court Of Justice Airbnb Amsterdam Barcelona Berlin Bordeaux Brussels EU Commission European Commission Krakow Munich Open Letter Paris Real Estate Agent Rental Platforms Valencia

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