Main cities where Airbnb is legal or illegal
Using Airbnb, a short-term rental service that allows owners or tenants to rent properties for secondary income, is a huge hit with budget-conscious travelers. Regulators around the world, however, can be a challenge.
Among the issues that city governments and state regulators foresee with Airbnb is the potential to upend landlord-tenant relationships (for example, a landlord might try to evict a tenant for charging higher short-term rents. holidaymakers). Regulators also fear a potential influx of travelers who would turn quiet residential neighborhoods into rotating hotel districts. There are also concerns about the current lack of oversight and accountability regarding the collection of Airbnb-related taxes and compliance with zoning regulations.
Therefore, people who are considering using Airbnb (either to find a room or to rent an apartment) should do their due diligence to verify that the city in question fosters an Airbnb-friendly environment. In addition, registration must comply with current municipal codes.
Paris, Barcelona and Santa Monica, California. have some of the more stringent policies around who can and can’t rent through Airbnb, while Amsterdam, Berlin, London, San Francisco, and New York have more flexible requirements.
In 2018, a Parisian official, Ian Brossat, criticized the housing rental services because he believed they were displacing the inhabitants of the main city.Paris is the largest market in the world for Airbnb, which offers more than 60,000 apartments. Other cities like Spain, New York and Santa Monica share Brossart’s sentiments. In 2015, there were government crackdowns on second apartments in Paris set up specifically as short-term rental units with fines for violators of up to € 25,000.
Since 2017, Air BnB owners in France are required to register their accommodation and display the registration number in their advertisement under the Elan law.Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, citing fears that the proliferation of Air BnB lists in the city threatened to turn it into an “open-air museum”, announced in 2019 her intention to apply the fine of 12, 5 million euros of the law for unregistered advertisements.
In May 2018, Barcelona maintained its firm stance on Airbnb and other similar sites. The city asked the site to remove 2,577 ads it deemed to work without a city-approved license, or face substantial fines. Then, on June 1, Airbnb and the city struck a deal allowing Barcelona officials to access ad data. According to CityLab, “For the first time, city officials will be able to refer to data from hosts that specifically detail where apartments are located and who their registered hosts are, which may previously require further investigation.”
Host ID numbers will verify whether the linked apartments actually have authorization. In 2016, Airbnb was fined (still unpaid and contested) € 600,000 for listing unlicensed apartments, after a more modest fine of € 30,000 the previous year (this same fine also had inflicted on the HomeAway website). Residents say Air BnB rentals have made it even more difficult to find accommodation in the city, and the Catalan government has gone so far as to launch a social media campaign urging tourists to speak out against illegal short-term rentals or suspected of being illegal.
Despite the challenges of some cities, there have been over 400 million Airbnb registrations worldwide over the past decade.
German officials, blaming Airbnb for rising rents and the housing shortage in Berlin, passed a law in 2014 banning short-term rentals that did not receive explicit permission from the Berlin Senate.Potential owners could apply for a permit to rent their properties for periods of less than 60 days, but authorities have pledged to deny 95% of those requests under the 2014 law.
However, in March 2018, the city assembly overturned this law.The ruling means that owner-occupiers can rent out their primary residence without time restrictions after obtaining a permit from municipal authorities, and rent a second residence for up to 90 days a year.
Amsterdam and London
These two cities have been much more receptive to Airbnb than other European destinations. In February 2015, Amsterdam announced a cooperative effort with Airbnb in which the city would levy a tourist tax on rentals while Airbnb inform potential hosts of all rules and regulations.However, in 2018 Amsterdam limited short-term rentals to 30 days per year, halving its previous limit.And Londoners interested in renting their properties on Airbnb have benefited from an amendment to the city’s housing law (which was passed by Parliament in March 2015), allowing landlords to rent out their homes, apartments or their spare rooms for up to three months a year. .
Those who live outside of the Greater London area can rent their primary or secondary properties for up to 140 days a year. Airbnb is booming in London. A study by real estate services firm Colliers suggested that Airbnb’s market share in London tripled in 2017, from 2.8% to 7.6% of overnight stays.
The largest tourist destination in the United States is naturally no stranger to Airbnb. However, Recode reported that Airbnb sued the city in August 2018 over a new law that would require Airbnb and other roommates to provide the city’s enforcement agency with names and addresses. hosts every month.Airbnb claimed the law violated the privacy and constitutional rights of its users. New York City is Airbnb’s largest marketplace, but, according to the city, up to two-thirds of Airbnb’s ads are illegal. In January 2019, a federal judge blocked the law after declaring it unconstitutional. When a similar law was enacted in San Francisco, the number of listings on Airbnb fell by 50%.
San Francisco has a similar policy to New York: Airbnb rentals are only allowed if hosts are full-time residents, rentals are capped at 90 days, and all hosts must register with the city.Violators are liable to a fine of $ 484 per day for first-time offenders and $ 968 per day for repeat offenders.However, despite these stipulations, the Chronicle of San Francisco reported that only a fraction of Airbnb hosts have actually complied with the new law. Surveys in 2019 found that up to half of people applying for a short-term rental permit in San Francisco lied about their applications, mostly by falsely claiming to be a resident of the house they are renting. Additionally, as in other cities, Airbnb faces growing criticism from housing activists who accuse the site of reducing the already limited supply of housing.
This city has effectively erased 80% of its Airbnb listings by instituting the strictest short-term rental regulations in the United States. The new regulations, which came into effect June 2015, require anyone who advertises on Airbnb in Santa Monica to live on the property during the tenant’s stay, register for a business license, and collect a 14% occupancy tax. from users that will be payable to the city.In 2019, the city of Santa Monica entered into a deal with Airbnb in which the company agreed to remove illegal short-term ads from its website.In 2019, the city had only 351 short-term rental properties, most of which are listed on Airbnb.
The number of cities in which Airbnb has listings, across 191 countries.
The bottom line
Airbnb is no stranger to controversy. Supporters argue the service allows travelers to rent more affordable homes while opponents accuse Airbnb of hurting housing prices, supply and the quality of life in the neighborhood. Cities have a wide range of approaches to managing service, from strict Santa Monica to rather laissez-faire Amsterdam. Given this situation, any potential Airbnb host should know where their city falls on this spectrum. Otherwise, they risk being slapped with a heavy penalty or, if they are tenants, even evicted from their residence.