European lawmakers agree on registration system for short-term rental hosts and platforms

European lawmakers agree on registration system for short-term rental hosts and platforms

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European regulators have agreed on a draft regulation for data collection and sharing for short-term rental services. 

The new rules bring in harmonized registration for hosts and short-term rental properties, alongside the granting of a unique registration number to be displayed on websites and platforms selling the properties. The overarching idea is to improve the collection and sharing of data from hosts and platforms.

The plan is to use the data to add to existing tourism statistics and help administrations across the European Union to combat fake listings. Regulators have also agreed to align the rules with the relevant provisions of the Digital Services Act.

Terms and conditions for hosts and intermediary sites include sending activity data to the authorities every month while small and micro online short-term rental platforms are required to send the data only every quarter.

Earlier this year regulators agreed on a common approach to data collection and sharing from short-term accommodation platforms such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Vrbo.

The short-term rental business has boomed in Europe in recent years and now accounts for almost 25% of total tourist accommodation across the region.

In a letter to policymakers, Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, said, “We welcome new EU-wide rules as a watershed moment for Airbnb and our industry. The new rules will serve as a global example of how to regulate short-term rentals and give clear guidance to platforms and authorities on important matters, including how to share data and make local rules work for everyone.” 

Rosana Morillo Rodriguez, acting Spanish secretary of state for tourism, said, “The proposal for a regulation aims at enhancing transparency in the field of short-term accommodation rentals and helping public authorities regulate this increasingly important part of the tourism sector. The development of online services and the cooperative economy has boosted rentals of rooms and residences for short periods of time, often via online platforms.”

Almost a year ago the European Commission published proposed regulation for short-term rentals with only the elements around a registration system and procedures agreed upon this week. Work on the proposed regulation followed a consultation on the sector the year before.

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