Pat Hyland - Jul 3, 2023
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Cities and countries around the world are addressing the issue of short-term rentals. This type of rental, offered by platforms such as Airbnb, has been criticized for contributing to rising real estate prices. It also pushes out locals, and exacerbates the over-tourism issues. Short-term rentals are now restricted in cities across Europe and the United States.

Airbnb listings and other short-term vacation rentals are banned in Florence's historic city center. Italy is also considering stricter regulations nationwide. Similarly, Penang, a popular Malaysian island, has recently enacted a ban on Airbnb-like accommodations.

Where in European countries have Airbnb-like platforms been banned or restricted?

France: Paris limits the number of days for rentals

If you're a Parisian looking to rent out your primary residence on a platform like Airbnb, you need to register with the city government. You can only rent out your primary residence for 120 days per year. However, if you want to rent a second home or property for more than 120 days, you must officially convert it into furnished tourist accommodation. The city has a dedicated department that tracks illegal rentals and punishes violators.

Germany: Berlin has strict Airbnb rules

Berlin previously banned Airbnb, but recently lifted the ban. However, strict regulations, with hefty penalties, are still in effect. Hosts have to obtain a permit to rent out an entire property short-term. Second homes can only be rented for a maximum of 90 days per year.

Munich allows short-term rentals for up to eight weeks per year. You will need to obtain a permit to continue renting beyond that period.

In Stuttgart, locals can only rent out more than half of their property short-term for a maximum of 10 weeks per year without a permit.

Italy: Nationwide restrictions considered

Florence has followed Rome's example and implemented regulations on Airbnb rentals. Its historic center will now have limited tourist accommodation. Other cities like Venice and Milan are also considering similar measures.

This trend is expected to continue, with Italy's Ministry of Tourism drafting a law to regulate short-term rentals throughout the country. The aim is to assist popular destinations facing housing shortages and overtourism.

The proposed law, which focuses on rentals lasting less than 30 days, is still being drafted. However, a minimum stay of two days is anticipated to be enforced in cities and tourist hubs.

Netherlands: Amsterdam restricts Airbnb stays

In Amsterdam, you can only rent your property for up to 30 nights per year. You must obtain a short-term stay permit to rent it out for more than that.

Portugal: No more licenses for new Airbnbs

Portugal has taken measures to address the increasing cost of rent by halting the issuance of new licenses for vacation rentals like Airbnb, except in rural areas. Additionally, all licenses for vacation rentals will now be reviewed every five years, and a rent control system will be implemented. Property owners who return Airbnb rentals to regular housing will receive a tax break.

Spain: Private room rentals are restricted in Barcelona

Barcelona is set to become the first European city to prohibit short-term private room rentals. Hosts will be prohibited from renting out a room for less than 31 days. An enforcement team will be dedicated to detecting illegal listings and taking them down. However, renting out entire apartments or houses will still be allowed with a valid license.

Tourist rentals in apartment buildings are now banned in Palma, the capital of Mallorca. Airbnb hosts can only rent out detached houses or villas, a single-family homes.

Valencia is legally battling to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in its historic district.

United Kingdom: 90-day maximum sublet in London

Airbnb hosts in London are now limited to renting out their property for a maximum of 90 nights per year unless they apply for a change of use. These caps have been put in place to promote sustainable short-term rentals and minimize disruptions in the city.

In Scotland, you need to get permission first before accepting any bookings.

Renting out a second home on Airbnb in Edinburgh requires planning permission. The city council may have the power to reject short-term rentals entirely in the future, according to the 10-year development plan announced in December.

If you offer tourist accommodation on a commercial basis, including through Airbnb, in Northern Ireland, you must obtain a certificate from the Tourism Authority.

Where is Airbnb banned or restricted in the U.S. and Canada?

Many cities and states in the United States are implementing stricter Airbnb rules. The goal is to limit the number of short-term rental permits to reduce unwanted tourism and ensure existing hosts can continue making a profit. Several popular tourist destinations in the U.S. are adopting these restrictions.

Honolulu is experiencing increased tourism and high house prices, leading to stricter regulations on short-term vacation rentals. Airbnb rentals on the island of Oahu, home to Waikiki Beach, are now banned for periods under 90 days. This is part of Hawaii's effort to address the issue. Additionally, individual counties on the island can implement their own rules to eliminate short-term rentals from this year onwards gradually.

Memphis, Tennessee, is a well-known tourist spot for its association with Elvis Presley and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Beginning in July 2023, new Airbnb hosts in the city must obtain a license. To do so, they must have a minimum of $1 million in insurance and an adult located within a 50-mile (80-kilometre) radius who can intervene in ordinance violations, including excessive noise levels.

In early June, Airbnb filed a lawsuit against New York City due to its “de facto ban” on short-term rentals. The city’s law, set to come into effect in July, requires hosts to follow strict registration, zoning, and maintenance guidelines. Hosts also have to prove they reside in their homes while hosting guests. This news gained significant attention at the time.

In Palm Springs, California, there are restrictions on the duration and frequency of short-term rental properties. Specifically, properties can only be rented for a maximum of 26 days, and only 20% of homes in residential neighborhoods can be used for such rentals.

Airbnb hosts in San Francisco must comply with strict rules and a 90-day rental cap.

Where in Asia and Australia is Airbnb banned or restricted?

Penang Island, a popular tourist spot in the northwest of Malaysia, implemented a ban on short-term vacation rentals in May 2023 to address anti-social behavior by tourists. While certain commercial properties like serviced apartments can still host guests for a maximum of three days, they must comply with the new regulations. This includes registering, paying an annual fee, and obtaining consent from at least 75% of the building's residents.

Airbnb is legal in Tokyo, Japan, but new regulations implemented in 2018 have significantly decreased the number of listings available in the city. As per the rules, short-term rentals are restricted to 180 days per year, and the property owner must either reside on the premises or appoint someone to manage it. Also, landlords are required to report guest information; in certain neighborhoods, rentals are only permitted of specific times of the year.

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