EU Passes ‘Airbnb Law’ to Require Short-Term Rental Platforms to Share Data

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The law enables authorities to conduct random checks to see if listings are legal.

The European Parliament passed what some call the  “Airbnb law” last week, requiring short-term rental platforms to comply with data sharing and supervision checks. 

Written by Dutch Green lawmaker Kim Van Sparrentak, the law requires two things: That platforms like Airbnb, Booking, Vrbo and HomeTogo share data with local authorities monthly (smaller platforms will be required to share data quarterly). And second, it mandates that platforms combat illegal rentals through random verification checks. 

Van Sparrentak said during the parliamentary session that better data sharing will enable authorities to tackle the issue of illegal listings, and will increase access to affordable housing. 

The type of data to be shared include identity of the host, contact details, exact location and address of the rental, and maximum number of beds/occupants. 

EU negotiators from the 27 member states and the parliament reached a provisional agreement on the rules in November. As for next steps, the parliamentary council needs to formally approve it and the regulation would then be signed at the parliament’s mini-plenary session on April 10 and 11. Local authorities and platforms will have 24 months to comply after that date.

“We hope that the EU data sharing framework for short-term rentals will lead to more justified, proportionate, and non-discriminatory short-term rental rules – rules that respect the principles of the EU’s Services Directive,” said Viktorija Molnar, acting secretary general of the European Holiday Home Association, which advocates for the short-term rental industry in the European Union. “The EHHA stands ready to further cooperate with policy makers to ensure a proper application of the EU regulation.”

Airbnb put out a statement welcoming the new rules. The company said it is already working with member states on tools for new data-sharing frameworks. 

“For the last two years Airbnb has called for an EU-wide approach to short-term rental rules that will help make regulations more consistent across the bloc,” said Georgina Browes, head of EU Policy at Airbnb in a statement. “Platforms and authorities will have clear guidance on how to share data and it should become simpler for hosts to register with their local authority and adhere to proportionate rules.”

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