The European Parliament is ready to start discussing proposals that would make it easier for local authorities to regulate short-term vacation rentals through platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com.
The proposals, based on a report submitted to the parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, would, among other things, create a Europe-wide common registration system for short-term rentals, which local authorities could use to regulate rentals and platforms could use to simplify registration by not having to work with dozens of local and national systems.
The proposed system would also allow local authorities to require the de-listing of properties that did not follow its rules. In addition, online platforms would be required to make “reasonable efforts” to regularly carry out random checks to ensure there are no inaccurate declarations or invalid registration numbers on their websites.
The report, prepared by Kim Van Sparrentak, a Dutch member of the parliament representing the Green Party, says that short-term rentals through Airbnb, Booking, Tripadvisor and Expedia amounted to 547 million nights in Europe in 2022.
Short-term rentals have become controversial in many cities because they can have the effect of “extracting long-term housing from the market in popular tourist destinations, increased housing prices, and a loss of grip on where tourism activity takes place," in the words of the report.
If the proposal is adopted by the parliament, it must then be approved by the European Council, which represents governments. If approved, it would take effect after 24 months.