The Czech Republic To Limit Airbnb From Summer

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The Czech Republic is planning to regulate the Airbnb accommodation service, following the example of some European cities.

According to the government, the rules will be set out over the next few months. Airbnb has already been restricted in Europe by authorities in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, and London. In these cities, limits between 30 to 120 days of renting are set. This is to prevent such platforms from being exploited by commercial providers; allowing ordinary people to make money.

Meanwhile, preparations for Airbnb's regulation are still ongoing. "Work is currently underway on a comprehensive report, which will contain information provided by individual ministries on the subject of shared economics. At the same time, a plan of tasks will be presented to the government to allow questions related to the shared economy area to be reflected in legislation," said Ondřej Malý, the new Deputy Minister of Industry.

This report is hoped to serve as a framework that individual towns and cities can tailor to "to regulate short-term rentals for a number of days of the year… Municipalities often have the best insight into relevant tourist activity in their administration.”

Eva Hromadkova the Airbnb spokesperson for the Czech Republic commented that the regulation is smart and the company wants to cooperate with the Czech authorities on clear rules. "Our cooperation will help to revive the economy and will be an opportunity for ordinary people," said Hromadkova.

Some European cities have been regulating this practice for several years. The extreme case is Berlin, which tightened the law in 2016, and now forbids short-term lease of the whole real estate over Airbnb platforms. Those who rent more than half of a property through Airbnb face a fine of up to € 100,000 (equivalent to 2.5 million CZK). According to the Berlin TV station RBB, more than 2.6 million euros (over 65 million crowns) has been issued as fines.

Berlin imposed regulation to ease the pressure on real estate prices and make housing available to local residents. Deutsche Welle reported - according to the latest city statistics, that after the tightening of the law, almost eight thousand apartments were returned to the long-term residential market. However, only half of them were used for short-term lease through Airbnb. The remaining 3,915 dwellings were empty.

Now, less than two years after the introduction of the law, there is the possibility to relax the rules. Ideally, the proposal is for short-term rentals to tourists for at least 60 days a year without special permission.

Author: Samia Ahmed

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