European city mayors call for EU to tighten rental platform regulation

Europe: The mayors of of 22 European cities have added their voices to calls for the European Union to improve its regulation of short-term holiday rental platforms by issuing three key demands. 

Those mayors have called on the EU to establish a new legislative framework that will update the e-Commerce Directive of 2000 on the information society services for the current context, according to TheMayor.eu.

The mayors undersigning the document are based in the European cities of Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Bologna, Bordeaux, Brussels, Cologne, Krakow, Florence, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Porto, Prague, Utrecht, Valencia, Vienna and Warsaw.

In a statement, the mayors issued the three demands:

  • Platforms to be forced to share relevant data with municipal administrations in order to enforce the law;
  • Wherever national or local holiday properties registration plans are implemented, platforms to be forced to post the registration numbers for their ads and to remove ads that do not have a valid registration number;
  • Platforms to be obliged to comply with and enforce national and local laws. In other words, the cities want to hold the platforms accountable for failure to comply with the local and national law of the member state they operate in, and not only in those states where they are legally based.

Giving their reasons for undersigning the document, the majors say increased holiday rental practice is adding pressure to the housing sector and creating more fragmented neighbourhoods and communities.

They added that platforms are not sharing the relevant rental data with the cities they are operating in, meaning it is difficult for local authorities to implement new laws governing the maximum rental stays, tax collection and security regulations.

The statement read: “Increasing urbanisation, coupled with the growth of tourism and the continuing shortage of housing, pose great challenges for our cities.

“One of those challenges is that homeowners are finding it increasingly appealing to remove flats from the long-term rental market in order to rent them for short periods. These short-term rentals are mainly for tourists, to the detriment of the citizens and the families who want to live and work in our cities,” it added.