Lucerne votes to cap short-term rentals at 90 days a year
Switzerland: Lucerne has become the latest Swiss city to place restrictions on short-term rental operations, including listings on platforms such as Airbnb.
On Sunday, 64 per cent of voters approved a legal amendment brought by the left-wing Social Democratic Party to limit short-term rental operations to a maximum of 90 days a year in the eastern city in Switzerland. Turnout at the Lucerne vote stood at 34.6 per cent, and saw citizens debate a number of local and regional issues.
While the proponents of the amendment bill said that it would increase available housing supply for local residents in Lucerne, its opponents warned that the rental limitations would have an adverse effect on tourism in the area, particularly as the city is one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations for tourists.
Following the vote, the local government failed in its attempts to pass through a watered-down counterproposal, leading Cedric Wermuth, the co-president of the national Socialist Party, to describe the result as a “fantastic victory against the real estate lobby”.
Against the wider European backdrop, whereby EU business ministers have approved new rules for short-term rental booking platforms across the bloc [including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor], Lucerne becomes the latest Swiss city to implement restrictions on short-term rental accommodation.
In recent years, cantons including Geneva, Zurich and Basel have introduced tourism taxes on short-term rentals, while the capital city of Bern has placed limits on the number of short-term rentals operating in a single building in the historic old town.