regulations
"Light touch" short-term rental regulations will be discussed in the EU Parliament this week [Unsplash]

EU lawmakers to rule on “light touch” rental regulations

Europe: EU countries and European Parliament lawmakers are due to rule on the introduction of “light touch” short-term rental regulations across the bloc this Wednesday [15 November], three sources have confirmed to Reuters.

It marks the latest update on the matter since the end of September, when the EU’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection [IMCO] Committee adopted a report on the proposal for regulations on data collection and sharing with 31 votes in favour [none against and one abstention]. That laid down the framework for eligible authorities across the 27 member states to have access to data that will allow them to build and enforce fair and proportionate rules at a local level.

The first trilogue was held on 11 October during which co-legislators presented their mandates and the next trilogue is scheduled for 15 November.

At the time, Rapporteur Kim Van Sparrentak, of the Greens – European Free Alliance political party in the Netherlands, said: “This regulation will establish common rules on data-sharing in the short-term rental sector in 27 member states in the interest of consumers, businesses and national administrations. It is of outmost importance to address the lack of transparency in the sector to ensure that existing rules can be enforced.”

The incoming regulations, proposed by the European Commission last year, will include:

  • A simple, online registration procedure for short-term rental properties in jurisdictions that require it
  • A streamlined data-sharing framework to support evidence-based policymaking
  • Obligations for platforms to help ensure that information shared is correct, in-line with the provisions in the Digital Service Act [DSA]

It is expected that the final version of the regulations will mirror the European Commission’s initial proposal, which set out to improve the collection and sharing of data from short-term rental hosts and online platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group / Vrbo and TripAdvisor.

The Commission is also intent on tackling illegal listings that contribute to divergent approaches when it comes to enforcing regulations at a local and national scale across the continent.

Speaking on a STRz webinar on ‘Leading on advocacy round table: Why your industry needs you’ in September, Viktorija Molnar, acting secretary general of the European Holiday Home Association [EHHA], said that she expected the relevant institutions to pass the new regulations into EU law by December.

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, told Reuters: “We hope they will serve as a global example of clear rules that give guidance to platforms and authorities on how to share data and make proportionate rules work for everyone. We will take this opportunity to kickstart a new chapter in our collaborations with cities and governments and work together to protect housing and support sustainable tourism across the EU.”

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