Airbnb Restrictions on Short-Term Rentals Around the World
Across the globe, the rise of short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb has sparked endless discussions and debates surrounding their regulation. Especially this year.
While these rentals offer travelers unique and often more affordable accommodations, concerns have emerged regarding their impact on local housing markets, community dynamics, and the overall tourism landscape. As a result, many cities and regions have implemented various restrictions and regulations to address these concerns and strike a balance between the benefits of short-term rentals and the preservation of housing availability for local residents.
This article explores the diverse approaches taken by different jurisdictions around the world to regulate and manage short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb.
Airbnb Short-Term Rental Restrictions in Europe
Visitors to Florence, seeking accommodation near the historic center will soon face limited options as the local government has banned new Airbnb and other short-term holiday rentals in that area. This move aims to address the city's housing shortage for local residents, as many buildings in the center have been converted into short-term rentals. The ban applies to all rentals under 30 days. While this may inconvenience visitors, it aims to enhance the livability of the city for its permanent residents. Nonetheless, Florence still offers a wide range of excellent hotels, ensuring travelers can plan their trip to this dazzling European destination.
P.S. Rome has implemented such restrictions on Airbnb since December 2022. Also, Venice and Milan are also planning to apply the same restriction on short-term Airbnb rentals.
In 2018, the city of Bordeaux introduced a list of regulations (120-day renting per year, registration on the local tourist tax website, show registration coded to all the ads posted online, etc.) on this rental form. As a result of this regulation, the number of accommodations available on platforms like Airbnb has decreased by half.
In Paris, individuals who wish to rent out their primary residence on platforms like Airbnb must register with the local town hall. They can rent their primary residence for 120 days per year. Second homes or rentals exceeding 120 days must go through the official process of converting the property into furnished tourist accommodation. The city has established a specialized unit responsible for identifying unauthorized rentals and imposing fines on those violating the regulations.
Interesting Fact: According to a survey conducted by pollsters Ifop on behalf of Airbnb, approximately 20% of individuals in the greater Paris region who do not currently rent their homes or parts of them on Airbnb intend to do so during the upcoming Olympic Games in the French capital.
Berlin had previously implemented a ban on Airbnb, which has now been lifted. However, the city still enforces stringent regulations (to obtain a permission of renting an entire property on a 90-day annual limit on short-term rentals, hosts must register the property with the city and pay a fee) and if something goes against the rules - imposes substantial fines.
In Munich, hosts can rent their short-term rentals no more than eight weeks per year, after which hosts must acquire special permission.
In Stuttgart, hosts who rent out over half of their property on a short-term basis are limited to 10 weeks per year without a permit.
Amsterdam has its own rules. Private hosts are permitted to rent out their properties for a maximum of 30 nights per year without a permit. It also applies to The Hague and Harlem. However, they must obtain a license specifically for short-term stays if they wish to exceed this limit. Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht were restricted to renting their properties at most 60 nights per year.
London private hosts on Airbnb are permitted to rent out their properties for a maximum of 90 nights per year without needing to apply for a change of use. These limits are in place to ensure the sustainability and minimal disruption of short-term rentals within the city.
In Scotland, hosts with new listings are now required to obtain a license for short-term letting before accepting any bookings. For instance, in Edinburgh, if you want to rent out a flat/house on Airbnb, it is necessary to obtain planning permission. The city's 10-year development plan, unveiled in December 2022, grants the council the authority to reject short-term lets altogether in the future potentially. The same goes to Northern Ireland, where individuals, must acquire a license for such activity from Tourism NI.
Recently, travelers have promoted Portugal as the best budget-friendly destination, boasting beautiful beaches, majestic attractions, and tasty food. However, it made a significant impact on rental prices for locals. To address the escalating rental prices, Portugal has implemented a measure to cease the issuance of new licenses for Airbnb and similar holiday rentals, except for rural areas. All existing licenses for holiday rentals will now undergo a review process every five years. Additionally, a new system is being introduced to regulate rental prices. As an incentive for Airbnb owners, they are being offered a tax benefit if they revert their properties back to regular residential homes.
Well, the situation in Spain is pretty similar to Portuguese. Barcelona has become the first European city to ban short-term private room rentals in 2021. Private hosts cannot rent a room for less than 31 days. A dedicated team monitors and removes illegal listings, and renting out entire homes or apartments is still permitted with the appropriate license.
Palma, the capital of Mallorca, has banned tourist rentals in apartment buildings, allowing only single-family homes, such as isolated houses or villas, to be listed on Airbnb. Finally, Valencia is legally battling to ban short-term holiday rentals in its historic center.
Airbnb Short-Term Rental Restrictions in the USA
More and more cities and states in the USA are taking steps to regulate Airbnb. By limiting the number of permits for short-term rentals, these cities aim to control excessive tourism while ensuring current hosts can still thrive and make a profit. For instance, starting July 2023, all new Airbnb owners in Memphis, Tennessee will need to be licensed. Here’s some other examples.
To prioritize housing for residents, certain areas of Montreal, Quebec have implemented a complete ban on new short-term rentals. Additionally, in the state of Quebec, there is a maximum limit of 31 consecutive days for stays in short-term accommodations. These measures aim to ensure sufficient housing availability for local residents.
Let’s jump to another Canadian city - Vancouver. There is a limit of 30 nights for each stay in Airbnb accommodations, and the property must be the owner's primary residence. In Toronto, Airbnb hosts are allowed to welcome guests for up to 180 days per year. These rules ensure a balanced approach to short-term rentals while considering the needs of the local communities.
With the aim of tackling overtourism and high housing costs, Honolulu is taking action against short-term holiday rentals. In Hawaii, Airbnb has been affected by a new rule that bans rental stays under 90 days on the beautiful island of Oahu, where you'll find the famous Waikiki Beach. Additionally, counties on the island have the power to establish their own regulations to gradually phase out short-term rentals starting this year.
In beautiful Palm Springs, California, they have put a limit on how many days a property can be rented out for short-term stays - it's set at 26 days. They have also made sure that only 20 percent of homes in residential areas can be used for such rentals. In San Francisco, another stunning city in California, they have a rental limit of 90 days for Airbnbs and they enforce strict rules to ensure compliance.
If a person considers renting out your single-family home in Beverly Hills, the general rule is a minimum rental period of 6 months. However, it is allowed to have two shorter-term rentals per year, but it’s a must to collect the required 'hotel tax' from guests. As for multi-unit buildings, please note that short-term rentals are not permitted. All rentals in such buildings must be for 30 days or longer. These measures aim to strike a balance between accommodating visitors and preserving the residential nature of the neighborhoods.
Airbnb Short-Term Rental Restrictions in Asia and Australia
In May 2023, the local government of Penang implemented a new regulation to address concerns about antisocial tourist behavior. As part of this, a ban on short-term holiday rentals has been introduced. However, there are still options available for your stay. Commercial properties, like serviced apartments, can continue to accommodate guests for up to three days. To ensure compliance, owners of these properties need to register with the local government, pay an annual fee, and gain approval from at least three-quarters of the residents in their building.
Airbnb is a legal option to stay in Tokyo, Japan. In 2018 there were new regulations for Airbnb rentals. For example, short-term rentals in Tokyo are limited to 180 days per year. Also, hosts must meet specific requirements: the owner must live on-site or appoint a dedicated person responsible for administrative tasks. It's also important for hosts to collect guest data for government reporting purposes. In specific districts, rentals are permitted only during designated times of the year, adding an extra layer of consideration.
In Singapore, you can explore the possibility of renting out your property on home sharing platforms like Airbnb. It's not technically illegal, there are certain regulations in place. The government has set a minimum rental period of 3 months for non-landed private properties, and 6 months for Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, which are government housing options. While it's important to note that Airbnb rentals can’t be used for most holiday stays.
In Sydney, Australia, home sharing platforms like Airbnb provide an opportunity for property owners to share their spaces with guests. However, it's important to be aware of the regulations in place to ensure a balanced and sustainable housing market.Currently, Airbnb hosts in Sydney are limited to renting out their properties for a maximum of 180 days per year. This means that hosts can welcome guests for up to half of the year, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of home sharing while also maintaining the availability of long-term housing options.
It's worth noting that bookings that exceed 21 consecutive days are exempt from this 180-day limit. This exemption acknowledges the distinction between short-term stays and longer-term arrangements, catering to individuals who may require extended accommodations for various reasons.