Travelers think of Airbnb as a convenient and cheap alternative to traditional hotels, but cities around the world don’t necessarily hold the same positive view. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia, and Vienna wrote a joint letter to the EU in which they argued that Airbnb was negatively changing neighborhoods by leading to housing shortages and rising rent, creating feelings of insecurity, “touristifying” neighborhoods, and the like.
The cities said, “European cities believe homes should be used first and foremost for living in. Many suffer from a serious housing shortage. Where home can be rented out more lucratively to tourists, they vanish from the traditional housing market.”
The Guardian reports that after a 50 percent rise in tourist rentals, Palma de Mallorca saw a 40 percent increase in residential rents.
To solve the issue, the cities are asking Airbnb to provide data about the rentals advertised on the platform to help them prevent violations of short-term rental regulations.
The cities’ chief goal is to retain their autonomy on the issue, as well as the ability to enforce local regulations surrounding housing requirements.
According to Ian Brossat, Paris’ deputy mayor in charge of housing, “In the four central arrondissements of Paris, a quarter of all properties are now no longer homes but purely short-term rentals for tourists.”
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