The Minister for Tourism, Ben Weyts, indicated on Tuesday that the Flemish government has started a procedure involving targeted inspections for properties offered as accommodation through the Airbnb platform. Such properties may not have as much information available as they should under the Flemish decree around gîtes (self-catering cottages).
Airbnb is refusing to communicate to the Flemish regional government the addresses of accommodation offered for rent through its platform. Such owners are however compelled to give addresses out on the site. In particular, they must have fire safety and hygiene certificates available.
The inspection procedure is in addition to the legal proceedings that the Flemish government has already set in motion against the platform, for refusal to communicate the addresses of its landlords who are letting furnished accommodation.
The individuals inspected, who do not make available the necessary certificates, risk being forced to close their accommodation. Mr Weyts stressed, “Airbnb offers no protection against the making available of unsafe accommodation, which is unhygienic or illegal. We cannot offer this type of overnight accommodation in Flanders. I hope that we do not have to make too many examples of individuals for everyone to understand our message.”
The Brussels Times