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Brussels wants tougher rules on Airbnb-like rentals

Credit: Belga

Brussels is among 22 major European cities asking tougher regulation against vacation rental platforms like Airbnb, which they say is bad for real estate markets and for the attractiveness of city centres.

The cities are due to meet European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager in Paris on Thursday and denounce “a dated and advantageous European legal framework” for these platforms, according to a press release.

The representatives of these cities want to “force the platforms to share their data, which is essential for effective control” and hold them “responsible for the announcements they publish.”

They criticise the short-term rental of furnished accommodation for being too profitable compared to long-term rentals and thus causing a shortage of housing and a sharp rise in prices.

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City centres are a favourite destination for tourists, but they are particularly hard hit by the phenomenon, and town halls are receiving a large number of complaints from co-owners and local residents about constant comings and goings, dilapidated common areas and noise pollution among other things.

The European commission is due to unveil new legislation by the end of the year (the Digital Services Act), aimed at setting a global standard for better monitoring and control of the activity of major platforms.

“Better cooperation between platforms and public authorities will be one of the prerequisites for the proper application of the Digital Service Act,” said Vestager, quoted in the press release.

The Brussels Times