Major European cities turn to EU to help fight Airbnb

Many major tourist cities in Europe have been trying to deal with Airbnb as it has risen from a small start-up to become a giant player in the industry.

Cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris and more have all appealed to the European Union to stop Airbnb from freely operating however it likes.

The Amsterdam council published a letter on its website asking the European Union to reconsider a decision which would classify Airbnb as a digital service provider, not an accommodation provider.

“This will have, we fear, one major implication: Homes needed for residents to live and work in our cities, will become more and more considered as a market for renting out to tourists,” said the Amsterdam City Council in a letter published on its website.

The cities want the European Parliament to put ‘strong legal obligations’ in place across the region which would force Airbnb to comply with local regulations.

“Cities must protect the public interest and eliminate the adverse effects of short-term holiday rentals in various ways. More nuisances, feelings of insecurity and a ‘touristification’ of their neighbourhoods is not what our residents want.”

The problems they have Airbnb not following local laws around homesharing; such as cooperation with registration schemes and supply rental-data on houses advertised on the platform.

“Where platforms claim that they are willing to cooperate with the authorities, in practice they don’t or only do so on a voluntary basis.”

In the past, Airbnb has been cautious and hesitant to provide officials with in-depth data about listings.

In 2018 the company sued New York City, claiming that a policy requiring them to reveal data information about their listings was unconstitutional.