Data collection: how the EU plans to strengthen the transparency of Airbnb rentals

The new regulation “creates a simple and easy set of information rules for platforms and facilitates the registration process for hosts.”

The European Union has reached an agreement to increase transparency in the collection of data on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, the European Council, which represents 27 member states, announced on Thursday. This new regulation “creates a simple and easy set of information rules for platforms and facilitates the registration process for hosts”, welcomed Rosenna Morillo Rodriguez, Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. .

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This improvement in transparency will “strengthen user confidence” and make it possible to fight against “illegal activities”, she added. The main platform in the sector, Airbnb, said on Thursday that it was “in favor of European regulation”, stressing that it had launched a challenge to this effect “from 2021”. “These rules will serve as global examples for the regulation of short-term rentals and provide clear guidance to platforms and authorities,” the platform said.

Better control of the activity of these platforms

These measures will help the authorities have enough information to better control the activities of these short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb. It was the subject of a €779 million seizure by Italian authorities, who accuse it of failing to collect tax on rental income received by owners between 2017 and 2021.

These digital platforms will therefore have to automatically transmit data on the number of rented nights and customers to the public authorities every month.

These measures will “ensure that local communities have the information they need to support the sustainable development of the short-term rental sector”, welcomed European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

According to the European Commission, which initiated the proposal, these measures harmonize host registration requirements. After registration, hosts will receive a unique registration number that will be displayed and verified. The agreement on this text, which was reached on the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, has yet to be formally adopted by both bodies. Member states will then have two years to implement the directive.

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