Many European and American cities are cracking down on Airbnb and similar platforms.

Thousands of listings in New York disappeared in September 2023 when the city started enforcing rules such as requiring hosts to be registered and rental periods of at least 30 days (unless the host was present during the stay). Airbnb called it a “de facto ban”.

Italian tourist hotspot Florence passed a law in October 2023 banning new short-term rentals in the city centre. In June, Barcelona’s mayor announced plans to ban all short-term rentals in the Spanish city by 2028.

Their motivations are similar: Local housing woes and overtourism.

The supply of rental housing units declined sharply when more landlords pivoted to short-term accommodation for better revenue. Rents and home prices have skyrocketed, and locals are priced out of big cities.

Accessibility to more Airbnb-type short-term stays has also contributed to overtourism in popular tourist destinations.

Local authorities have concerns about overloaded infrastructure and the deterioration of the environment. Local residents are concerned about disruptions to quiet neighbourhoods and inflated costs of living caused by tourist-induced inflation.

Some hotel operators have complained about unfair competition. Revenues lost by hotels could mean lower tax revenues for local governments, especially in areas where they do not levy taxes on hosts and guests.

Many apartments used for short-term stays are not well-designed for large groups of transient visitors and guests, causing nuisance to other residents. Unlike hotels, short-term rental locations are also not as strictly regulated in terms of safety and health codes against fire and other building-related risks.


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