European organizations unite to stand up for short-term rentals

The short-term rental (STR) industry has been the target of finger pointing and bad press in recent years as the pressure on housing grows in cities.

Both Amsterdam and Paris have threatened bans on short-term rental services such as Airbnb in recent months but industry bodies believe regulators need to better understand how the sector works.

The European Technology & Travel Services Association (ETTSA) and the European Holiday Home Association (EHHA) have set out a roadmap with actions for the short-term rental industry to work towards. Together the organizations say they represent the entire sector.

The move came last week as the European Commission held a conference on the collaborative economy following workshops carried out with various stakeholders in 2017.

The Commission also released a Eurobarometer showing the growing popularity of the collaborative economy amongst consumers with almost 25% of EU citizens saying they use the platforms in different sectors such as accommodation or transport.

The EC also issued its own set of guidance to ensure best practice within the short-term rental industry.

The ETTSA-EHHA roadmap includes aims such as engaging with relevant local authorities on the impact of short-term rentals and the provision by online platforms of technology for accommodation hosts or property managers to help them comply with local laws.

A further action point states online platforms and property managers will remove properties that they know to be operating illegally.

ETTSA secretary general Emmanuel Mounier feels the short-term rental industry should get more guidance from the EU and says the roadmap is about demonstrating its readiness and commitment to dialogue.

He adds that short-term rentals sometimes get blame for issues within cities that may not be their fault.

Separately, the European Commission says Airbnb has committed to its demands made in July for cleaning up its pricing and commercial terms. The accommodation platform has until the end of 2018 to make the changes.