EXCLUSIVE Airbnb faces light regulation under EU plan sources


BRUSSELS, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The European Commission will propose softer rules for Airbnb (ABNB.O) and other short-term apartment rental companies, people familiar with the matter have said.

Under the draft rule, landlords of short-term rentals will have to provide national authorities with data on the numbers using their services and the number of overnight stays, they said.

The data will be stored at a single digital entry point available to all authorities, one of the people said.

The proposal, which the EU executive will announce next week, is an attempt to address the patchwork of various national laws across the 27-country zone that regulate Airbnb and its competitors.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the draft plans on Thursday.

The EU draft rules are similar to Airbnb’s data-sharing agreement with EU statistics agency Eurostat two years ago, which allows public authorities to access quarterly published data on the number of people using its platform and the number of nights booked.

Authorities in Amsterdam, New York, Paris and other cities popular with tourists have blamed Airbnb for worsening housing shortages in their cities, which have displaced lower-income residents.

However, smaller towns and those in the countryside were more hospitable, hoping to attract more tourists. The proposed EU law aims to balance the interests of both sides.

Airbnb has tried to address such concerns in recent years by capping the number of days per year that apartments can be rented in central Paris, London and Amsterdam.

The proposed legislation will need to be finalized with EU member states and the European Parliament next year before it can become law.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Adaptation by John Stonestreet and Gareth Jones

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