Several of our members cities met to discuss the rather thorny issue of the platform economy, especially Airbnb rentals and what this means for city administrations at a side meeting at our EUROCITIES Economic Development Forum in Munich.
While many residents benefit from the offer of quick cash, for others, and for many city governments, high numbers of Airbnb rentals in one area can lead to increased rents and less available housing stock.
Deputy mayors from Munich, Helsinki, Nantes, Paris and Venice met in Munich, and the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Lisbon have also recently met on the need to do something, which could come in the form of new legislation from the European Commission. The main outcome of the meeting included a commitment to join forces between cities to better stand up to the digital platforms, and to put pressure on the European Commission to take action.
Currently, city-level approaches vary. In Munich, for example, providers face a heavy fine if they rent out an entire apartment more than eight weeks a year via the platform. Speaking to the BBC, André Sobczak, vice president of Nantes Metropole, suggested that better regulation of the platform economy is needed in order to protect peoples' rights and access to affordable housing.
Concrete measures that could be imposed would include:
- limiting the number of days owners can rent out flats
- ensuring public access to the data held on these platforms to control the limits and enforce tax policy
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