What should be done about Airbnb?

In many cities of Europe tenants are complaining about rising rents and housing shortages - the downside of cheap holiday flats and of people short-letting their homes via Airbnb. The former start-up has long since become a tourism sector giant that generates billions. What limits should be set for the accommodation platform?

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The Irish Times (IE) /

Law setting limits on short-letting needed

In Dublin the trend of renting out homes to tourists via Airbnb is causing housing shortages for residents of the city, The Irish Times complains, calling for countermeasures:

“An estimated 4,600 'entire homes' are being short-let to tourists via the Airbnb platform alone. Requiring all short-letters to register with the local authorities and imposing a limit of, say, 30 days a year on which any home can be turned over to holiday lettings would almost certainly recover several thousand apartments and houses for long-term letting, thereby catering for locals and expatriates alike as well as helping to drive down extortionate rental levels in Dublin.”

Die Tageszeitung taz (DE) /

Impose a complete ban if need be

What started as a good idea became corrupted as the company expanded all over the world, the taz complains:

“The problem is already apparent in the founding legend. Airbnb's founding fathers rented out their air mattresses not just for fun, but also to help finance their excessive rents in San Francisco. On an individual basis that's absolutely fine, but as a mass social phenomenon it's fatal because it aggravates living space shortages and thus inevitably leads to price hikes. ... In view of the abject failure of the market to sort things out, tough state intervention is overdue. If you want to save attractive cities from Airbnbisation there's no avoiding strict regulation, including unconditional control of room-letting. And if that can't be done for lack of personnel there's only one alternative: a complete ban.”