EU Approves New Rules for Short-Term Rental Transparency and Data Collection

EU Approves New Rules for Short-Term Rental Transparency and Data Collection

The Council of the European Union (EU) has given its final approval to a new regulation on data collection and sharing for short-term accommodation rental services.

This new law is meant to improve transparency in the short-term rental sector and help government agencies encourage sustainable tourism.

Harmonized registration requirements

Under the new rules, anyone renting out a property for a short period, like through Airbnb, has to follow harmonized registration requirements. This includes getting a special registration number.

Short-term property owners will need to show this number on the websites where they advertise your place for rent. To get this number, they will have to provide some basic information.

Online platforms will also be required to regularly share information about their hosts’ activities to a central digital hub in each country.

This sharing of information will help the authorities produce reliable statistics and make smarter regulatory decisions.

Balancing innovation and community protection

The short-term rental regulations are designed to find a middle ground between encouraging innovation and protecting communities.

It aims to ensure fair competition within the sector while guaranteeing quality for consumers. This helps make tourism more sustainable and supports its digital transition.

Following the Council’s approval of the European Parliament’s position, the legislative act has been formally adopted.

Once signed by the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Council, the regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. After that, it will be in force 20 days later.

It will apply 24 months after it enters into force.

The growing significance of short-term rentals

Short-term rentals, like apartments, houses, or rooms, have become an increasingly popular accommodation for tourists and travelers. 

Websites and apps have played a significant role in making these rentals easy to find and book. Now, they make up about one-quarter of all the places tourists stay in the EU.

According to Eurostat, over 1.6 million tourists stay overnight in places they found and booked online.

Shaping the future of EU immigration policy

While the regulation on short-term rentals mainly concentrates on data collection and transparency, they also affect how people move around within the EU.

When authorities have more comprehensive data on short-term rentals, they can make smarter decisions related to Schengen visas and general immigration policies.

There could be a possible addition to information collected in applications for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), an incoming pre-travel authorization for visa-exempt travelers to the EU.

Initially, the ETIAS application form requires travelers to provide the first EU country they will be visiting. Moving forward, the application form might ask about where they will be staying during their trip.

This data-driven approach might make it easier for EU countries to manage tourists and immigration flows while ensuring a fair and sustainable accommodation market for all.

Charting a path forward

The new EU regulation on short-term rentals aims to bring greater transparency and data collection to this growing sector.

By harmonizing registration requirements and promoting data sharing, the regulation seeks to support sustainable tourism, fair competition, and informed decision-making by public authorities.