Airbnb proposes new measures to make STR rules simple in the Brussels region

BELGIUM. Brussels. BELGIUM. Brussels.

As urban tourism gradually recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, Airbnb puts new proposals forward to support a sustainable development model for short term rentals in the Brussels region.

In a letter to the Brussels region authority, Juliette Langlais, Airbnb’s Head of public policy in Europe, has listed several solutions and areas of work to ensure the current revision of the ordinance on short term rentals results in clearer and simpler rules for Brussels hosts, and offered to provide local authorities with effective tools to better enforce and monitor compliance with local regulations. 

Airbnb wants to be a good partner to the Brussels region authority in its objectives to enable a healthy balance between housing stock and tourism development and to better control the development of professional furnished tourist rentals, while encouraging local families to earn supplemental income by renting their home casually on Airbnb. 

Most of the Hosts on Airbnb in Brussels are locals who rent out all or part of their home from time to time. Brussels listings on Airbnb are typically rented only 50 days per year, and one in four listings in the cities are mere private rooms rented by locals in their own homes*. In these difficult times of rising living costs, occasional rentals to tourists bring a welcome supplementary income to Brussels families: last summer, Brussels hosts earned an average income of €1,200

However current heavy red tape regulations discourage the Brussels inhabitants wishing to rent their accommodation casually, benefitting the speculators who have the time, the means and the financial interest, to comply with these obligations: 

  • In order to register their listing with local authorities, Brussels’ hosts must fill out a 17-pages form with up to 18 different administrative documents
  • Listings must respect dozens of equipment obligations

Based on our experience of working to implement local regulations with hundreds of public authorities across Europe, we have put the following proposals forward to the Brussels region:

Simplified administrative requirements and procedures for hosts

Airbnb advocates for a harmonized simple and quick administrative procedure for hosts sharing their primary home on Airbnb, via a 100% online free notification or registration system, with the registration number then being issued immediately by the authorities. 

Red tape and a priori documentation requirements for hosts could be lightened through data sharing between STR platforms and local authorities allowing targeted control  by the local authorities 

Airbnb’s commitment to support forward-looking rules in the Brussels region

Airbnb is committed to support clearer and simpler rules in the Brussels region by enforcing mandatory registration on all local homes listed on Airbnb, as we have already done for dozens of European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Hamburg, Athens, etc. 

Within this same simplified framework and in compliance with privacy protection legislation, Airbnb offers to launch its “city portal” in Brussels Region, allowing local authorities to control the registration numbers and access statistical data related to the activity on the platform 

Airbnb wants to partner with the Brussels region to support progressive STR regulations and we are ready to implement effective tools on our platform to make sure everyone respects the rules. We believe simpler rules for hosts would benefit local authorities by improving compliance while allowing more Brussels households to earn a much welcome supplementary income on Airbnb and cope with surging costs of life.

Juliette Langlais, Head of public policy for Europe

* Data from 2021