Prague City Hall wants to allow Parliament to regulate Airbnb in a stricter way!

Prague City Hall plans to request a change to the law in the Czech Parliament so that city rental services like Airbnb can be better regulated.

Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová (UPC) was authorized to prepare a proposal to amend the Trade Licensing Act of Prague.

Under the amendments to the Trade Licensing Act to be submitted by Prague to Parliament, municipalities may create short-term accommodation rules in apartment buildings, family homes or family recreation buildings. villas in Doha

The draft amendment would provide municipalities with the legal opportunity to limit short-term housing by setting the conditions for such a service, particularly in apartment buildings, i.e. the maximum number of people accommodated at the same time or the maximum number of overnight accommodation in one calendar year.

The emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic led to a significant reduction in short-term lodging services. Prague wishes to take this to change the circumstances so that short-term accommodation services via platforms, such as Airbnb, do not return to their original state, which, according to a press release from the City Hall, was insupportable in terms of the city center lives.

"The essence of the proposal is to empower municipalities to issue regulations on short-term apartment accommodation. As shown in the run-up to the coronavirus epidemic, the issue of short-term accommodation legislation needs to be resolved, in particular in major cities, as its provision via a platform like Airbnb has extended beyond the common economy for a long time," said Councilor Kordová Marvanova.

"Therefore the legislative framework needs to be adjusted to keep the Czech cities pace with the world capitals with this authority. I hope that this proposal will receive support in this House, as it did in April when the lower house accepted the first of our proposals to enable commercial licensing authorities from digital platforms to obtain information on rented flats to enforce legal obligations better. All of our proposals are designed to ensure that the use of a common economy in short-term housing is reasonable and that the people living there permanently do not have trouble," added Kordová Marvanová.

Short-term accommodation arranged via Internet platforms has grown into a lucrative business with apartments and whole buildings basically being used as hotels but without any legal requirement or accommodation approval. The advantage for these companies is that the situation is difficult to monitor and not entirely clear legally. According to City Hall, this type of business is largely carried out in the gray economy.

The current state of shared accommodation has reduced citizens' access to housing and led to both inconvenience and safety risks for permanent residents. The loss of taxes and charges has affected city and government coffers. The situation has also led to unfair conditions and unequal competition with the hotel industry.

"The current legislation is not enough to define the legal framework on the enforceability of short-term accomodation services for regulating shared accommodation. The housing demand far exceeds the supply. And properties offered at prices far exceeding the current market rent and more significantly in the context of short-term accommodation are offered to meet housing needs. The housing policy is unsustainable," said Kordová Marvanová.

She added that the long-term state situation in the city center must be resolved at national level, as thousands of flats are not for their intended residential purposes. "It was also inspired by the laws on certain international cities, which usually have greater legislative powers than those available to Prague, that the draft authorisation was submitted," she said.

For short term rentals, other cities already limit the number of days a flat can be used. Amsterdam limits this to 30 days, while London has the 90-day limit, Paris 120-day limit and Berlin 182-day limit. Cities can also impose higher penalties for non-compliance than Prague. In Vienna, for instance, it's up to EUR 50,000.

"Municipalities, including Prague, would have an instrument to protect their residents from excessive noise and other problems by using the proposed authorisation. Similarly, limiting overnight stays will have an advantage over long-term rent over short-term accommodation that can help to resolve housing shortages and develop long-term rentals," says Kordová Marvanová.

She added that the current Coronavirus situation has led to the availability of thousands of apartments in Prague center due to lack of demand for short-term lodging services.

According to available data, in 2018, a total of 11,485 lodging spaces were offered to be rented by Airbnb in Prague, 80% of which were whole or family houses. The city center clearly focused on supply and demand with Old Town with 1,337 units, Vinohrady 1,205 and Žižkov 1,153.

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