EHHA welcomes the European Commission’s action against Belgium regarding the authorisation procedure and general requirements that the Brussels region applies to short-term rental (STR) providers. This action follows a complaint by EHHA on restrictive legislation for the STR sector in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and Paris, which was lodged in 2016.
“Today, during a meeting with the European Commission, we expressed our satisfaction with the Commission’s active steps to address the problem of disproportionate, unfair and unjustified STR rules. Overly-stringent regulations hurt consumers, homeowners and renters, as well as the wider tourism sector. They are also contrary to the Service Directive and the Commission’s goal of creating a Digital Single Market. We encourage the Commission to continue with infringement procedures against those Member States which apply unnecessary and disproportionate local and national rules”, – says EHHA Secretary General, Carlos Villaro Lassen.
On 24 January1, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Belgium, seeking explanations on regulation2of STR services by the Brussels Capital Region which contains disproportionate restrictions in infringement with the EU freedom of establishment. Belgium has now two months to address the concerns raised by the Commission.
In 2016, EHHA representing property owners, renters and managers, as well as STR platforms submitted a complaint to the Commission regarding over-zealous rules in cities such as Brussels, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris, and restrictions or bans on activity which are inconsistent with EU law.
EHHA noted that in Brussels, private individuals and small business in the short-term rental space face a colossal administrative process – better suited to large corporations. In particular, a registration number can only be obtained after a large number of documents such as criminal records, formal plans of the building in question, agreement of the co-owners and insurance contracts, have been filed. The Brussels Administration also has to perform a time-consuming prior check of the premises. Fines for non-compliance range between €250 – €25,000.
EHHA calls on decision-makers across the EU to better-understand the sector’s specificities and impact, and remains committed to working constructively with local authorities to ensure the introduction of balanced STR rules, in accordance with the existing EU regulatory framework. The STR sector has already announced a Roadmap3of actions, and requests the support of the Commission and all policy stakeholders in achieving its aims.
EHHA is looking forward to working with the Brussels authorities to create simple and clear rules that support the sustainable development of STR in the Brussels region.
What is European Holiday Home Association (EHHA)?
The European Holiday Home Association (www.ehha.eu) was founded in 2013 to give a voice to the short-term rental industry. The EHHA’s members range from associations representing private house owners to managers’ associations and digital platforms. Its members operate across the European Union countries. The core task of the association’s members is the distribution of short-term rentals in private houses and apartments.