Private rental owners who offer furnished accommodation in Brussels will face extra administrative burdens in the near future. The measure was announced by the Brussels-Capital Region on September 28 and has been criticised by online rental platform Airbnb as a “disproportionate” requirement. Adding to the onus, Airbnb said the new measure would discourage Brussels residents from occasionally renting out their accommodation ending up benefiting those who speculate in the property market.
Airbnb says the new rule will oblige accommodation providers to make accessible a large number of supporting documents, which must be requested from various government bodies, to obtain registration approval. The current equipment requirements — including certifying equipment such as the number of clothes hangers, hobs, and the minimum wattage for electric lights in bathrooms — will also remain in place.
The new tourist accommodation rules aim both to provide a framework for the safe exercise of an economic activity and to limit negative effects resulting from an anarchic supply of accommodation, according to the Brussels government. A draft ordinance adopted by the Brussels government will shortly be put before the Parliament and the rule is set to come into force in the near future.
While recognising the need for proportionate regulation, Airbnb says it shares the concerns of hosts and local tourism stakeholders, stating that it believes that “the new draft ordinance on furnished tourist accommodation in Brussels is far too complex and places disproportionate administrative burdens on accommodation providers.”
“Such regulation will continue to be detrimental to many families in the Region, who depend on this additional income to make ends meet. We hope to work with parliamentarians on rules that, rather than complicating it, make life easier for Brussels families who occasionally rent out their accommodation,” said Airbnb.
“The revised draft ordinance is unlikely to be in line with the new European framework for the regulation of short-term rentals in the European Union which should be adopted before the end of the year,” Airbnb noted.
In 20219, the city of Brussels received a warning from the European Commission saying the region was imposing strict home sharing rules also calling them “disproportionate”. The rules imposed by the Belgian capital do not differentiate between professional and private rentals – large hotels, small bed & breakfasts and the private rental of rooms, the EU executive said.