You may have heard about the Airbnb regulations regarding the number of nights that Airbnb hosts are permitted to rent out their properties for hosts in some locations.
The changes to the Airbnb regulations have been made in response to growing concerns from government officials that landlords are using Airbnb for business, turning their properties into unofficial hotels. These unauthorized “hotels” are placing a squeeze on housing in high demand markets and making it more difficult for ordinary renters to find affordable housing.
If you are running Airbnb business, these rules will likely affect you as well. That means that you’ll probably need to make some adjustments to your business plan if you still want to be able to rent out your property for years to come.
Here are the rules and the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about them so that you know what changes you’ll need to make to your Airbnb management strategy.
The night limits that Airbnb has put into place are different for each location. Here are the rules for London, Amsterdam and Japan:
Airbnb has capped short-term rentals listed as “Entire place” at 90 nights per year in London. The yearly limit resets every year on January 1. Airbnb will also ban hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent beginning in the spring of 2018.
In Amsterdam, short-term rentals listed as “Entire place” are capped at 60 nights per year. This rule applies to all Airbnb listings. There is no exclusion for long-term reservations. The yearly limit resets every year on January 1.
Airbnb hosts in Japan are also seeing some changes in Airbnb regulations. Japan’s upper house passed a legislative bill in June 2017 which allows private homes to rent space to paying guests while placing a limit of total stays at 180 nights per year. The law also requires that Airbnb hosts register with local governments and allows local authorities to impose their own restrictions.
Being an Airbnb host you have to be always updated on Airbnb regulations and laws in your location. Check them every once in a while to be on the safe side.
Hosts are only allowed to rent out an entire property in Vancouver, or a room within that property, for less than 30 consecutive days at a time. City rules require hosts to get a business license and set forth that a landlord can only rent out their principal residence. Also, the majority of Strata or condo properties in Vancouver have voted through bylaws not permitting short-term rentals, so check with your local council and your block first if you are in an apartment.
As a long-term tenant, you can also rent out your property provided that you have the owner’s permission. A business license is mandatory for all short-term rental operators and its number should be present in all their listings and advertising.
As a result of these local changes, Airbnb has elected to update its platform to automatically enforce these rules to ease business for hosts. Below are some common questions and concerns about these annual limits and some tips for hosts on how to deal with them:
Any nights that are booked in an “Entire place” listing between January 1 and December 31 count towards the annual limit. Airbnb says that it will make adjustments accordingly if a booking spans multiple calendar years.
In London, reservations of 90 days or more are not considered as short-term stays per the 2015 Deregulation Act, and will not count towards a host’s short-term limit. There is no such exclusion for Amsterdam hosts.
Hosts have several options to manage Airbnb business if they are approaching the night limit:
Your Airbnb calendar will automatically disallow you from accepting any new short-term reservations for that year. According to Airbnb regulations, you’ll be allowed to accept short-term reservations again on January 1 of the following year, when the night limit resets each year.
If you have permission to host beyond the annual limit, Airbnb allows you to submit an Exemption Form that will allow you to undergo a process which removes the nights counter from the Manage Listing section of your account. Once this process is complete, your calendar will no longer be automatically blocked by Airbnb for the specific listings that are exempted.
As Airbnb regulations become more complicated, vacation rental software can help bridge the gap and make it easier for you to manage your Airbnb business. With iGMS, you can manage multiple Airbnb accounts and use the Stealth mode in case you are affected by Airbnb regulations. Simply put you this feature is used to automatically hide your listing if you reached the nights limit.
In any case, being Airbnb host you have to be aware of your city’s specific Airbnb regulation policies in order to make your Airbnb business safe and legal. Forewarned is forearmed.
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