Renting private homes to tourists could be illegal

June 13th, 2013

This article is more than 10 years old.

Websites such as Airbnb that allow tenants to rent out their homes to tourists are illegal according to the government, but Airbnb counters that the rules are unclear

The thousands of Copenhagen residents who earn extra income renting out their home directly to tourists using online sites such as Airbnb may be doing so illegally.

“It breaks housing regulation laws if you rent your home for a holiday or temporary use,” Nils Hein, a spokesperson for housing, urban and rural affairs ministry, told metroXpress newspaper. “It is not permitted to rent out private homes for anything other than year-round occupation without the approval of the local council.”

Chief economist Jesper Larsen from tenants association LLO agreed.

“If you rent your flat out for a few weeks every year it breaks regulations governing the use of homes – they are meant to be used as homes, not hotels,” Larsen told metroXpress, adding that the practice could undermine legislation regulating the rental market.

Airbnb spokesperson Kim Rubey disagreed.

“Airbnb helps people earn money by allowing them to occasionally lease their home out to travellers looking for unique places to stay,” Rubey told metroXpress. “The rules governing the area are still unclear.”

Airbnb has faced legal challenges in several cities around the world. In New York, a host was recently fined $2,400 for renting his room in a shared flat for three days.

Airbnb was investigated in Amsterdam over concerns that it allowed tenants to operate illegal hotels and bypass tourist taxes.

The conflict was concluded this week when Amsterdam authorities decided that its residents can occasionally rent out their rooms on Airbnb under certain conditions.

Airbnb's Copenhagen office has 15 employees and was opened in 2010. Over 4,000 homes are available in Denmark through the service.


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