A recent study by Ernst & Young (EY) has revealed that Greece is among a handful of countries in the European Union slow to implement regulations for short-term rental properties. With demand for Airbnb-type rentals at an all-time high, hoteliers constrained by stiff regulations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic are angered that short-term property owners are not called on to adhere to the same measures.
Issues like tax evasion and unfair market practices have been in the bookings mix since before COVID-19, and now the bookings and the property markets are in sharp focus over the disparity in regulations.
The EY study shines a light on the fact that most EU cities with high tourist rates, among these Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome and New York, having already implemented strict rules. In those destinations Airbnb regulations range from requiring a special operational permit and limited rental time to rental taxation and classification of short-term leases under certain conditions as illegal.
Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has led to a standstill in incoming tourist activity, Airbnb owners have opted to wait it out or lease long term instead of selling their properties.
Greece is anxious to welcome back tourists in time for late summer holidays following the reopening of its borders. Hotels and holiday rentals, including Airbnbs, have been given the green light to restart business.