Cities Around The World Are Cracking Down On Short-Term Rentals

Cities Around The World Are Cracking Down On Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals have ruled the world of travel for nearly two decades, but after a long love affair with easy-to-use rental platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo and more, cities around the world are fed up with vacation rental culture. 

Some of the most saturated cities for tourism around the world have put their foot down on the ever-growing expansion of short term rental properties, which they claim make their cities unsafe, less equitable for housing, and overcrowded. 

New York City – where tens of millions of visitors seek temporary vacation housing each year –  has been subject to rises in average housing costs because of the prevalence of short term rentals. According to Forbes, for every 1% increase in Airbnb rentals, there was a corresponding 1.6% increase in long-term rental rates as of last year.

According to Lonely Planet, in September of 2023, New York “implemented a new law restricting short-term vacation rentals, defined as stays lasting less than 30 days. Officials hope the law will dissuade travelers from using platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo and, and push them toward staying at hotels instead.” 

Debates on whether or not these new rules are actually helpful have been popping up around the internet. Many New Yorkers make a good living from renting out spaces to tourists, and with that income squashed it may be more difficult for city residents to pay their own bills. The new rules may also affect tourism, forcing travelers to opt for more expensive options, and consequently making an already jaw-droppingly expensive city like New York a less attractive or accessible destination. 

Similar scenarios can be seen around the globe. A hotbed for European tourism, Florence, Italy is also cracking down on short-term rentals. New laws in the city prevent any new Airbnb rentals in the city’s historic center. 

Florence mayor Dario Nardella told The Guardian in October 2023 “In 2016, we had just under 6,000 apartments listed on Airbnb; today we have almost 14,378.” He also noted that the average cost for residential rentals increased by 42%. Though existing short-term rental owners are not forced to give up their business, the city is now offering three years of tax breaks to owners who switch to ordinary leases. 

The city has been struggling with a steady increase in overtourism, and with a quick visit to the city, you’ll find more tourists than locals walk the streets. A city with such a rich history needs to protect its integrity, and bans on new short-term rentals are just one step toward the preservation of Florence’s magic. 

Other cities in Europe like Vienna, Amsterdam, and Paris have put restrictions on the number of days short-term rentals can be let for. In Berlin, landlords must obtain a special permit to let properties, and in Portugal licenses to let short-term rentals have halted altogether, according to Euronews. Restrictions on rentals are also seen in Asia and Australia, despite short-term rental culture being slightly less prevalent in some cities. 

Attempts to regulate the short-term rental market have been seen in British Columbia as well, as the government attempts to turn Airbnb and Vrbo rentals back over to long-term leases. New rules in B.C. only permit residents to rent out a primary residence and an additional secondary suite as short term rentals. 

The struggle to reinstate a balance between long-term and short-term rentals has extended across the globe as international travel has increased recently. Private short-term rentals ensure comfort and seclusion during busy trips, while lodgings like Inns, resorts, hotels, and hostels provide a more social setting. On your next trip the choice is yours, but be aware of the new laws and restrictions before booking your accommodations.

Featured Image: Florence, Italy (Photo by Sergey Novikov)

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