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Short-term rentals Association reacts to Greece’s plans to limit the sector

The Panhellenic Association of Property Managers (PASYDA) has strongly reacted to government plans to implement new restrictions to short-term rentals. The reaction comes a few days after Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias

Beginning of the week,Kikilias confirmed previous media reports that the government is working on a plan to clamp down on short-term rental operations in the country.
Tourism Ministry plans to limit short-term rentals

Speaking at the National Strategy for Tourism 2030 event organized by the Greek Tourism Confederation [SETE] in the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Kikilias told delegates that platforms such as Airbnb are “changing the character of neighborhoods in Greece and driving up rents in city centers, leading residents to move away from popular tourist areas.”

He said that there was a need for more competition in the accommodation sector and promised to limit the spread of such platforms.

In October, Kikilias reportedly had said that short-term rental platforms listing in Greece would be asked to change their advertising policies in popular hotspots.

It followed the publication of a study that reported how the number of short-term rental listings in Greece had increased by 300 per cent since 2016 and as a result had had a detrimental impact on the quality of life of local residents.

Kikilias told GTP Headlines that the ministry would also approach Booking.com and Expedia for their support in limiting the proliferation of short-term rentals in Greek cities.

He said: “In short, there will be no hotels listed without stars. Where hotels are advertised, for example, short-term rentals cannot be advertised. This will be clarified.”

See also: Greek Tourism Association: 5 proposals for short-term rentals

PASYDA Letter

“The restrictions will amount into restricting tourism,” the PASYDA said in a letter to the Prime Minister, the ministers of Tourism and of Development as well as the head of the independent public revenues authority.

Implying that the new measures and restrictions come under the pressure form hoteliers, PASYDA complained that they were not consulted for the serious changes in the legislative framework for short-term rentals.

“We consider it unfair to discuss any change in the law for our activity and not to be invited as interlocutors to the discussion table. It is also completely inelegant to listen to the unilateral opinions of hoteliers and not our own thoughts and proposals on such a serious issue as short-term rentals,” the Association stressed, among others.

Noting that short-term rentals “have already outgrown hotel beds” the Association points out that they heard form media reports of the upcoming  measures “prepared to limit accommodation, apply VAT, apply additional municipal fees” and much more.”

“Instead of resorting to restrictive measures that will reduce the leapfrogging development of an entire sector that contributes a large percentage to the tourism product, it would be good to give incentives for further development and attracting investors,” the letter underlines.

Waring that the measures will result into “more tax evasion” PASYDA recalls that a legislative framework for short-term leasing exists since 2016,  and fully covers this specific activity.

The Association denies claims that short-term rentals negatively affect the housing problem or that there are safety deficiencies “as hoteliers constantly mention.”

PASYDA stresses that there should be strict specifications and operating standards such as compulsory liability insurance, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, escape exit markings etc.

“So any restrictive measure will not only reduce short-term rentals but also a large number of professions that are active around the specific sector,” the letter(here in Greek) notes as well.

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2 comments

  1. I am very happy that something will finally be done. Living on a Greek island, it is now virtually impossible to find year-round rental properties due to Airbnb. I know many tenants that were evicted after renting for 10, 15 or even 20 years for the owners to convert to short-term rental. This, in turn, has driven up the rentals prices for the few places available, which makes life hard for families whose wages have not increased, often since 2008, and whose cost of living is rocketting due to inflation and fuel costs.
    Although tourism offers a huge economic boost, what is the point of this if people are driven away? Where will teachers, doctors etc live? Where will the seasonal workers needed to operate the tourism sector live?
    In my honest opinion, the government needs to do something now; Either limit the short-term rental sector using measures, taxes etc. Or else to build council accommodation for residents and temporary accommodation for visiting summer workers.

  2. PASYDA may well claim that short term rental platforms such as Airbnb do not negatively affect local housing
    needs but it is a fact that, on Zakynthos, several long term tenants have been turned out of their homes so
    that the owners could convert to Airbnb tenancy. With suitable long term lets difficult to find, several people
    have had to relocate to areas well away from their places of work, incurring extra costs for travelling.
    We all know the importance of tourism to the Greek economy but it should be for the benefit of all and not just a few wealthy operators.Stronger protection is required for long term tenancy contracts.

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