In Brief

Holidaymakers being evicted from Airbnbs

Home rental website criticised as lettings fall foul of new rules in growing number of countries

Scores of holidaymakers are reportedly being evicted or having their holidays cut short owing to legal problems with their Airbnb rental accommodation.

The home-sharing site “is said to be allowing houses to be listed in countries where many short-term holiday lettings have been restricted or banned”, reports The Sun.

Airbnb has surged in popularity since launching in 2008 and now lists more than five million properties across 191 countries.

But the company has been “facing legal battles in cities around the world”, with “many introducing tough regulations”, says The Guardian - and it “appears that holidaymakers are being caught in the crossfire”.

According to the Daily Mail, some tourists “are arriving at properties to find ‘No Airbnb’ signs posted inside the buildings, security guards who want to interrogate them and a hostile reception from other residents”.

In the worst scenarios, “guests are being denied entry to properties or even evicted by police part way through their stay”, the newspaper says.

Japan is the latest country to introduce stricter regulations on Airbnb. This month the site was forced to withdraw tens of thousands of listings from its site and cancel reservations ahead of a new law clamping down on private residences, says The Daily Telegraph.

“This announcement came as a surprise to us. It was contrary to the guidance our team had previously been given by the Japanese Tourism Agency and put the travel experiences of thousands of visitors to Japan at risk,” Airbnb said in a statement reported by Reuters.

From next month, the Majorcan capital of Palma will ban apartment owners from renting their properties to tourists, says The Sun. Under the new rules, anyone trying to rent out an apartment on a short-term basis could be fined up to €40,000 (£35,000).

Meanwhile, in Paris listings for entire homes in the centre of the city – the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements – can only be for a maximum total of 120 nights a year.

In Madrid, proposed rules announced last month “will prevent properties from being rented out via Airbnb for more than 90 days a year”, reports The Guardian.

Governments and local residents in these areas blame Airbnb and other short-term rental companies “for pricing out long-term renters and sidestepping the regulations and taxes imposed on hotels and registered apartments”, says the Telegraph.

But Airbnb insists it works with local officials to implement regulations.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail: “Airbnb has already worked with 500 government authorities on measures to help families share their homes and follow the rules, and we’ll continue to expand this as we grow, ensuring everyone benefits from the rewards of home sharing.”

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