Proposed legislation aiming to regulate short-stay rentals via AirBnB platforms has been debated by MPs for over a year and a half, yet the best compromise solution is yet to be found. Voting on the specific issue was postponed last Friday.
But now that the 2020 budget has been approved, regulations on AirBnB will be among the first to be raised for debate after the Christmas holiday is over and parliament resumes, insiders told Phileleftheros.
Hoteliers have already sent a letter to deputies but also to leaders of parliamentary parties asking for meetings to take place in a bid to explain their exact positions on the proposed bill.
Hoteliers are actually considering the addition of a new amendment to the proposed bill which simplifies all specifications a property must have before it joins these sort of platforms.
The hoteliers argue that the proposed law does not really touch the serious issues of fire safety and health security which are basic requirements for licensed tourist accommodation.
Another issue of concern to hoteliers is the imposition of overnight rates. Although it has been made clear that overnight stays will also be charged over platform rentals, hoteliers are still seeking clarifications. There is widespread concern that there will be unfair competition.
There is also the unanswered question of whether the platforms could charge Cypriot accommodation a tax rate that will be refunded through them to the island’s Tax Department.
This is a question that demands an official answer with MPs making crystal clear how the taxation of this sort of accommodation will be carried out.
By Demetra Landou