Home sharing rules in Brussels

In April 2016, new complex home sharing rules came into force in Brussels. Local residents who occasionally share their homes are treated like hotels and add required to complete a burdensome registration process designed for big businesses.

On behalf of our community, we launched a petition asking Brussels’ policymakers to introduce clear, simple rules for regular people who share their homes. Since then, many of you have have taken the opportunity to make your voice heard – and many others have shared their discontent with the new rules:

Johan Van den Driessche, Member of the Brussels’ Parliament, said:

“The current rules in Brussels are complex, confusing and disproportionate.” According to the MP, “…the rules impose unnecessary measures deterring and impairing regular people from sharing their home and should therefore be adapted as quickly as possible.”

Roger De Langhe, Economy Philosopher at the University of Ghent, said:

“The new rules favour professional accommodation providers, while disincentivizing people who occasionally share their home – while it should be the other way around.”

Marc Van Muylders, Vice President of the Federation Hotels.Restaurants.Cafes (Ho.Re.Ca) Bruxelles-Brussel, said:

“Home sharing and Airbnb are very important drivers for our federation as they attract visitors who consume in local restaurants and bars. We want more flexibility in the new ordonnance, especially for non-professional home sharers, given the economic benefits they generate for the restaurants and bars. An actor such as Airbnb helps disperse tourism. Via this new form of accommodation, travellers go beyond the Grand-Place and Manneken-Pis to areas such as Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles and Uccle.

The European Holiday Home Association (EHHA), which filed a complaint to the European Commission regarding restrictive home sharing rules in Brussels, said:

“The new ordonnance of the Brussels’ region is a real labyrinthine system, written under pressure of the hotel lobby.”

Home sharing rules in Brussels are broken and we want to work with policymakers to fix them for everyone. Countless cities around the world have introduced clear and simple home sharing rules and we have introduced tools like the policy tool chest to help cities regulate home sharing effectively. We look forward to discussing these ideas with local policymakers as soon as possible, so local families and businesses can benefit from travellers to their communities.

Airbnb hosts in Brussels welcomed more than 230,000 guests in 2016, and the typical host earned €1,800 by sharing their space for 30 nights per year. Airbnb also helps diversify tourism in Brussels and spreads guests and benefits across the Brussels Capital Region to new communities and local businesses; 70 percent of all booked listings in the past year were located outside the city centre.

To sign the petition and call on Brussels’ policymakers to pass fair home sharing rules, click here.

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