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Turkey Imposes Tougher Rules for Airbnb Rentals

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, introduced a new bill to Turkey’s parliament on October 10 to regulate and to control the surge in Airbnb rentals.

According to the bill, house owners will be required to obtain permits from the Ministry for Culture and Tourism if they want to rent out their home via Airbnb.

Owners will also have to pay a tax and a new Airbnb fee. They will also have to deliver information about their customers to the security forces, just as hotels do already.

“We are shaping the legislation in Turkey in the same way as in the world,” the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nuri Ersoy, said earlier in July.

Also, when an owner wants to rent out a property via Airbnb they will have to display a sign on the door and will need the permission of every other resident of the building.

Rental prices have soared in the country due to high inflation, which stood at 85.51 per cent in October, according to statsistics agency TurkStat.

Many property owners prefer to rent out their homes for a short term via Airbnb and other platforms in order to protect themselves from inflation.

Tourists also increasingly use cheaper and unregistered Airbnb houses, due to rising prices at hotels.

Hotel owners have pressured the government to pass legislation against unregistered and cheaper Airbnb residents.

“Our prices have increased due to costs, which has negatively affected the occupancy rates of hotels. Our hotels in Bodrum are 20 points lower than last year in terms of occupancy rate. Tourists have turned to cheaper solutions. When … our prices went up, tourists moved away from us. Those who want to come to Turkey turned to Airbnb and unregistered places as alternatives,” Murat Tomruk, CEO of the Divan Group, which owns several hotels across the country, told the daily Dunya.

Source : Balkan Insight