Prague has begun a new campaign to “tame” short-term leases offered via digital platforms. With this in mind, Councilor Hana Marvanová (United Forces for Prague/STAN) prepared a legislative initiative regulating legal standards for business in the e-commerce segment.
“Unfortunately, the current legislation does not provide Prague, as well as other cities in the Czech Republic, with effective tools to address the issue. That is why I have prepared a legislative plan for legislative changes in four areas,” said Marvanová.
The first proposal requires Airbnb-type platforms to provide municipalities with detailed information regarding flats involved in the business. Specifically, it should share the basic host data and number of guests.
Mandatory transmission of information
With a similar demand for platforms to give this information to Prague voluntarily, the capital led unsuccessful negotiations with Airbnb last year. However, Marvan is now optimistic about the possibility of enforcing more control by “force”.
Last week, she presented proposals for a meeting with the Minister for Regional Development, Kateřina Dostálová (ANO), as well as representatives of parliamentary clubs and professional organizations. All those present said they supported the requirement of mandatory disclosure of information, which should lead to the enforcement of existing obligations, such as the payment of accommodation fees or the reporting of the establishment.
MEPs realized that this is not a purely Prague problem
“The deputies finally realized that this is not a purely Prague problem,” stressed the councilor. Her proposals could ideally go to the Chamber this year. The other three requirements aim at a stronger position of municipalities and owners of neighboring flats in relation to short-term rental providers.
According to the municipality, almost half of the flats in the town center are used for rental providers such as Airbnb. T
here are around seven thousand flats active on Airbnb throughout Prague. “Unregulated accommodation services generate a number of problems. In addition to the pressure on housing prices, it is also a phenomenon of overturism, which includes, among other things, an abundance of tourist attractions,” said Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates).