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Greek Gov’t Considers Allowing Municipality Say-so in Airbnb Policies

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The Greek government is considering handing over responsibility of short-term home sharing policies to local authorities after meeting with home leasing groups and associations last week.

After meeting with the Greek Property Managers Association (PASIDA), the Association of Apartment & Home Owners and the Greek Association of Sharing Economy (SODIA), government officials and Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) President Charalambos Karimalis are looking into giving municipal authorities, particularly at popular island destinations faced with housing problems, the right to decide on restrictions with regard to short-term holiday leasing practices.

The idea, aimed at bolstering the government’s regulatory measures, which include an online short-term rental registry launched last year and taxation, comes in response to the challenges posed by the increasing number of Airbnb-style rentals which have restricted or made extremely expensive the availability of long-term options.

Indicatively, according to a Grant Thornton study released earlier this year, short-term rentals in Greece grew by 25 percent year-on-year, resulting in a 9.3 percent increase in rents for long-term housing.

Destinations first on the list of priorities are Santorini, Mykonos, Chania and Rethymno, where teachers, university students and other transferred public employees were unable to find homes for long-term rent.

Government officials said they are examining additional restrictive measures to be taken by local authorities based on specific needs and challenges, adding that any final decision would involve all stakeholders and be based on research data for each individual case.

Athens, Photo source: Pixabay

Athens, Greece

SODIA meanwhile underlines the lifesaving role of Airbnb-style rentals for struggling middle class Greeks who were hit down by the economic crisis and underlines the importance of “wise regulation”. In this direction, the group’s president, Theodora Dima, proposes a flat taxation rate, the implementation of safety standards for owners and customers, and the mandatory registration of all property owners involved in short-term rentals.

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