The Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), a UK trade body representing the entire short-term rental sector, from multinational platforms to individual hosts, and everything in between, has welcomed the ruling by the European Court of Justice about clarifying Airbnb’s status as an information society services provider and not an estate agent, meaning it can avoid certain responsibilities.
The challenge to Airbnb was brought by a French tourism and hotel association, but the decision from the European Court of Justice means the US company will continue to operate as an e-commerce platform, without being subject to property rules.
Airbnb could have also faced new constraints in other key markets like London and Paris.
Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA, commented: “We welcome the clarification by the European Court of Justice about Airbnb’s status as an information society service provider, and not a real estate agent. This provides a much greater degree of certainty and confidence for those of our members operating similar platforms, now that a legal precedent has been set.
“For those of our members based in the UK with Brexit ahead, these rules will apply for at least another year during the transition period contained within the withdrawal agreement bill and may be longer lasting.
“For short term rental hosts and guests, there is little direct impact. The sector remains regulated in the UK, but from now on it will be unlawful to be made subject to additional regulations that currently apply to real estate providers.
“The UK government maintains the ability to regulate the home-sharing sector in the years ahead and the STAA looks forward to working together with stakeholders to ensure that his happens in a balanced and proportionate way.”