Authorities in Florence have announced plans to ban short-term property rentals through the popular Airbnb platform.
The new law, to be voted on next Wednesday and expected to come into force by November, will ban short-term rentals in Florence’s historic center.
“We are seeing a gradual increase in the influx of tourists, which has become even greater since the pandemic,” said Florence Mayor Dario Nardella.
If the law is adopted, tourists will no longer be able to rent an apartment in the center of Florence for several days, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The law does not have a retroactive effect. This means that if the lucky owner of a property in the center of Florence already has a short-term rental, he will be able to keep it and continue to rent it out to guests of the city. However, from the moment the law comes into force, it will no longer be possible to register new real estate for short-term rental. According to local media, as soon as plans to adopt the new law became known, the mayor’s office received about 4,000 new applications for registration. In turn, local authorities promise to reduce the tax burden for three years for those property owners who re-register their apartments in the Old Town for long-term rental. The city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, said that in this way the authorities are trying to preserve Florence for future generations.
“We can’t come to terms with how our Old Town is changing.”
“We are introducing a simple ban on the UNESCO site to fulfill our responsibility to protect the cultural and material identity of the Old Town and reduce the impact of rising rents, which is directly related to the boom in short-term holiday rentals for tourism purposes.”
Nardella called on the Italian government to pass a similar law at the state level. “We cannot come to terms with the way our Old Town is changing, and we are dealing with the problems of citizens who cannot find an apartment to rent,” added Nardella. “Faced with the inaction of the government and parliament, we are obliged to take measures to contain the social emergency.”
“We are aware of the problems facing the historical cities of Italy and want to help Florence. We have made several proposals to solve the problem of short-term rentals in Italy, Everything is clear and clearly outlined, everything is easy to follow and thus guarantee the possibility of long-term rentals in every city,” an Airbnb representative told CNN.
In addition to Florence, other cities also want to suspend Airbnb. For example, in New York, you can rent out an apartment for less than 30 days only if the owner himself will live in the apartment at the same time as the guests. There should be no more than two guests.
Portugal also introduced new laws regarding short-term rentals this year. In Amsterdam, owners can rent out their property for short-term rentals for a maximum of 30 days a year, with a maximum of four guests at a time. In Berlin, short-term property rentals are limited to 90 days per year.