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Strict Airbnb rules to stay in place in Switzerland

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Strict Airbnb rules to stay in place in Switzerland
Nearly 900,000 people rented apartments in Switzerland using Airbnb in 2017. Photo: AFP
16:47 CET+01:00
The Swiss government has decided against implementation of changes to rental rules which would have made it easier for people to sublet properties using online property platforms like Airbnb.

Under the plans, it would have become easier for tenants to sublet properties on a repeated basis over a given period, with landlords only having to provide permission on a single occasion.

The government had argued that such a system made sense in the context of rise of online rental platforms and would slash red tape requirements for both landlords and tenants.

In 2017, around 900,000 people rented apartments in Switzerland using Airbnb – up 300 percent in three years, according to company figures.

But after a consultation period with interested parties, the government said on Friday there would be no changes to the current rules. Instead, tenants will continue to have to obtain a landlord's permission every time they wish to rent out a property using platforms like Airbnb.

The decision comes despite the fact that the rule changes were backed by most Swiss cantons, the Swiss tenants association, the Swiss federation of trade unions and the left-wing Socialist Party and, with reservations, by the centre-right Christian Democrats.

Read also: Geneva limits Airbnb rentals to 60 nights a year

By contrast, the rule change was rejected by Swiss political parties, by the Swiss home owner's association (HEV) and by hotel industry groups.

Swiss industry group SGV, which represents small and medium-sized enterprises argued during the consultation process that the move towards relaxing the rules would mean fewer apartments for long-term rentals.

This opinion was echoed by the Swiss Hotel Association which also stated that online holiday apartments provided unfair competition for traditional accommodation providers and could lead to 'overtourism'.

Read also: Eight things you need to know before you rent in Switzerland

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