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Copenhagen wants to cap Airbnb sublets

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Copenhagen wants to cap Airbnb sublets
Photo: John MacDougall/AFP/Scanpix
16:46 CEST+02:00
Copenhagen politicians want to place a limit on the number of properties used in the city to provide accommodation through shared economy site Airbnb.

While it is not necessarily illegal for homeowners such as students or families to rent their property temporarily through the site while they are away from home, politicians say they want to stop unregulated use of the service.

“We must prevent platforms like Airbnb from creating a market in which homes are used for pure speculation and economic gain, thereby being removed from Copenhageners and an already-stressed housing market,” Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen told the Politiken newspaper.

“I can see great potential in shared economy, and think rental services like Airbnb can also offer a positive contribution to the city. But it’s important to be clear that they should not be a shortcut to illegal hotel operation and tax evasion,” Jensen added.

The Social Democrat mayor is supported by several political parties, including the Conservatives, Socialist People’s Party and the Red-Green Alliance in his calls for a cap on the length of time residents of the city are permitted to rent their homes to tourists, reports Politiken.

READ ALSO: Airbnb in talks on Copenhagen rental cap

“We support a rental cap 100 percent, preferably fewer than the 60 days they have chosen in Amsterdam, because we are deeply concerned about all the apartments that in this way are being taken away from people that need a home,” Allan Mylius Thomsen, a Red-Green Alliance city councillor, told the newspaper.

Although an exact limit has not been settled on, Jensen also referred to the model used in Amsterdam.

Homes in the Dutch capital are automatically removed from Airbnb’s site if they are rented out for more than 60 days per year.

Both Jensen and Thomsen said it would be crucial to reach an agreement with Airbnb should such a limit be possible to enforce.

“All we can see is whether individual homes have residency requirements and whether anyone is living in them. But we have no idea whether they are cheating or committing fraud. This is therefore in our opinion also an issue that needs legislation and should involve parliament,” Thomsen said.

Airbnb public policy manager Sofia Gkiousou told Politiken via a written message that the company has cooperated with over 300 cities and governments on subletting rules.

“Every city is unique, and we want to find the right approach for every place, to be a good partner for cities and to promote responsible sharing fo our homes,” Gkiousou wrote.

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