Several mayors want EU help to crack down on Airbnb

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Local leaders from major European cities want the house-sharing platform Airbnb to share data to help them crack down on illegal rentals.

On Thursday, leaders from Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, among others, met with Commission Executive vice president Margrethe Vestager to demand help from Brussels.

Cities have earlier complained that the short-term rental boom distorts their housing markets by making homes unaffordable and that the lack of data sharing makes it harder for them to tax the short-term rental market.

“You can’t have companies that are trying to get out of being regulated. They are trying to evade regulation and the enforcement of law”, Berlin’s secretary of state Wenke Christoph said after the meeting.

Last year, EU’s Court of Justice classified Airbnb as an online platform and not a real estate company, which means Airbnb is not responsible for illegal content and services hosted on its platforms.

Later this year, Brussels will publish new proposals, named the Digital Services Act, which will also regulate so-called sharing economy platforms like Airbnb. Vestager said that the rules will “take account of the needs of national and local administrations and compliance with local rules”.

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