The phenomenon of subletting in areas in or near Athens’s historic center is growing, as many rush to take advantage of the growing demand from the increasing tourist numbers and the popularity of online services such as Airbnb, which facilitate short-term rentals of entire apartments without a permit.
In March, Airbnb had 29,807 ads for letting homes in Greece, up 135 percent from March 2015.
Estate agents monitoring this trend point to a major rise in candidate tenants approaching property owners who are seeking reliable lodgers as a means of raising money to pay the growing taxes that properties entail.
However, those candidate tenants have no intention of staying at the properties themselves. Once they have signed the rental contracts, they spend a small amount of money on maintenance or furnishing and then advertise the properties online as private apartments for tourists to rent. Estate agents say that this subletting can fetch up to three times the rental costs they pay to the property owners.
Most of these properties are apartments from 50 to 80 square meters in areas such as Metaxourgeio, Kerameikos, Gazi, Koukaki, Akadimia Platonos, Votanikos and Monastiraki, where monthly rental rates range from 150 to 400 euros.