Short-term rental regulation to be put off

Short-term rental regulation to be put off

Any developments and changes in the operating regime of short-term leases will apparently be postponed till the end of this year.

The upcoming election period has put on hold any move to further regulate this market, and during the following summer period, industry bodies estimate, no changes are foreseen, for understandable reasons. 

A public consultation process will begin on how the industry could improve the way it operates. In this context, as lawyer Dafni Batsara mentioned in the context of the Short Stay Conference in Athens last weekend, “we should not wait for the state to come and legislate. On the contrary, we ourselves, as an industry, should work out legislative proposals to improve the operating regime of the market.”

One of the changes that will apparently be introduced concerns the imposition of value-added tax, following the relevant European Union directive. Although it seems that this will not come into force before January 2025, the market is already preparing for it, since all member-states will have to gradually adopt this directive.

In practice, according to short-term rental hosts association (STAMA) officials who participated in the conference, the imposition of VAT will push most individual owners to either become professional hosts or outsource the management of their property to professional managers.

According to STAMA President Nasos Gavalas: “Companies will find a way to offset the imposition of VAT through our expenses, while we will also have rights, such as access to [European] funds. However, private individuals may need to turn professional, even if, it seems, the VAT will be paid by the platforms themselves, through which the properties will be rented out.” The imposition of VAT should be the same rate that applies to hotels (13%), and it will concern any lease that is less than 45 days.

In turn, POMIDA President Stratos Paradias noted that the landlords association he heads has collaborated with STAMA to jointly express a series of truths and arguments about the sector, which “some skillfully conceal,” as he noted. According to him, the state itself should ensure a greater supply of properties for rent to permanent residents – e.g. providing tax incentives, such as the reduction of taxation rates if long-term leases are involved.

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