Kraków joins tourist hotspots asking EU to help battle Airbnb boom

The southern Polish city of Kraków and nine other European cities have urged the EU for more help in their fight against Airbnb and other holiday rental websites as the cities argue that the rental websites are affecting residents and neighbourhoods.

In an open letter, Kraków, Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna have expressed concern by stating that “homes needed for residents to live and work in our cities, will become more and more considered as a market for renting out to tourists.”

The joint statement was released in response to a recent opinion published by the advocate general (AG) of the European court of justice which, if accepted, would let Airbnb and similar firms to freely operate across the bloc. The firms will not be responsible for checking landlords compliance with the local rules regarding holiday lets.

A Kraków city office spokesperson was quoted as saying by the “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily that “for those who act legally, nothing will change. On the contrary, when the grey zone is severely controlled, the conditions of competition on the market will be the same for all.

“Kraków is trying to check short-term lets in various ways. This is a serious problem because in our city this type of activity is so popular that in the centre there is a whole series of houses, in which there are no permanent residents − only aparthotels for visitors,” she added.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco, Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service brokerage company. Members can use the service to arrange or offer lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.