From Iceland — New AirBnB Law Going Into Effect, Supervision Still Unclear

New AirBnB Law Going Into Effect, Supervision Still Unclear

Published December 30, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

New laws on the use of temporary rentals will go into effect on Sunday, but it is still not decided how the laws will be enforced.

As reported, according to the new law, a person can rent out their property for up to 90 days a year without needing an operation license from the state. At the same time, the gross income from renting out their property cannot exceed 1 million ISK. This effectively means that AirBnB operators cannot charge more than 11,111 ISK per night.

However, Vísir reports that county seat officials have not yet decided who will be the supervisory body over these temporary rental locations. Police have conducted raids of illegal AirBnB locations in the past, but it is as yet undecided who, if anyone, will actually supervise these locations.

The new law also requires prospective renters to register their property with the county seat every year, at a cost of 8,000 ISK. The property in question also needs to be an established residential property, and fulfill all necessary health and safety requirements as such.

If a renter exceeds the 90 day limit, or if their earnings from it exceed 1 million ISK, the county seat may opt to de-register the property’s permit to operate as an AirBnB. Fines for offenses can range from anywhere from 10,000 ISK up to 1 million ISK.

As the tourism industry booms in Iceland, the construction of hotels and guesthouses is having difficulty keeping up, and some 1,600 locations in Reykjavík alone are listed on AirBnB. Existing regulations on these kinds of rentals have been unclear, however, and AirBnB operators themselves have asked for clearer guidelines in the law, which were passed by parliament last June.

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