From Iceland — Iceland's Capital Losing Millions From Illegal Airbnb Listings

Iceland’s Capital Losing Millions From Illegal Airbnb Listings

Published November 23, 2017

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

More than half of long-term Airbnb listings are not officially registered as such, resulting in a loss of about a billion ISK each year.

According to data from the Housing Financing Fund (HFF), the majority of Airbnb listings posting for longer than 90 days are not registered as being places of business, as they are legally required to do. At least 1,400 Airbnb apartments are not registered correctly.

As a result of this, revenue the city could be getting from these apartments is effectively lost. HFF estimates those losses could be up to 1 billion ISK each year, and are at least in the hundreds of millions. As the data shows, the vast majority of these unregistered listings are in the greater capital area.

By law, anyone can register their home or a room therein on Airbnb for up to 90 days without having to register their residency as a place of business. This law was put in place due to increased pressure on the housing market, something even Airbnb owners have complained about, in the hopes that this cap would free up available space for those living here.

While most long-term listings are not legally registered as such, it bears mentioning that the City of Reykjavík has formed a special Airbnb committee tasked with rooting out those using the hosting service illegally. What effect this committee will have still remains to be seen.

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