BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JULY 16, 2018) (EBS) – Short-term rental website Airbnb has breached EU consumer rules by depriving consumers of their basic legal rights, the European Commission said on Monday (July 16), as it gave the company an August deadline to propose changes or face enforcement action.
Some of Airbnb’s terms and conditions and the way it presents its prices violate the bloc’s unfair commercial practices directive, the unfair contract terms directive and the regulation on jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters, EU justice and consumers commissioner Vera Jourova said.
Jourova said Airbnb should make it clear whether accommodation is offered by a private individual or a professional, provide details of the pricing in a clear way and modify its terms of service so that they will be fairer to consumers.
Airbnb and similar rental platforms, which help homeowners to rent out their homes or even rooms for short periods of time, have grown in popularity in recent years because of their competitive prices versus hotels.
Critics however say the practice is driving up property prices and contributing to a housing shortage in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and other big cities.