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22ndannualcapital

Athens popular Airbnb option, rental registry set to launch

While Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) scrambles to launch in the coming days an electronic registry for property owners leasing their homes via online sharing platforms, Athens is among the most popular options for travelers seeking accommodation, according to the platform’s “Inside Airbnb: Adding Data to the Debate”.

According to Inside Airbnb, there are currently 5,127 listings in the Greek capital going for an average nightly rate of 55 euros. Of these 4,268 or 83.2 percent concern entire houses or apartments, 15.8 percent (808) private rooms and 1 percent (51) shared rooms.

However, Athens’ increased popularity has made it near impossible to find homes to rent long term as all the more property owners are preferring to lease to tourists instead. Addressing the issue at a recent press conference, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis referred to Airbnb’s “two-sided effect” saying that “when the home-sharing practice is applied without a plan, we are bound to see the negative effects”.

Kaminis pledged to address the issue during an event to be held in Athens this month with the participation of Airbnb representatives from key European cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin, hoteliers’ associations, public organizations and other state authorities.

Meanwhile, Greek tax officials are stepping up efforts to worm out homeowners renting out properties on sharing platforms but failing to declare earnings, which is now mandatory. AADE inspectors are posing as tourists seeking to rent out short-term accommodation via home-sharing platforms. Airbnb-style hosts operating illegally will face penalties of up to 5,000 euros.