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New rental rules undergo changes after complaints from AirBnb and home exchangers

The Ministry of Tourism says it is revising its plan to regulate tourist rentals following complaints from AirBnB, property owners and home exchange programs.

AirBnB is objecting to the tourism ministry’s new rules regulating tourist rentals.

Originally set to go into effect in November, the rules would require all properties rented to tourists to be registered with the tourism ministry, pay an annual tax, provide rental usage records and abide by a variety of other rules.

Minister of Tourism Rosi Prado de Holguín said that “a number of issues” in the new plan are being reviewed and some will be revised. “We are in conversations with property owners and international companies such as AirBnB to clarify confusing points of the plan.”

In a letter to the tourism ministry, AirBnB officials claimed that the new rules would mean that the service could not advertise in Ecuador and that they violate the rights of property owners. Two international home exchange websites also objected after the ministry said that property owners who swap homes with owners in other countries would also fall under the new regulations and would need to register.

Ecuador’s Chamber of Commerce is also protesting on the grounds that the new rules put unfair burdens on property owners and real estate companies. “Landlords are already required to report rental income and pay tax on earnings to the SRI,” says Martina Blanca of the chamber. “The tourism ministry wants to apply another level of bureaucracy and accounting and charge another tax and we believe that is unfair.”

Blanca added that, as written, the new rules do not adequately define who is and who is not a tourist for the purposes of the new regulations. “What if a visitor to Quito or Cuenca is in the country on a work contract for six months? Will he be considered a tourist.”

Although Prado de Holguín said “corrections were being made” to the rules, he did not specify what changes are being considered. He said he and other officials of the ministry will continue to meet with representatives from AirBnB, HomeSwap and real estate companies in the coming weeks. He did not say if the ministry will delay the November start date for the new rules.

8 thoughts on “New rental rules undergo changes after complaints from AirBnb and home exchangers

  1. They make no mention of the long arm of the hotel industry which complains mightily similar to the Uber vs. taxistas wars that are raging worldwide.

    1. What’s wrong with the people making a little money that the government doesn’t get to tax?
      Greedy bastards.

    2. “…long arm of the hotel industry which complains mightily…”

      As well they should. They, along with the local residents who… necessarily pay more in taxes to mitigate the added drain on municipal services that these airbnb short-term rentals add to the city’s budget.

      IOW, unlike hotels, these airbnb owners don’t pay tourist tax (you know – for running a *business*) . Taxes that help pay for the increased burden of added city services like more police, fire, garbage pickup, etc. So guess who’s paying for the increased services (not to mention the intrusion of a constant stream of strangers coming and going at all hours of the day and night in local residential neighborhoods, oh and the loss of affordable housing for local residents)? #dontgetmestarted 😉

      1. AirBnB renters also bypass the many inspections and permits a legitimate business must go through. Things like Marked Emergency exits (w/release bar door opening outward, Emergency lighting, Fire/Smoke detectors and suppression systems just to name a few.

        Every year more requirements are added by the local bomberos so its a never ending challenge for a legitimate business owner!

      2. I hear this “increased city burden” stuff a lot, but it just doesn’t wash.

        Consider (1) a family lives in the unit, or (2) the unit has visitors, aka AirBnb renters.

        How does #2 cause more garbage? When I rent a hotel or airBnb, I generate LESS garbage than I do at home (where I shop and cook daily)?

        How does #2 require more fire protection? I have certainly never seen any report that hotels or airBnb units burn more frequently than residence homes?

        If anything, #2 brings MORE money to the neighborhood and city. These are travelers who will explore the city more, eating out more, buying more trinkets, etc. The family that lives in a residence (#1) does less of all those. Thus, the AirBnb occupant is already adding to the city coffers.

        1. So, in your opinion, a AirBnb renter who isn’t following the local laws for facilities that rent rooms short term won’t be a problem for their renters? I’m sure the families of the poor people onboard the California Dive Boat would argue for better designed and accessible fire escapes!

        2. I emphatically disagree Burt. And a simple Google for “illegal airbnb” should give you plenty of fodder to digest.

          I, on the other hand, have neither the time nor the inclination to cherry-pick with you about the matter – save to say:

          if the rise of airbnbs around the globe was so benign (nay, as you seem to say, benevolent), one does have to wonder why most every city on the Planet is vehemently fighting it, and winning regulation of it.

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