Follow the rules — European Union to Airbnb

EU regulators call on Airbnb By European Interest

The commissioner said the prices displayed to those using the Airbnb website fail to reflect the fees and charges later passed on to the consumer, including cleaning costs.

An important distinction that the European Commission would like Airbnb to make is between private and professional hosts, as the consumer protection rules differ for each. I expect Airbnb to come up with the right solutions as soon as possible, "EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova said". Consumers must easily understand how much they are expected to pay for...

The EU executive has given the USA company until the end of August to propose changes in order to comply with EU legislation, adding that the company should clarify whether an accommodation is offered by an individual or a professional, provide greater details of the price, and alter its terms of service to make it fairer for consumers.

Consumer authorities and the European Commission today challenged short-term rentals marketplace Airbnb to comply with EU consumer law by August, or face legal action.

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It's also been told to sort out its terms and conditions and cancellation policies, as a bunch of globally-targeted impenetrable legalese is not now considered to cut it. Airbnb's been given until the end of August to spruce things up. The Directive also requires that terms are drafted in plain and intelligible language so that consumers are informed in a clear and understandable manner about their rights.

These include that the San Francisco-based company can no longer "decide unilaterally and without justification" which terms remain in effect after a contract is ended, or deprive consumers "from their basic legal rights to sue a host" if they suffer personal harm or other damages, the European Union authority said. If the regulators are still not happy with the outcome, then they "could decide to resort to enforcement measures", they said.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's worldwide broadcaster, Airbnb have made a statement on the issue, saying they take this issue seriously and are committed to being as transparent as possible for our community. "Guests are made aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, prior to confirming their decision to book a listing, and we will work together with the authorities to clarify the points raised".

This is not the first time this summer that Airbnb has had trouble with regulatory authorities.

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