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Cyprus

Discussions on Airbnb bill to finish next week

After several months, lawmakers are almost ready to bring to the House plenum for a vote a bill regulating short-term Airbnb-style property rentals.

The House commerce committee expects to wrap up discussion next week.

The legislative proposal will amend the law on hotel and tourism accommodation by adding to it clauses setting out technical, operational and health specifications for self-catering accommodation such as those leased via Airbnb.

Today there are an estimated 20,000 country homes and holiday cottages that are unregulated but leased online.

The stated objective of the bill is to regulate the ‘unchecked’ rental of villas and residences as well as apartments for tourism purposes.

Currently these short-term rentals are unlicensed and thus not subject to the legislation governing tourist lodgings.

The bill aims to change that by creating a dedicated registry for short-term self-catering accommodation.

MPs had initially planned to also introduce legislation covering the taxation (income tax and VAT) of short-term rentals.

However, they have since decided to leave the tax aspect to the government.

MPs said they now expect the government to bring a bill that will tax these rentals at the source – on the online platform where the transaction is executed.

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