12 Oct Brussels’ tourist accomodation regulation
The Brussels-Capital region has adopted new rules concerning peer-to-peer property rental. These rules are expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2016.
Sharing economy, or collaborative consumption, stands for an economic model which has been a trend for a few years now. In this particular model, private individuals offer to others, their time, resources and/or competence, most of the time in return for payment. An emblematic example is AirBNB, a community platform for private housing and accommodation services.
The 8 May 2014 Ordonnance of the Brussels’ government was set in this context, with the purpose to regulate access to the profession by imposing rules related to the exploitation of tourist accommodation and therefore tackle unfair competition. This text broadens the scope of the regulation which used to be applicable only to hotels and guestrooms; accommodation rented through platforms such as AirBNB are now directly targeted.
Private housing is defined as any establishment with one or more separate rooms available, or spaces designed and arranged for this purpose, which are part of the personal and regular home of the manager or its attached annexes.
The ordonnance imposes general as well as specific obligations on behalf of the manager and its establishment.
On the one hand, general obligations mainly concern security and hygiene. Moreover, a prior declaration and the registration of the tourist accommodation are mandatory.
On the other hand, specific obligations are imposed upon the establishment as well as the manager. The establishment must namely be available at least 4 months per year, have sanitary facilities destined exclusively to the guests… As for the manager, he cannot host more than 15 people at a time, has to clearly indicate prices corresponding to each room, be personnaly devoted to hosting its guests, and so on.
These obligations are all sanctioned by a fine which can go from 250 to 25.000€ in case of non-compliance with the regulation. The region officer also has the ability to order the immediate termination of the hosting services.
Finally, the operator also has to respect other legal obligations related to this activity, particularly on the fiscal field (income declaration, payment of local taxes…).
If you wish to have more information about this subject, do not hesitate to contact M. Guillaume Rue (email@example.com).
The Cairn Legal team
Partners Frédéric de Patoul | Frank Weinand | Didier Chaval | Bernard Vandenkerckhove | Carl Vander Espt | Arnaud Massart | Guillaume Rue | Jonas Deryckere
Associates Dorothée Cardon de Lichtbuer | Virginie Schoonheyt | Bojana Salovic | Stoffel Werbrouck