Iceland’s new limitations on holiday rentals

Iceland’s new limitations on holiday rentals

There is a newly proposed legislation in Iceland intended to limit the number of people offering their houses up for holiday rentals on Airbnb.

Its designed to counter balance the effect of the country’s overwhelming and ever growing visitor numbers, it suggests to impose a business tax on people leasing out their apartments for more than 90 days a year, and it could come into effect as early as this week.

Icelanders are feeling the effect of the upsurge in visitor numbers, long-term rentals are increasingly hard to come by and there is a considerable rise in rental prices in Reykjavik. The legislation would have an effect on that, already from April on residents living in apartment buildings are required to ensure an approval from other dwellers in the house before offering their on websites such as Airbnb.

Icelanders not only need to protect their housing market, they have to consider the untouched landscapes and fragile nature, an important part of the nation’s appeal

Iceland has seen a huge increase in tourism in the last five years and its changing the face of the country, Reykjavik city in particular. Last year the island welcomed 1.2 million visitors and is expecting 1.6 million this year. But there is also alarm and much discussion in the country right now, there is fear that the very small nation of 320.000 inhabitants lacks the infrastructure to receive such numbers, there is fear the country is be unable to accommodate ever growing numbers of tourists, estimated to be nearly 30.000 per day. Icelanders not only need to protect their housing market, they have to consider the untouched landscapes and fragile nature, an important part of the nation’s appeal. While the number of available hotel rooms in the country grew more than ever last year, with 290 new rooms created, it is still not enough to meet the estimated requirement of 1,400, according to the latest report on tourism by the Icelandic bank.

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