THE OWNERS of self-catering accommodation with services such as Airbnb will now have to register with the state under a new law passed by the House of Representatives on Friday.
The bill, which covers both new and existing accommodation, was passed by 52 MPs for and two MPs against.
The bill was proposed by ruling DISY party head Averof Neophytou and EDEK MP Elias Myrianthous. The proposal was amended ahead of voting to include a clause on extending the time period for existing Airbnb owners to streamline themselves with the bill. The time period was increased from one year to two years.
New landlords will have to register immediately.
An amendment put forward by AKEL, EDEK, and ALLILEGGI (Solidarity) was also passed. The amendment removed the condition which did not allow for accommodation in communal units to register.
During the discussion preceding the vote, Neophytou said an issue that was uncontrolled was being regulated so that a household can have an additional legal income.
Tourism minister Savvas Perdios told MPs last October that after talks with platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, the latter agreed they would obligate users to enter a serial number – provided by the Cyprus government – before allowing home-owners to use their services.
The bill aims to create a dedicated registry for short-term self-catering accommodation, where each property rented will be assigned a number. According to Perdios, that number would then be provided to online platforms, ensuring the property advertised is approved by the government.
The platforms also agreed to provide authorities with transaction-related information that might help for the purposes of taxation.