Austria is going to level the playing field

A court in Tyrol has ruled that renting trough AirBnB (or any other OTA) is a commercial activity and requires a business registration.

Also, when a host is not living in the same building it is also a commercial activity.

This is a good thing, now all hosts have the same set of rules, both financially and safety.


I must register my Northern California Airbnb as a “small business” for $22 per-year through our county’s tax office.

Plus, I must publicly display the county’s “small-business permit” in my Airbnb guestroom area.

I don’t read this as “all hosts.” It seems that hosts who live at the accomodation and run the Airbnb themselves (not using property managers) are exempt?

“two exceptions to the trade license when renting accommodation. On the one hand this applies to private landlords, but the “accommodation of strangers must be operated by the ordinary members of their own household”. In the specific case, that was not the case because the landlord lives with his family in the USA.”

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I’m not totally following. Which hosts had a different set of rule before the ruling. Airbnb hosts compared to hosts on other platforms, or hotels, or something else?

Austria has a relatively simple law: All kind of rentals need a commercial license.

There are 2 exeptions one for long term rentals, and the other is for private rentals. The conditions for the private rentals is that the host must live in the same house, and that all services have to been done by its host and family.

Up till now it was quite hard to catch illegal hosts abusing the private rental exemption.
Now the court has ruled that using an OTA like AirBnB that does the booking, finances and cancellation is a 3rd party service and makes that the exempt is not valid.

This is a way to catch foreign hosts and make them get a commercial license and pay taxes. And also make them follow all safety laws that commercial hosts have to follow.


There is no such thing as „running an AirBnB“.

They are hosting/homesharing.
Using AirBnB will make their exempt invallid.

This will impact AirBnB. AirBnB has to either give Austrian hosts more control (no more payments trough the platform, or no more IB, or removal of cancelation policies and extenuated circumstances).

So more like BDC.

I didn’t get that from the article you posted at all but I’ll take your word for it. I mean, I get what you are saying, that’s just not how I had read it. Not that it really matters to me. Another host was mentioning here the other day that Airbnb is hardly known in Germany. Is that true for Austria as well? In other words is this only going to affect a small part of the overall market.

When I looked for insurance to cover my STR it was a problem because my existing insurance company said I would need a commercial policy. When I looked for one, only two or three companies offered it and the rate was thousands of dollars higher than my homeowner’s policy.

Yes, in Europe homesharing/private rentals have existed for a long time. AirBnB did not introduce anything new. It is one of many players on the market. It is mainly used by investors and propertymanagers because the money is „Untraceable“. Create a PayPall account, and the Money is untracable.

AirBnB is not hardy known, but more known as the OTA for “illegal” business.
On top of that most classichosts do not like the amount of control AirBnB takes over, so it is still avoided by a lot of hosts.

The problem is that AirBnB is not only taking housing of the market. In Austria it is also removing money from the local economy. Where classic hosts would live in the area and spend the money in the area, AirBnB hosts most often are foreign investors, the income form the rental stays outside the local economy.