July 16, 2018 / 10:00 AM / a year ago

Airbnb breaches EU consumer rules, must fall in line - EU

BRUSSELS, July 16 (Reuters) - Short-term rental website Airbnb has breached EU consumer rules by depriving consumers of their basic legal rights, the European Commission said on Monday, as it gave the company an August deadline to propose changes or face enforcement action.

Some of Airbnb’s terms and conditions and the way it presents its prices violates the bloc’s unfair commercial practices directive, the unfair contract terms directive and the regulation on jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters, the EU executive said.

“Airbnb has now until the end of August to propose detailed solutions on how to bring its conduct in compliance with EU consumer legislation,” the Commission said.

It said Airbnb should make it clear whether accommodation is offered by a private individual or a professional, provide details of the price with in a clear way and modify its terms of service so that they will be fairer to consumers.

Airbnb and similar rental platforms, which help homeowners to rent out their homes or even rooms for short periods of time, have grown in popularity in recent years because of their competitive prices versus hotels.

Critics however say the practice is driving up property prices and contributing to a housing shortage in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and other big cities. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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