EU top court: Airbnb not subject to real estate agent rules

Practice Legal News

Airbnb scored a big win in its long-standing fight with French hoteliers as the European Union’s highest court rejected Thursday an argument that Airbnb should be subject to the strict rules that govern French real estate agents.

The case was submitted by a French court after a major association of hotels, including leading chains like Best Western, filed a complaint arguing that the Ireland-registered company should be submitted to the same obligations as traditional real estate providers. The hotel industry in France, like those in many countries across the world, accuses the online rental platform of unfair competition.

Hotel owners wanted Airbnb to follow real estate agent accounting, insurance and other financial rules. Airbnb denied acting as a real estate agent.

“We welcome this judgment and want to move forward and continue working with cities on clear rules that put local families and communities at the heart of sustainable 21st century travel,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We want to be good partners to everyone and already we have worked with more than 500 governments to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay tax.”

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