50% Airbnb’s without legal license

By TPN/Lusa, in Business · 18-12-2020 01:00:00 · 3 Comments

Almost 50 percent of accommodation in Lisbon registered on the Airbnb digital rental platform does not have a valid license, with 30 percent of the properties not even having permission to be used for this purpose, according to a new study.

“Of the Airbnb accommodations listed in Lisbon, 30 percent do not have a license to operate and 17 percent do not use a single license for registered properties. In total, 47 percent of the accommodation in Lisbon registered on the Airbnb platform do not have a valid license”, says the study by José Pedro Lopes and Manuel Banza, post grad students in Data Science for Hospitality and Tourism, from Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Proposing the implementation of a license approval process by Turismo de Portugal, the authors explain that they found “cases of licenses whose spaces are left blank or are filled with ‘Airbnb123’”, according to Lusa News Agency.
“In the most extreme case, we found the same license to be used for 24 properties. Each property should have a single license”, said Manuel Banza, in a statement to Lusa.

According to the study, the data, collected in October 2019, revealed the existence of a “strong growth” business. “Since 2016, the number of properties listed on this platform, in Lisbon, has more than tripled, from 8,000 to 25,134 properties by the end of 2019”, say the students’ essay from NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS).

According to the analysis, Lisbon is on the list of the ten world cities with the greatest offer of local accommodation on Airbnb, and it is in the parishes of Santa Maria Maior, Misericórdia and Arroios where the greatest offer is concentrated, representing, together, 36 percent of the total properties registered in the capital.

“Lisbon is, among the ten main cities in the world, the one where there is a greater preponderance of hosts with multiple accommodations listed. 73 percent of hosts have at least two properties listed, which compares with Paris (30 percent), Berlin (34 percent) or Milan (45 percent)”, reveals the study.

The research carried out as part of the graduate program in Business Analytics for Hospitality & Tourism at NOVA IMS adds that the largest ‘host’ in Lisbon has 264 registered properties and that eight of the 10 largest hosts are companies.

The study aims to prepare “professionals capable of developing and applying analytical models for tourism, combining the different areas involved in tourism with a cross-cutting approach to data science to leverage them”.

The Lusa News Agency tried to contact Airbnb for more information, but without success.

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Clearly, quite a few people haven’t been doing their jobs! Getting away with fraud comes down to systemic weaknesses and inefficiency. Follow the money and you will find corruption. It’s as true here as in the Portuguese banking sector and a host of corporate cartels. Government rarely cracks down, because who pays the most taxes, who makes campaign contributions, and who can afford the lobbyists who press government to make legislation that favours them - while at the same time shedding nice little backhanders to officialdom?

By Jude Irwin from Beiras on 20-12-2020 10:46

@James... It is not and it should not be the responsibility of private investors and companies to provide affordable housing to low-income people. It should be the responsibility of the government which owns thousands of dilapidated buildings and organizations such as Santa Casa de Misericordia (which owns over 600 properties in Lisbon) and not private investors and companies. Thanks in part to these investors, thousands of abandoned apartments and buildings have been renovated in Lisbon. It is only right that these investors receive a return-on-investment. The government needs to focus on securing more foreign investment, improve competitiveness, reduce bureaucracy in order to increase wages so that people can afford to purchase homes, and not continually try to impede investors in making a reasonable ROI.

By E.Medeiros from Lisbon on 18-12-2020 10:58

I suggest they also check the Algarve which I suspect is even worse.
I see properties owned by the same person listed on Airbnb as different owners.
Airbnb has blighted local communities.Has made it impossible for low income people to find long term accomodation and to cap it all we find out many Airbnb hosts are flouting the rules and the law anyway.
Enough is enough

By James from Algarve on 18-12-2020 06:52
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