The end of Airbnb in Prague?


Disputes over short-term rentals have been going on for years. Residents of Prague's city centre complain about the noise and chaos from ever-changing neighbours in their homes.

     Imagine the situation when you consider that the buildings are mostly occupied by ordinary city dwellers: pensioners and people who spend all day at work and want to relax in the evening in comfort with their families. Many have small children who also need peace and quiet. But suddenly their neighbour sells the apartment to an investor who decides to start a business and rents it out short-term via Airbnb platforme, leading to chaos. Strangers, such as tourists or workers, regularly rent the apartment. Almost every day, different guests stay there, often hosting parties.  It is clear that an apartment in a block of flats is not technically or morally designed for this purpose. Residents need security, peace and privacy, and the 'hotel' must comply with fire safety rules, the requirements of the supervisory authorities, public order rules, register guests and pay the relevant fees and taxes.

     The Prague Building Office has put an end to years of litigation and upheld the decision of the Prague 1 City Council regarding a short-term rental in one of the houses in the centre of the capital. The owner of the apartment was fined 20 000 Czech crowns and banned from renting out the property until it is approved for use as an accommodation facility. The flat, which is intended for residential use and has the relevant legal status, should only be used for permanent residence or conventional long-term rental. As the flat was let on a short-term basis, it was not being used as intended.  This property would need to be licensed as a 'hostel' or 'accommodation'. The Building Offices are responsible for approving the legalities relating to flats for short term letting. Without these changes, renting a flat on a short-term basis is considered illegal. The resolution of The Prague Building Office has already influenced the resolution of this problem. The municipality has announced that the management of the city districts will start inspecting such flats. Compliance with all requirements under the law will reduce the profitability of short-term rentals compared to traditional long-term ones, and residents will finally be able to live in comfort. In conclusion, we would like to advise all those currently renting property to obey the law and treat their neighbours with respect.

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