The Municipality of Florence, one of the main tourist destinations in Italy, announced that it will prohibit the use of residential properties for short-term rental services, such as Airbnb, in its historic center. It is not the first European city to take action against the company, the effects of which are felt in the residential rental market in various parts of the world, including in the City of Buenos Aires.
“We know that it is a legally bold law, but we are sure that we can defend it in court. If we don’t try to take politically innovative actions, no one will budge. We are tired; of promises, this problem has become structural,” said Mayor Dario Nardella.
The objective is to promote housing in the historic center of Florence, an area designated by Unesco as a world heritage site and which suffers from population emptiness, a reality common to many tourist areas in Italy and the rest of the world.
According to the mayor, the new rule will not be retroactive, but rather provides tax incentives for owners who “want to collaborate and go back” in the fate of their properties, such as tax exemption for second homes, which today is around 2,000 euros. per year for a medium-sized apartment in the historic center.
The measure announced by the City of Florence anticipates a project under discussion by the Italian government, which promises a package of actions to curb short-term rentals in the coming weeks.
Cities around the world blame the popularization of Airbnb and similar services for the depopulation of their historic centers.
With the increase in the supply of tourist properties, the number of residences for long-term contracts decreases, which raises rental prices and forces local residents to seek cheaper and more remote regions.