On February the 7th 2020 the Regulation of the Establishment and Operation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (Amendment) Law of 2020 N. 9(I)/2020 was enacted, which regulates the process of licensing, conditions and the operation of self-catering accommodation (Airbnb-style)
- What is meant by “self-catering accommodation?”
Under this new legislation, it is defined as either a single tourist furnished mansion, or a single residence, or a single apartment, which constitutes “a unit”, which does not constitute a “hotel” or “tourist accommodation”, which is rented as a mansion or a residence or a unit and not as a part of it, and is registered in the Register of Self-Catering Accommodations under the provisions of Part IIIA of the new legislation.
- Does this new law also apply to already existing accommodation?
Yes. The time period afforded to the existing accommodation in order to comply with the provisions of this new legislation has been set to two years. Thus, they have two years to register to the Registry of Self-Catering Accommodations that is maintained by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism. Any newly-established accommodations are obliged to register in the Registry prior to the commencement of their operations.
It should be noted that any income generated from the day of enactment of this legislation is subjected to 14% flat tax rate.
- What are the consequences of non-compliance with the registration in the Register?
Following the transitional period (2 years), owner and/or online platform provider are prohibited from advertising and/or uploading accommodations that have not acquired a registry (serial) number.
- What are the conditions that have to be fulfilled before renting the self-catering accommodation?
- The self-catering accommodation bears the features and specifications of a single residence and/or a single tourist furnished mansion and/or single apartment.
- The self-catering accommodation maintains at the time of operation a valid and renewed registration license.
- Do I need permission from the management committee of the complex my unit is located in before I register in the Registry of Self-Catered Accommodations?
No, every owner, after receiving permission from the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, can rent freely their property, without needing authorisation from the management committee of their complex.
- What is the process for registering in the Register of Self-catering Accommodation?
The owner and/or authorised person files an application to the Deputy Ministry of Justice according to the category of the accommodation, along with:
- The specified fee for registration depending on the category of self-catering accommodation
- Formal declaration attesting to the following:
- Proof of registration to the Tax Department (Tax ID of owner and/or VAT no. if the relevant law requires)
- The relevant details of the accommodation as well as the minimum technical and functional specifications as per the relevant category of accommodation (see 7 below), and
- Proof that the unit is insured against any danger including fire and public liability
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism shall examine each application within 2 (two) months from the date of submission of the application and notify the applicant for the outcome, with a justification in cases of rejection.
- How are self-catering accommodations categorised?
(a) Fully–furnished villas: fully-furnished tourist villas, which have independent and immediate outdoor access, privacy and are autonomous from the land and complex to which the landscaped garden belongs. They are not placed in classes.
(b) Fully–furnished tourist houses: fully-furnished tourist houses, which are in series, or part of a group of detached houses which have independent functionality, private communal or public outdoor access and privacy. This category excludes fully-furnished tourist houses or apartments in apartment blocks or buildings with a common staircase as they do not provide the necessary independent access and privacy. They are not placed in classes.
(c) Apartments: apartments that constitute a unit as the term is defined in the provisions of the Immovable Property Law. They are not placed in classes.
- What is the outcome following a successful application?
Upon a successful application in the Registry of Self-Catering Accommodations, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism issues a specific logo and registration number which is displayed in all transactions and advertisements relevant to the accommodation, and at the same time the first license to register is issued which is valid for three years from the day of its issuance.
- When is the registration license renewed?
Every three years, following an application, which can be submitted up to three months prior to the expiry of the previous license.
- Can the Deputy Ministry of Tourism conduct an inspection in my accommodation on its own volition?
Yes. The Deputy Ministry of Tourism can conduct an inspection, any time, on its own volition to determine that the unit possesses an operation license or a license to register as well as the upholding from the owner or the administrator of the self-catering accommodation of the terms of the operation license or the license to register.
- Can the Deputy Ministry of Tourism revoke my license?
Yes, in specific circumstances prescribed by law, including the following:
- the licence has been approved based on false or misleading facts,
- following an inspection, it is determined that any of the necessary certifications and documents have not been renewed,
- the owner/operator has been convicted of a serious offence
- death of the owner, or with the issuing of a bankruptcy order in case of a natural person, or with the appointment of a liquidator in case of a legal person,
- continuous violation of the provisions of the present Law.
- Following my registration in the Registry, can the Deputy Ministry of Tourism use data in relation to my accommodation?
Yes, for specific purposes. Following the registration in the Registry, the Deputy Ministry Tourism is authorised to use date in relation to the self-catering accommodations either for statistical or national tourism promotional purposes.