Swiss city of Lucerne votes to restrict Airbnb rentals

Lucerne is a popular tourist destination in Switzerland.

The Swiss city of Lucerne voted on Sunday to limit short-term rentals, even on the Airbnb platform, to a maximum of 90 days a year.

Just over 64 percent of voters in the picturesque central Swiss town were in favor of the restriction put forward by the left-wing Social Democrats.

Supporters of the initiative said it was aimed at limiting large-scale temporary rentals by commercial providers and freeing up living space for residents of Lucerne, which is facing a significant housing shortage.

Opponents had warned it risked damaging tourism in the city, which is one of Switzerland’s top tourist destinations.

The local government had submitted a watered-down counterproposal, which would have restricted the percentage of short-term rentals within non-tourist neighborhoods, but failed to garner sufficient support.

The left applauded the vote, with National Socialist Party co-chairman Cedric Wermuth describing it on Twitter as a “fantastic victory against the real estate lobby.”

With Sunday’s vote, Lucerne will become the latest in a series of European cities that have taken steps to limit the effect of Airbnb’s home rental platform on the property market.

In Switzerland, caps already exist for short-term subletting to tourists in the western regions of Geneva and Vaud.

Turnout in the Lucerne vote, which was just one of a series of local and regional issues held Sunday in Switzerland as part of the country’s direct democratic system, was 34.6 percent.

© 2023 AFP

Citation: Swiss City of Lucerne Votes to Restrict Airbnb Rentals (2023, March 13) Accessed March 14, 2023 at restrict.html

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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