Iceland Mag

9 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

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Only one in five Airbnbs have been registered with authorities

By Staff

  • Reykjavík in the snow With hotels booked to capacity Reykjavík wouldn't have been able to accommodate the tourism boom. Photo/Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson

Only 1069 permits have been issued for short term travel rentals since new rules came into effect requiring all rentals to be registered with the authorities the local news site Túristi reports. This represents only one fifth of all Airbnb properties which are listed in Iceland. According to official estimates at least 4,500 apartments and properties are listed on Airbnb. 

Most property owners ignore the law
On January 1 2017 new rules came into effect, requiring all short term rentals which are rented for less than 90 days each year, generating less than 2 million ISK (19,000 USD/16,000 EUR) to be registered with the authorities. Properties which are rented out to travellers for more than a combined 90 days, or which generate more than 2 million ISK in revenue must be registered as guesthouses.

Read more: Authorities believe 15% of the most active Airbnb operators in Iceland are tax cheats

Income from short term rentals are subjected to lower taxes and their registration is significantly easier than guesthouses. In July the requirement that short term rentals be inspected by the Public Health Authority was dropped in an effort to induce more property owners to register. Short term rentals are required to pay a small 8,000 ISK (77 USD/64 EUR) fee, as well as verifying that the property is up to code for residential use.

All registered properties which have been registered with the authorities are issued a unique number. The law stipulates that this number be published in the online registration on booking sites like Airbnb. A study by Túristi failed to turn up a single property which adhered to this rule.

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