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According to Airbnb figures Slovenians charged 124 thousand overnight stays last year. Photo: Pixabay

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Airbnb: On one side a lot of fees and bureaucracy, on the other high penalties

Room lenders have to register their guests and report them to the police
18. July 2017 ob 22:39
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Slovenia is becoming an ever more popular country for tourists. Renting out apartments through web platforms, such as Airbnb, is increasingly tempting. However the legal way to rent out an apartment is full of obstacles and failing to overcome them can lead to high penalties.

Renting apartments through web platforms such as Airbnb and Booking is becoming a nice source of income for many Slovenian citizens with an extra real estate. But most of the apartments are still being offered through the black market, similarly to how it was in the past when people used to rent out to tenants or students for a short period.

A lot of state contributions
The Financial Administration explains that the legal renting of rooms, apartments, and any other kind of real estate through web platforms, is possible if one respects the Hospitality Industry Act. Apartment owners, who wish to rent out to tourists, can register as room lessors. They are not allowed to rent their apartments for more than five months in one calendar year. At the same time they can only offer up to 15 beds and will have to register as an entity carrying out hospitality services.

The legal renting of apartments also means paying a lot of fees, including a VAT tax (22 percent), for offering (advertising) services provided by a foreign taxpayer, as the most popular web platforms of this kind have their headquarters abroad.

Of course, that means your profit is considerably lower. However the high penalties – from 2,000 to 26,000 euros for legal entities and sole proprietors, and from 1,000 to 7,000 euros for private individuals - and the Financial Administration’s announcement that this year’s summer season will especially focus on "illegal workers" involved in renting out rooms, has convinced many Airbnb hosts to become official "room lessors".

Room lenders have to register their guests and report them to the police, collect a tourist tax for the municipality, and classify the real estate which is being rented out to tourists.

Gregor Cerar, MMC; translated by K. J.