In recent years, the sharing economy has transformed the way we travel and find accommodation. Airbnb has become a global phenomenon, connecting travellers with unique and affordable lodging options. However, despite its widespread popularity, some countries have chosen to block or impose strict regulations on Airbnb operations within their borders, including the USA, Japan, Spain, France, Australia, and many more. In 2024, Turkey introduced new Airbnb measures that will have a big impact on the way that short-term lettings operate in the country going forward.
Reasons behind countries regulating Airbnb
Protecting traditional hospitality:
The traditional hospitality industry, including hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, often argues that Airbnb disrupts the level playing field. These accommodations are subject to various regulations and taxes that Airbnb hosts might not face. Governments may restrict or ban Airbnb to ensure fair competition within the hospitality sector.
Housing affordability and supply:
In densely populated cities, the impact of Airbnb on housing affordability and supply has been a cause for concern. The platform can worsen housing shortages by converting residential units into short-term rentals. As a result, some countries implement restrictions to ensure that the housing market remains accessible to residents rather than being dominated by short-term tourists.
Preservation of local communities:
Airbnb's rapid expansion has led to concerns about the potential gentrification of neighbourhoods, as increased demand for short-term rentals can drive up property prices and displace long-term residents. Countries aiming to maintain the character of their communities may impose restrictions on Airbnb to safeguard against these changes.
Safety and security:
Safety and security issues have also been cited as reasons for restricting Airbnb operations. Concerns range from the potential for fraudulent listings to the safety of guests in unregulated accommodations.
Airbnb in Turkey
One of the world’s most visited countries, Turkey welcomes more than 50 million tourists per year and has aims of attracting 60 million tourists per year in the coming years. Because of that, Turkey has naturally become a hotspot for Airbnb investors and those wanting to operate short-term lettings to tourists in Istanbul city centre.
Published on the 28th December 2023 in Turkey’s Official Gazette under the title “Regulation on the Rental of Residential Properties for Tourism Purposes”, Turkey has introduced new laws and regulations for those wanting to Airbnb their property (under law 7464). Owners that fail to comply with the new regulations can face fines of 100,000 Turkish Lira or more.
What are the new Airbnb regulations in Turkey?
- Buildings that have up to 5 units in them, but NO tourism licence can operate Airbnb for all of the units.
- Buildings that have more than 5 units in them come under a different category and a hotel management licence is required.
- Buildings that hold a Hotel Management License are allowed to operate Airbnb regardless of how many properties the building has.
- Small hotels with a Hotel Management License can operate Airbnb regardless of how many rooms the hotel has.
- Apartments within high-rise residential buildings can operate Airbnb if Airbnb is allowed in the Management Plan.
- Apartments within other residential buildings require permission from all apartment owners within the building in order to operate Airbnb.
Property Turkey Airbnb best investment strategies
1. Apartments in small apartment blocks
Apartments within small apartment blocks where all owners have approved Airbnb short-term lettings will become very rare in Turkey. Therefore, apartments that have been approved will create a large demand vs supply, pushing rental prices and resale prices of such apartments higher than ever before. Those who able to purchase these types of units will have an easy exit when it comes to selling along with high capital gains and profits.
2. Small hotels with existing licenses
With up to 80% of previous Airbnb operators and competitors no longer being able to operate, small hotels in Turkey with existing licenses will have a much higher demand amongst investors. However, purchasing a small boutique hotel comes with a higher entry level.
3. High-rise residences with Airbnb allowance
High-rise residences that have approved Airbnb in the Management Plan will be able to provide short-term lettings at a higher price given the lower levels of competition. Resale prices of apartments in high-rise buildings with Airbnb allowance in place will also be higher and more desirable for investors.
4. Purchase several small buildings up to 5 units each
Small buildings that have up to 5 apartments within them and NO tourism license can operate Airbnb for all of the units. This creates a unique opportunity for an investor who might want to purchase an entire building or even several buildings. Purchasing small buildings within the same area could maximise the economic scale of profit, particularly in areas such as Istanbul city centre.
While Airbnb has undoubtedly revolutionised the way people travel and find accommodation, its global expansion has not been without challenges. The decision of Turkey to regulate Airbnb is rooted in concerns about fair competition, housing affordability, community preservation, safety, and the traditional hospitality industry. For more information about how you can capitalise on this with smart investments in the right areas, please contact us to speak with our local and expert advisors.
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