The Slovenia Times

Curbs proposed for holiday rentals

An aerial photograph of Bled, one of Slovenia's prime tourist destinations. Photo: Tinkara Zupan/STA

Slovenia is planning to limit short-term rentals to 30 days a year in a bid to address housing shortages. The cap will not apply if the property is registered as a tourist accommodation facility.

The curbs are proposed in a draft hospitality industry bill that the Economy Ministry unveiled on 13 May, to be followed by a month-long consultation period. Minister Matjaž Han hopes it will be passed by the end of the year.

He says the bill aims to support the hospitality sector, reduce red tape and benefit local communities. "We're not banning short-term rentals, but we want to reduce the undoubtedly harmful effects of this activity," he said.

Municipalities to have final say

Short-term rentals are to be limited to 30 days annually while municipalities will have an option of softening the limit in areas where this suits them.

Short-term rentals are concentrated in a few municipalities - 48% of them in Ljubljana, Piran, Bled, Koper and Kranjska Gora as the most popular tourist destinations.

"There's no doubt that this kind of business model, made possible by platforms such as Airbnb, and others, has taken a major part of housing out of the housing market and into the tourism market," Han said.

Municipalities where there are no such imbalances or where there is a lack of short-term rental properties would be able to relax the 30-day restriction.

State Secretary Matevž Frangež said the supply of short-term rentals has been growing rapidly, as the number of such properties advertised rose five-fold in 2015-2023.

No cap for tourist accommodation facilities

If the status of a flat or house is changed from residential to tourist accommodation facility it will still be possible to rent for short-term without time limits.

The bill therefore also introduces an apartment as a tourist accommodation facility.

In this case, a maximum number of beds in a flat is 15 in the case of one- and two-apartment houses, and six in multi-apartment buildings because of the neighbours.

Neighbours' consent

The bill also introduces a systemic departure from the Housing Act in terms of consent of other owners of flats in multi-apartment buildings. 75% will have to give their consent, up from 50%.

What is more, all next-door neighbours will have to agree that their neighbour is renting out short-term, Frangež said.

A condition for a property to be registered for short-term rentals will be approval from the municipality, and it will be valid for three years.

The draft bill also brings some changes to the opening hours of hospitality establishments to cut red tape as much as possible, said Economy Ministry tourism directorate head Dubravka Kalin.

The main window for operating hours is set between 6am and 2am the next day outside residential areas. In residential areas the window is 6am to 10pm, but in this case municipalities will be able to prolong the opening hours until 2am.

Step in right direction

Minister for Solidarity-based Future Simon Maljevac, who is in charge of housing policy and comes from the Left, which has been advocating for restrictions, welcomed the bill as a step in the right direction.

However, he hopes municipalities will also be able to further tighten up the 30-day limit if they have a particularly pressing housing crisis.

He also feels that, following the example of foreign countries, municipalities should be able to curb short-term rentals by allowing only natural persons to rent out flats, and only where the person has the permanent residence.

The Ljubljana city authorities also welcomed the proposed caps, although Mayor Zoran Janković does not yet know how exactly the city administration will regulate short-term rentals offered via patforms such as Airbnb.

"We took part in the drafting of the bill, and now we have a lot of time to get adjusted, to establish what's going on," the mayor told the press on 14 May.

For the time being, he sees no need to relax the proposed restrictions. He noted that a new hotel will be built in the vicinity of the central train and bus stations, providing new accommodation.


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