Research done in many cities across the world shows that an unregulated guest apartment market favors segregation, said Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) on ETV+ morning show "Kofe+" on Monday.
"The more we have of such apartments, the more expensive rent is and that includes long-term renting prices, the more people leave mid-town, where housing becomes more available to only the rich and for those who purchase housing to further rent it out," said Kõlvart.
"It favors segregation. Among other things there will be entire regions, where locals just do not live. It's been proven around the world that uncontrolled short-term renting favors segregation," he added.
Kõlvart rejected the notion that his proposal was backed by the interests of hotels and lobby.
"I heard a version that the city is lobbying in favor of hotels. Even if it was so, I wouldn't see anything shameful there. There are many people working in hospitality. That sector is now in danger and it influences a lot of others. But our interests are the people of Tallinn before anything else," Kõlvart said.
Another criticism aimed towards Kõlvart's proposal was that of the requirement of the consent of two thirds of the apartment association to rent out a guest apartment.
Kõlvart responded saying that city government gets complaints about guest apartments from residents and apartment associations regularly. He also added that the criticism about getting consent from association members points to the problem itself.
The mayor of Tallinn thought that there are many forms of regulation available and in some countries only residents of the stairwell need to give consent for guest apartments. He said that short-term renting needs regulation and has to be equated to entrepreneurship. He also added that there needs to be changes made in legislation regarding long-term renting.
"In my opinion a clear difference needs to be made between short-term and long-term renting. In terms of long-term, it is reasonable to talk about some tax exemptions so people would be more motivated to publish this income officially," said Kõlvart.
On the 27th of May, ERR News wrote that Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart wanted to amend the Tourism Act to include the stipulation that apartments may only offer accomodation services if they have been licensed to do so by the local government, one of the requirements in turn for which is the consent of at least two thirds of apartment association members.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste