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AirBNB Rules in Foreign Countries: What to Know Before You Go

Airbnb lets travelers stay at fantastic places—from being on a fjord in an igloo in Greenland to a treehouse in the southern Himalayas.  But not everyone is thrilled about turning apartments for residents into full-time rentals and bringing a revolving door of travelers into residential buildings.

As cities in the USA and around the world enact regulations to keep vacation rentals’ rapid growth in check, many are cracking down on Airbnb. Here’s what you need to know if you want to stay in one.

Paris, France

Bien Sur! The City of Lights– the most popular Airbnb destination in the entire world.  Paris has over 60,000 vacation rental listings. To prevent residential areas from turning into swaths of short-term rentals, city officials have enacted stringent rules for landlords.

Hosts must register with the city and are not allowed to rent out their homes for more than 120 days in a calendar year. If you plan on going to France, make sure and check for a license number at the end of the listing to ensure it is legitimate.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona requires all short-term rental hosts register with the city. They must display their permit numbers online. They begin with “HUTB,” followed by six digits. Unfortunately, the city has had a moratorium on new licenses since 2015 and is cracking down on unregistered, illegal listings rather than creating new ones. 40 investigators levy fines and pull-down listings of the city’s estimated 16,000 Airbnb listings.   Be careful.


In 2018, when Japan’s new home-sharing laws went into effect, nearly 80% of the country’s Airbnbs were pulled off the site, causing chaos among travelers with existing bookings.

“Now, hosts have to register for permission to share their home with the federal government, under the hotel laws that promote fire and emergency safety. Hosts also won’t be able to rent out their homes for more than 180 days a year,” The Travel magazine said. In 2019, listings should display a registration code in the description. If you stay somewhere without registration, you risk your Airbnb being revoked at the last minute!


Tourism is booming in Iceland! So it makes sense that Airbnb would be growing there as well.  Since early 2017, people can rent out their homes for up to 90 days before needing a hospitality license. However, they are limited to earning a maximum of one million Icelandic kronor, or about $9,000 US a year.

All hosts are mandated to get their Airbnb rental registered, which requires meeting some essential health and safety standards. Your host might not list their license number publicly, so ask when you book with them—it’ll start with “HG” and be followed by nine digits.

 Amsterdam, Netherlands

As of January 2019, hosts in Amsterdam can legally rent their homes up to 30 days per the calendar year. On top of that, Airbnb hosts can only have a max of four adults at a time, so if you’ve got a party of six, you’re out in the cold. To keep track, hosts have to register and report when travelers stay with them through the municipal government. Staying in a private room (where the host is also staying in the home) is a good workaround, as they are exempt from those regulations.

Airbnb can really make a difference when seeing the world on a budget, whether it’s an exotic corner of the globe or somewhere closer to home. Being aware of the regulations and regional requirements when booking can make a massive difference upon arrival. Be informed, stay safe, and enjoy feeling at home wherever your travels may take you!

If you’re looking to turn your own home into a rental…read our blog on how to do it.

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2 Responses to “AirBNB Rules in Foreign Countries: What to Know Before You Go”

  • Eileen
    Written on

    I am a US citizen and I would like to buy a condo unit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Before I buy the property for short term rental Air b&b I would like to know the government policies or requirements to operate such, on both US & mexico.

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