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Airbnb is in your area

02 July 2014

Airbnb Logo

Almost uniquely in the world, all tourist accommodation in this country must be certified by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. This ensures that visitors can expect a minimum standard for any type of accommodation and can be confident that the premises meet certain health and safety criteria.

Airbnb is a website for people to rent out their own rooms and apartments. It has over 500,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company is privately owned and operated and has an estimated market capitalisation of $10bn.

It is illegal for someone in Northern Ireland to rent out their own rooms or apartments for short-term lets (under 30 days) unless they are certified by NITB but there are hundreds of premises now listed on Airbnb. Some of these are correctly certified but most are not.

We recommend that you check out the listings in your own area. Private tourist lets do not pay commercial rates, they don't pay water charges or have to invest time and money in fire safety. They may be uninsured and untaxed. This may be a minor inconvenience at the moment but it could grow to threaten your business. New York City has 90,000 hotel rooms that are now competing with 40,000 Airbnb rooms!

Please report any offenders to the NITB Certification department.

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