Half of all Airbnb accommodation inspected, ordered to close

The Flemish tourist agency Toerisme Vlaanderen closed down half of all the Airbnb premises that it checked.  The agency checked 106 premises and ordered people letting 56 accommodations to travellers to stop immediately.

Airbnb allows private individuals to rent out accommodation online without any hassle.  People doing so must ensure the accommodation meets the conditions set out in Flemish legislation including fire safety rules.

The Flemish authorities announced checks last summer, but Airbnb is refusing to co-operate and hand over information on people letting premises.  Toerisme Vlaanderen then started to hunt out addresses themselves and proceeded to carry out inspections.  Premises where inspectors suspected rules were being flouted were checked.  All 56 Airbnb premises ordered to stop were in violation of fire safety rules.

Tourism minister Weyts: "Now we've made it easier to rent out accommodation, we have to ensure that letters comply with basic safety rules. Under the law Airbnb is obliged to provide information about people letting accommodation.  We will insist they do so."

Airbnb points to EU privacy rules!

Some 10,000 premises in Belgium are listed on Airbnb.