Swiss city Lucerne votes to restrict Airbnb rentals

Swiss city Lucerne votes to restrict Airbnb rentals

Lucerne is a popular tourist destination in Switzerland
Lucerne is a popular tourist destination in Switzerland. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Source: AFP

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The Swiss city of Lucerne voted Sunday to limit short-term rentals, including on the Airbnb platform, to a maximum of 90 days a year.

Just over 64 percent of voters in the picturesque city in central Switzerland were in favour of the restriction tabled by the leftwing Social Democrats.

Backers of the initiative said it aimed to cap large-scale temporary rentals by commercial providers and to free up living space for residents of Lucerne, which is facing a significant housing crunch.

Opponents had warned it risked harming tourism in the city, which is one of Switzerland's main tourist destinations.

The local government had presented a watered-down counter proposal, which would have restricted the percentage of short-term rentals within non-touristy neighbourhoods, but it failed to get sufficient backing.

The left hailed the vote, with the national Socialist Party's co-president Cedric Wermuth describing it on Twitter as a "fantastic victory against the real estate lobby".

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With Sunday's vote, Lucerne will become the latest of a number of European cities that have taken steps to limit the effect of the Airbnb home rental platform on the housing market.

In Switzerland, caps on short-term subletting to holidaymakers are already in place in the western regions of Geneva and Vaud.

Participation in the Lucerne vote, which was just one of a slew held on local and regional issues across Switzerland Sunday as part of the country's direct democratic system, stood at 34.6 percent.

Source: AFP

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