The sun could be setting on the global sharing economy as city authorities in France and Germany prepare to clamp down on people renting out their houses and apartments to vacationers.
The sharing economy has grown rapidly in recent years as individuals look to arrange short-term rentals of their properties -- the worldwide vacation rental market is worth a reported $85 billion, according to the World Economic Forum. This boom has led to an increasing number of online companies, such as HouseTrip, Wimdu, AirBNB and 9Flats, which put vendors in touch with clients looking to rent an apartment or house for their vacations.
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And it is cities that have moved center stage in the battle between governments and the sharing economy. Concerns center on the effect of privately let holiday apartments on rising rental prices, as well as the incidence of so-called unregulated "illegal hotels" that enable landlords to avoid tax payments.
New York was the first city to clamp down on short-term lets. In 2011, it became illegal to rent out apartments for periods of less than 30 days. This November officials in Berlin passed the first stage in a law to restrict requiring official permission for private short-term lets. Paris is set to follow with officials voting on similar legislation this Tuesday.