On November 15th, 2017, the Swiss Federal Council took note of the report “Regulation in the accommodation industry”. It examined regulatory issues related to online accommodation services platforms. The federal laws basically cover the accommodation services on online platforms. Only with the tenancy law adjustments to the regulation on “Verordnung über die Miete und Pacht von Wohn- und Geschäftsräumen” (VMWG) are indicated.
Official photo of the Swiss Federal Council 2017. Source: Wikipedia.
The online platforms for accommodation services (e.g., Airbnb) have grown significantly in recent years. Their Internet-based business models have led to new distribution channels that allow even the smallest providers of accommodation services a global market entry. This raises regulatory issues. Therefore, the commission for economy and taxes of the Council of States had commissioned a postulate to review the federal law. As early as January, the Federal Council had commissioned a test of tenancy law in connection with subletting via online platforms.
For the description and evaluation of the federal standards relevant to the accommodation industry, a clear inventory was created. Accordingly, the relevant federal laws cover the accommodation services offered on online platforms. A need for revision was related to
the rental law term of an apartment,
the modalities for obtaining consent to sublease
and the reasons for refusing them.
The WBF was commissioned to prepare a consultation template.
Logo Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft. Source: Wikipedia.
Apart from tenancy law, there are no grounds for regulatory adjustments. The dialogue and coordination platform planned with the implementation of the new tourism strategy of the federal government could be a suitable framework for the diffusion and application of targeted implementation approaches in connection with providers of accommodation services via online platforms (eg for the collection of tourist taxes) with the cantons and the tourism industry. Regardless of the online platforms, digitization also offers opportunities for administrative relief in the area of regulation of the accommodation industry.