NAFPLIO – With short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb turning thousands of apartments and homes in Greece into places for tourists, a judge in the popular southern Greece harbor town of Nafplio prohibited a property owner from doing that.
The Athens daily paper Ta Nea said that the judge ruled in favor of an injunction requested by other tenants of the building where the apartment is located, and against the owner who was told to abstain “from repeating its commercial exploitation as a tourism dwelling, and to restrict its use only as a residence.”
That has set off a buzz as to whether it could be ruled unlawful across the country as tenants in Athens and other cities are being forced out of their apartments that are turned into short-term rentals, changing the entire character of some neighborhoods.
Foreign investors, especially Chinese, are also buying up properties and then using them for Airbnb and using other short-term rental sites, a practice that has driven up rents in nearby properties as people are struggling to recover from a near decade-long economic crisis.
Nafplio, the first capital of Greece, is a popular all-year-round tourism and holiday town on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese where short-term renting has taken over, the effect of the ruling not certain on those.
The first-instance court said there would be a fine of 1,000 euros ($1107.82) for every violation and the ruling is expected to lead to other challenges against the practice around the country, the rentals raking in huge profits for owners.