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Morena lawmaker wants to prohibit Airbnb in Mexico City

Deputy says intention is to protect property owners

Morena legislator Leticia Estrada Hernández has proposed a law that would ban lodging apps such as Airbnb in Mexico City. 

The bill was put forward on July 15 in an effort to reform zoning laws in the capital, despite the fact that such hosting platforms are a viable alternative to hotels for travelers due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The proposed amendment to zoning law article 17 states that all private residential property be prohibited from carrying out “industrial, commercial or service activities, and for no reason may they be intended for temporary accommodation, as offered by the Airbnb platform and other similar platforms.” 

The proposal also includes other types of prohibitions, such as carrying out activities that affect the tranquility of condominium owners, such as nighttime construction and maintenance without prior approval.

The bill proposes that those who violate its terms could be subjected to fines between 4,344 and 26,064 pesos (US $195 to US $1,667).

In addition, the bill proposes that a vigilance committee be formed to make sure neighbors are complying with regulations. 

Estrada said the proposal came from the desire to protect property owners and cited unknown individuals entering buildings and others who are “constantly having parties.”

The president of Mexico City’s congressional tourism commission, Patricia Báez Guerrero of the National Action Party (PAN), came out against Estrada’s proposal, saying it would destroy all the work that has been done by the Ministry of Tourism to regulate digital lodging.

Báez also pointed out the importance of Airbnb in Mexico City. With about 17,229 rooms for rent, between houses and apartments, the service generates around 4.34 million pesos per year in tax revenue, about US $194,000.

Homeowners in Mexico City who rent out their properties on Airbnb and other apps earn an average of 38,000 pesos a year, she said.

“These deputies [from Morena] want to end everything that generates some money for the capital. Especially now that so much is needed with this contingency,” Báez said. 

Source: Infobae (sp), El Universal (sp), Expansión Política (sp)

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