Today in some Russian cities the segment of “apartments for rent” is close to take 50% share of the market of hotel services. Due to the fact that now the activities of private renting are not regulated at the state level, owners of the apartments can extract huge profits, often evading taxes.
Is it a problem and what to do? We managed to get a comment on this issue from the Vice-President of the Russian Federation of restaurateurs and hoteliers Vadim Prasov:
“You know, there is no private sector regulation now. In general, there is no system. Of course, it is necessary to divide apartments for rent into those who rent apartments monthly, and those who rent daily.
The first category is needed for strict regulation, because there is a number of security questions, which are sensible for the interior Ministry, and the Ministry of emergency situations, and Consumer supervision service. In addition, I am absolutely sure that most of apartment owners do not pay any taxes; here the regulatory factor is completely absent. At the same time, in many Russian cities the volume of apartments for rent is absolutely identical to the volume of the rooms in hotels. But the hotels are forced to meet all the requirements like sanitary service, construction rules and state standards. In all cases they are operated under the constant supervision of regulatory authorities, and all taxes are paid. Therefore, the private sector should do the same work.
If we talk about the apartments for monthly rent, I think it is important to consider regulation like we see in Amsterdam, where reservations made through Airbnb you can do for no more than 30 days a year. Formerly it could be made for no more than 60 days. In Russia we have to set a maximum period at 90 days.
In any case, at the moment this market is not controlled by anyone. At the same time the problem is big and it can certainly affect both the level of service/quality and safety of tourists”.