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Brussels warns Airbnb over consumer rights

Airbnb has been warned it has until the end of August to change its terms and conditions protecting users or face the possibility of legal action in the EU.

“Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules — for example on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner”, said Vera Jourova, EU commissioner for justice and consumers.

Airbnb has until the end of August to propose solutions to the commission’s complaints. Should it fail to do so, consumer protection authorities will be able to launch legal action.

In a statement, Airbnb said: “We take this issue seriously and are committed to being as transparent as possible for our community”.

“Guests are made aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, before confirming their decision to book a listing, and we will work together with the authorities to clarify the points raised.”

Airbnb has also been asked to change its terms and conditions so it does not mislead its customers by going to court in a different member state to the one in which they reside as well as making sure it prevents Airbnb from changing a customer’s terms and conditions without due warning or suspend contracts without proper explanation.

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