Airbnb on computer monitor screen.

In an effort to regulate online accommodations-rental platforms, such as Airbnb, the Mexican Senate of the Republic has proposed the creation of an ad-hoc legal framework, which would better allow users, service providers and intermediaries to settle their disputes.

NITU revealed that legislator Antonio García Cornejo of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) is proposing reform of the General Tourism Law and the Commercial Code, to add, “rent of rooms for days in homes used as usual residence, in exchange for an economic benefit for stays of less than six months,” as an official commercial activity.

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Due to the current lack of rules used to regulate companies like Airbnb, whose activities Senator Cornejo says are based on “atypical” contracts, current conditions produce difficulties whenever some sort of controversy arises among the parties involved in the rental transaction.

Cornejo also pointed out that the absence of official parameters attached to these types of online rental platforms affects the formal hospitality sector, whose operators are duly registered and regulated by both federal and local authorities.

The measure would call for the creation of an updated database of online, home-rental platforms. Including these unconventional types of accommodations in the Commercial Code would mean clearly establishing requirements, assumptions of responsibility and forms of dispute resolution in order to guarantee the services offered. It would serve to ensure that product is delivered in accordance with promised pricing, that quality standards are upheld, and the safety and integrity of the user are protected.

This proposal would build on local measures, adopted by eleven Mexican entities thus far, to charge the Lodging Tax to Airbnb-type companies; as well as another that’s under consideration by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) to charge value-added tax (VAT) and the corporate tax, “Impuesto Sobre la Renta” (ISR), to these types of digital service providers.