Date 5 April 2018
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The short-term lease via Airbnb in Greece: What is provided by the law

Recently, with relevant legislation, the terms and conditions for short-term lease or rental via online platforms, most notably the Airbnb platform, have been defined for the first time in the context of the peer to peer economy.

Which are the obligations of the Property Manager?

First of all, the property manager should record each leased property in the “Registry of Short -Term Lease Properties”, kept by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. This Registry, though, has not yet been activated and its activation is expected from day to day. It should be clear that only one manager can be appointed for each property.

The registration in the “Registry of Short -Term Lease Properties” is made via the website,  by each manager, using his/her personal TAXISnet passwords.  The registration number must accompany the property, in a prominent place, on the digital platforms.

Secondly, there is an obligation to submit a “Short-Term Residence Statement”. This is a statement of short-term lease agreements that the manager enters through the digital platforms and is required to submit to an electronic application of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. The statement must include the following: a) the registration number in the “Registry of Short -Term Lease Properties”, b) the total rent agreed or the total amount under the annulment policy, c) the name of the digital platform, d) the tenant’s details e) the period of the lease, f) the method of payment of the rent

The statements, initial or amending ones, shall be submitted by 12:00 a.m. of the next working day after the day of departure of the tenant from the property.

The law provides for the possibility of a joint decision of the Ministers of Economy and Development, Finance and Tourism, which will define geographical areas, where restrictions on the short-term lease will apply as follows:

  1. Do not allow the short-term lease of more than two (2) properties per owner.
  2. The lease of each property shall not exceed 90 days per year and for islands of less than 10.000 inhabitants, 60 days per year. Exceedance of this duration is permitted if the total income of the owner, deriving from the short-term leases does not exceed 12,000€ in the relevant tax year.

It should be noted that no such ministerial decision has been issued so far.

How is the income from the short-term lease taxed in Greece?

The income earned by natural persons from the short-term lease of the property is considered income from real estate, provided that the property is rented furnished without the provision of any service other than the provision of bed linen. The income from real estate is taxed as follows:

Income Tax rate %
0 – 12.000 15%
12.001 – 35.000  35%
35.001 – 45%


In case more services (than the supplying with bed linen), similar to those provided by hotels, are offered, the income will be taxed as income from business activity. Income from business activity of natural persons is taxed as follows:

Income Tax rate
0 – 20.000 22%
20.001 – 30.000 29%
30.001 – 40.000 37%
40.001 – 45%

For legal persons or other legal entities, the income derived from the short-term lease of a property is considered to be income from business activity, as any income received by them, and is taxed at a flat rate of 29%.

What about VAT?

In terms of VAT, income derived from the short-term lease of the property of the peer to peer economy is exempt from VAT, subject to conditions.

The exemption is granted, provided that during the lease no additional services, other than bed linen, are offered to tenants, such as cleaning services, garbage collection or other customer care services. Otherwise, the total rent is subject to VAT at the reduced rate of 13%, for accommodation services.

It is clarified, however, that only the supplying of bed linen is exempt from VAT, as it is not considered as an additional service. Also, the fact that other utilities, such as electricity, water, telephone, Internet, which are charged to the owner, are included in the rent, is not considered as an additional service.

It should be noted that the exemption from VAT concerns both natural and legal persons. However, legal persons and legal entities are obliged to commence activity and obtain VAT number, while such a requirement does not exist for natural persons. For foreign persons, a tax representative in Greece should be appointed.

Currently, not only more and more people are joining these platforms and lease their properties to tourists, in an effort to improve their income but also legal entities are investing in properties in Greece, in order to lease them, and receive the profits. This is widely considered as a profitable investment, given the fact that in recent years there is a tourism boom in Greece and accommodation is rather below demand, especially in tourist destinations. Given, also, that the hotel lobby in Greece is not that powerful, it seems difficult to implement a tighter legal framework, at least for the professionals in this area.

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