Airbnb Owners Ordered to Register as Crackdown Looms

February 1, 2024

Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Raymond Omollo, along with colleagues Anne Wang’ombe (Gender and Affirmative Action), Dr. Beatrice Inyangala (Higher Education and Research), and John Ololtuaa (Tourism), issued a joint statement directing Airbnb and short-term accommodation operators to register their properties with the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA).

This aims to ensure that the properties adhere to stringent guest safety and security standards. The PSs highlighted that this action is one of several measures aimed at addressing the recent increase in femicide cases within the mentioned properties.

“Effective immediately, all operators of start-term accommodation rentals, including Airbnbs, are required to register with the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA),” read the statement.

“This registration process is designed to ensure that all accommodations meet the highest standards of safety and security for guests.”

Furthermore, the PSs decreed that starting from February 5, 2024, National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs) will collaborate with TRA to ensure Airbnb and lodging owners comply with the aforementioned directive.

Severe Penalties

They emphasized that stringent penalties would be imposed on operators and properties that fail to adhere to the established regulations.

Starting from 5th February, 2024, National Government Administrative Officers (NGA0s), in collaboration with the TRA, will commence stringent Inspections of all registered properties. We will subsequently coordinate with booking platforms to restrict unregistered rentals and further institute severe penalties, including fines and revocation in cases of non-compliance,” the statement added.

“Resident Associations are encouraged to work closely with law enforcement agencies for effective enforcement. This includes sharing Information, Joint inspections, and coordinated responses to any safety standard violations.”

The Principal Secretaries also declared that, by law, security guards overseeing the properties must now temporarily retain identification documents and record identification details of everyone entering the premises, noting the time of entry and exit.

“Moreover, these measures mandate the installation of CCTV surveillance systems, ensuring that the recording of footage remains consistently up-to-date,” they said.

“We urge all stakeholders in the short-term rental sector to adhere to these regulations, recognizing their legal and moral responsibility in ensuring a safe environment for all individuals regardless of gender.”

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