Only star-rated apartments will be able to be sold through online platforms such as Booking and Airbnb if Bulgarian lawmakers’ proposals for legislative changes are accepted. If the owners do not register voluntarily but continue to offer their property online, they will be fined 500 to 5000 (approximately 250 to 2500 Euro) for the first offense and up to BGN 8000 (4000 Euro) for the second.
Sole proprietors and legal entities offering unlicensed homes and properties will be subject to property sanctions of up to BGN 10,000 ( 5000 Euro) in the first instance and up to BGN 15,000 ( 7500 Euro) in the second. In case of systematic violation of the rules, the Minister of Tourism will be able to ask the court to block the website of the offender. The court will have 72 hours to comment on the alert, and the Internet providers will have 24 hours to stop accessing the pages of uncategorized sites.
If the proposals of MPs Volen Siderov and Menda Stoyanova are accepted, the property owners will have 3 months to categorize the apartments and guest houses. According to the rules of the Tourism Act, this happens after the fulfillment of minimum requirements and verification by the municipality on whose territory the site is located. According to the petitioners, the changes are a step in the fight against unfair business competition.