The rise in electricity prices, which today operates under the banner of water scarcity, has caused a change in the behavior of those who choose to rent a property on online platforms, such as Airbnb, for example. With the increase in the electric bill, landlords are now beginning to shift the costs of electricity to those who rent the property.
The value of the water scarcity flag represents an increase of 49.6% (or R$4.71) compared to the current Red Flag Level 2 that has been applied to the electricity bill. At the end of June, the value of Red Flag Level 2 had already increased by 52%.
With the rise weighing on their pockets and reducing profits, homeowners advertised on Airbnb have begun adjusting their prices or setting additional charges for electricity consumption during the rental period. NS UOL I searched for properties on the platform and found that the ads actually showed the new costs.
“In my apartment, since people spend more on weekends, at the beginning of the year the monthly electricity bill was around R$130 a month. Now it’s about R$170 a month, therefore, I chose to adjust the daily rate in my apartment,” said the apartment owner In Minas Gerais, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Another owner said to UOL Which has already started charging renters extra since the electricity bill for a luxury beach house in São Paulo has gone up by about 80%, he said. In this case, the fee charged is fixed at R$30, but there are cases where the fee is based on kWh consumption.
“Because it’s the beach, people sleep with the air conditioning on, turn on the sauna, the pool, etc., and the increase in the electric bill is starting to eat into my earnings. Now, I put the fees there so that guests can help pay for this modification,” he said.
Is charging of fees allowed?
According to Renata Appalim, attorney and chair of the Consumer Law Committee at OAB-GO, additional lighting fees are allowed for as long as they are made prior to contract termination.
“Once the information is accurate and everything you need to rent is clear there, it cannot be said that the supplier was dishonest or that he was breaking some rules,” he said. “Therefore, if something was stipulated in advance, the consumer could even try to negotiate, but he could not say that the charge was illegal,” he declared.
According to the attorney, the consumer can appeal the fees only if a refund or additional fees are submitted after the rental, without prior approval, or if the amount is exorbitant.
“There is no room for conflict unless it is exaggerated or not agreed upon before,” he said.
What does Airbnb say?
wanted by UOLAirbnb has informed that the additional fees are being adopted worldwide and are legal on the platform, as long as they are notified in advance, to also try to avoid waste.
“This type of measure is aimed at avoiding waste and can be adopted by hosts not only in Brazil, but globally, as long as the fee terms, including values, are explicit in the house rules and communicated before booking is made. For guest analysis and approval.”
“In this context, hosts can implement similar restrictions to avoid wasting other natural resources, such as water and gas,” he said in a statement.
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