Panama: Higher Fines for Vacation Rentals

The Tourism Authority is proposing tougher actions against casual vacation rentals, raising current fines and reducing the time it takes to impose sanctions.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The draft law which aims to create tougher sanctions for those renting homes to tourists will be presented to cabinet ministers in the coming weeks, according to statements made to by Gustavo Him, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority.

Him explained that "... currently the institution applies the sanctions through the chief magistrate, a procedure that in his view slows the process. 'We have to look at more energetic mechanisms, in addition the process is sometimes ambiguous and we have to practically find the person inside the apartment in order to start the process.' "

See "Hotels vs. Airbnb : Innovate or Perish "

"... Although Article 21 of Law 80 of 2012 sets fines of between $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the seriousness of the offense, the bureaucratic process makes the sanction process slow and sometimes prevents us from gathering evidence against the people and companies engaged in this activity. Since 2012 49 files were opened against clandestine accommodation services which did not have permission to engage in this activity, but few people end up paying penalties. "

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