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1. Regulations and Permits
It is important that you make sure that you can share your space. Sometimes there are restrictions in the contracts, laws or regulations of joint ownership that do not allow this. Additionally, there may be obligations to comply with rules, regulations and/or contracts that apply to the activity, with which you must be in compliance at all times. We recommend that you seek advice from a specialized professional, the person in charge of building administration or the local authorities to obtain more information about the regulations, restrictions and obligations that apply to you.
You can use the general information in this article as a starting point to learn the regulations and the necessary permissions you need to share your space.
On occasion, Airbnb may share your information with the competent authorities in accordance with the applicable regulations, if they duly require it.
Contracts and permits
- Sometimes contracts and co-ownership regulations include restrictions that do not allow you to share your space. Please review it.
- It is important that you review any contracts you have signed or that you contact the owner, the building management committee, or the appropriate corresponding authority.
- Eventually, and depending on the particular circumstances, it is possible that you can modify your contract (prior agreement with the owner) to add an annex or addendum to it that allows to clarify any possible doubt, as well as what are the responsibilities and obligations of all parties in this context.
- If your property has a mortgage (or is subject to any other form of loan), contact the lender to make sure there are no restrictions that prohibit sharing your space.
- Help your roommates know what to expect if you share your own home.
- You can establish a formal contract with them in which you indicate the rights and obligations of all parties. The contract may include:
- Aspects such as how often you plan to receive guests, and what you will do to ensure that they comply with the house rules; and
- If you will share the income obtained through this activity, among other issues.
- In case your home is not your own, please make sure that you are allowed to share your space.
Some areas in Colombia are subject to special environmental protection. Particularly, National Natural Parks usually have local restrictions for accommodation services. Make sure your space complies with such local regulations and sharing your space in your area is not prohibited due to additional environmental protections. These restrictions are local, so we recommend you consult with a suitable professional to know what you should take into account to share your space.
Remember that in Colombia it is forbidden to transport, commercialize, take advantage of, traffic or exploit wild flora and / or fauna in an unauthorized manner. If you have knowledge that your guest has carried out any of these acts, inform the authorities immediately
Protection of children and adolescents
Colombian laws prohibit the provision of tourism services to minors who are not accompanied or authorized by at least one of their parents or legal guardians. Warn your guests about this requirement to avoid inconveniences upon arrival at your space. Remember that minors are all those under 18 years of age.
In case of knowing about the possible commission of a crime or a risk of violation of the rights of children or adolescents, immediately inform the authorities.
Keep in mind that the legal consequences of said violation of rights consist of the following: (i) The assets, income and gains generated by real estate where commercial sexual exploitation of minors and human trafficking occurs, will be subject to asset forfeiture, in accordance with Law 1336 of 2009, which will be used to finance the Fund against the Sexual Exploitation of Minors; (ii) In accordance with Law 679 of 2001, the infractions provided for in this law will generate fines for the offender of up to 300 monthly legal minimum wages, temporary suspension from the National Tourism Registry, and cancellation of the National Tourism Registry, without prejudice to the penalties for the applicable crimes. If you have any questions on this subject, we recommend that you seek advice from a professional who is an expert in the field.
2. National Tourism Registry
Registration and Step by Step
Remember that according to current regulations you must register in the National Tourism Registry at this link: Registro Nacional de Turismo - RNT.
In accordance with “Article 18.104.22.168.2.2. Of the general requirements for registration and renewal in the National Tourism Registry” of Decree 1074 of 2015, modified by Decree 1836 of 2021 for registration and renewal in the National Tourism Registry, all tourism service providers must comply with the following general requirements:
1. Be previously registered in the Mercantile Registry when the status of merchant is held, in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Code, except in the case of a company domiciled abroad, or in the registry of non-profit entities in the case of a non-profit entity.
2. Fill out all the information requested for each type of provider through the electronic registration, update, or renewal form in the National Tourism Registry, available for this purpose on the websites of the chambers of commerce.
3. Fill out the technical capacity in the electronic form, by listing the electronic, magnetic and mechanical elements placed at the service of the company in which the service is provided.
4. Fill in the operational capacity in the electronic form, by describing the organizational structure and the number of employees, indicating the level of training of each of them.
5. Fill in the electronic form the information corresponding to the net worth of the natural or legal person, according to the provider category, and declare if the Financial Statements were submitted to the competent authority when there is need for it.
6. Adhere to the code of conduct that promotes prevention policies and avoids commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in their tourism activity, in accordance with the provisions of Law 1336 of 2009 and 679 of 2001 or the regulations that modify them.
7. In the case of providing tourist services within areas of the National System of Protected Areas or the National Natural Parks System of Colombia, adhere to compliance with environmental regulatory standards in order to promote the conservation and integration of cultural, natural and social heritage.
8. When the tourist housing service is provided in properties subject to horizontal property regime, you must declare that the private units that comprise it are authorized by the regulations for the provision of tourist accommodation services, in accordance with article 34 of the law 1558 of 2012.
9. In accordance with article 53 of Law 915 of 2004, tourism service providers with an establishment, premises, or property located in the Department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, prior to registering with the chamber of commerce, must register and obtain permission from the Departmental Tourism Secretariat.
Keep in mind that this article also establishes that if you do not have the status of a merchant, you can ignore the requirements set forth in numbers 3, 4, and 5 of the same. Also, remember that you must register your properties separately in case you have more than one (in the same way at the time of RNT renewal).
Step by Step for Registration:
- Go to https://rnt.confecamaras.co/login and request the creation of the account. It is necessary that you enter your RUT if you are a merchant, and your ID if you are not, along with completing other personal information.
- You must accept the terms and conditions, as well as receive email notifications.
- Open the link that was sent to your personal email to confirm the creation of the account.
- Then, log in again and at the bottom you have to enter the data for each property.
- Complete the information for each property: initially address and later technical and operational capacity, number of rooms and beds (if applicable). In addition, you must complete certain fields about horizontal property (if applicable). The financial statements, technical and operational capacities should only be completed in case you are considered by Colombian law as a merchant.
- Finally, you must adhere to the code of conduct for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
- Ready, you have completed your registration process and now you should receive confirmation of it within 15 business days from the respective Chamber of Commerce. Remember that if you have a tourist accommodation establishment in certain areas of the Tourist and Cultural District of Cartagena de Indias, the Chamber of Commerce may take 15 business days.
Once you obtain your registration number, you must include it in the publication of your space on the Airbnb platform in the "National Tourism Registration Number" field, which will be visible to all potential guests.
In follow up to the Tourism Law 2068 and Decree 1836, hosts who do not have a registration number and have not included it in the profile of your ads will not be able to share their spaces located in Colombia on digital platforms as of August 23, 2022.
On the other hand, keep in mind that:
- If your space is located in the department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, you must register and obtain permission from the Tourism Secretariat.
- For the registration of tourist accommodation establishments* located in Isla Fuerte, Islas del Rosario, Islote Santa Cruz, Múcura, Ararca, Barú, Santana, Bocachica, Caño del Oro, Punta Arena and Tierrabomba in the Tourist and Cultural District of Cartagena de Indias, The Chamber of Commerce will verify with the District Mayor's Office that the establishment has the respective land use.
- If you are a legal entity or non-profit entity, to complete the registration or renewal, your ISIC code registered in the Chamber of Commerce and in the RUT must match the category you intend to register in the RNT.
- In accordance with article 22.214.171.124.1.6 of Decree 1836, the authority may refrain from registering or renewing the registration in the following cases:
- When tourism service providers do not meet the general requirements or the specific requirements for each category described in this chapter.
- When there are errors or omissions in the completion of the form.
- When the corporate purpose and/or economic activity reflected in the Mercantile Registry or Non-Profit Entities, when these are required, or in the Single Tax Registry does not correspond to the activities and/or functions of the category that the service provider tourist services intends to register in the National Registry of Tourism, in accordance with the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (CIIU). The Mercantile Registry must be renewed on the date of application for registration in the National Tourism Registry, when required.
- When the Commercial registration or the registration of the Non-Profit Entity of the tourist service provider, when these are required, are not renewed on the date of application for registration or renewal in the National Tourism Registry, unless it is done within the first three (3) months of the year and the registration is renewed for the previous year.
- When the situation described in article 31 of Law 2068 of 2020 occurs. [that is, when the tourist service provider is a legal entity and its legal representative has also been linked to an administrative investigation for non-compliance with the rules of tourism and has been sanctioned at least three (3) times, in a period of less than three (3) years by the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce].
- When the general requirements set forth in article 126.96.36.199.2.2 of this Decree [referred to above] are not met.
- When the provider has pending obligations with Fontur.
* “These are commercial establishments that provide tourist accommodation services with a permanent offer. These include, but are not limited to, hotels, including among these cruise ships in which hotel services are provided, aparthotels, hostels, vacation centers, glamping camps, shelters, hostels, camping areas and all those that maintain a regular offer in the lodging service” (Article 188.8.131.52.12.2 of Decree 1074 of 2015; modified by Decree 1836)
Renewals, Updates, and the Parafiscal Contribution
Registration in the National Registry of Tourism is valid for one year and must be renewed within the first three months of each year, where the date of initial registration by the provider of tourist services is not of interest, unless it is done within said term provided for herein, in which the registration will suffice. Said renewal will allow you to update the information provided at the time of registration or ratify the information originally provided.
The registration information must be updated annually and when there is any change. For this, you must log in to the RNT website by entering your username and password number and start the online renewal process. After you complete it, expect to receive confirmation of it within 15 business days from the respective Chamber of Commerce.
Remember that at the time of updating the RNT, you must have settled and paid the last four quarters caused by the concept of the Parafiscal Contribution (2.5 per thousand of operating income) according to current regulations.
In case you decide to suspend the activity, you must inform the chamber of commerce in advance about the suspension and the date on which the activity will resume, in which case the registration will be suspended for the duration of the inactivity.
Also, keep in mind that the chambers of commerce will proceed to cancel the registration in the National Tourism Registry in the event that you do not update your National Tourism Registry for two consecutive years.
Links of Interest
- Decree 1074 of 2015 by means of which the Single Regulatory Decree of the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Sector is issued.
- Law 2068 of 2020 by means of which the General Tourism Law is modified and other provisions are issued.
- Decreto 1836 “por el cual se modifica y adiciona el Titulo 4 de la Parte 2 del Libro 2 del Decreto 1074 de 2015, Decreto Único Reglamentario del Sector Comercio, Industria y Turismo en relación con el Registro Nacional de Turismo y las obligaciones de los operadores de plataformas electrónicas o digitales de servicios turísticos prestados y/o disfrutados en Colombia”
- Law 300 of 1996 by means of which the General Tourism Law is sanctioned.
- Law 1480 of 2011 - Consumer Protection Statute.
- Nacional Tourism Registry (RNT) - Website.
- Video tutoriales about the RNT (registration of property, renewal, update, benefits, among others).
- User Manual - National Tourism Registry (pages 8-10)
- Resolution No. 0700 of 2021 of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
3. Accommodation Registration Card And Personal Data Protection
What is it?
In accordance with article 22 of Law 2068 of 2020, please remember that you must keep the registration information of the guests, through the Accommodation Registration Card (Tarjeta de Registro de Alojamiento, in Spanish) in the system that, for all purposes, the National Government of Colombia has put in place.
The Accommodation Registration Card is the tool that the Colombian tourism authority has provided for tourist accommodation service providers to keep the respective record of the people they host.
Who must fill out the TRA?
All providers of tourist accommodation services, including tourist homes, which are grouped into:
- Tourist apartments.
- Tourist houses.
- Tourist farms.
Other types of lodging or tourist accommodation must also do so, in which spaces can be found within houses that are rented for tourist accommodation purposes.
How is it implemented?
First of all, you must be registered in the National Tourism Registry and you must have your active number.
In addition to that, you must have access to the email that you reported on the RNT platform, because at that address you will receive the token or password that will allow you to implement the TRA.
Depending on the technological capabilities you have, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has enabled different mechanisms to implement the TRA system.
- Providers with specialized software (PMS).
The Ministry established an API (Application Programming Interface) to guarantee interoperability between software managed by different providers of tourist accommodation services.
If this is your case, in this link you can find the step by step to carry out the implementation of the system.
- Providers without specialized software, but with a permanent internet connection.
If this is your case, the Ministry has developed a module in which you can register each of your guests online.
If you want to know more about how this system works, find all the information at this link.
- Providers without specialized software, without permanent internet connection.
If you do not have a permanent internet connection, the Ministry designed an Excel template with the necessary fields to fill out the TRA, in which you can keep track of all your guests.
The information that is collected monthly must be reported on the first business day of the following month.
If you want to know more about how this system works, find all the information at this link.
Personal Data Protection
In accordance with Law 1581 of 2012 on the protection of personal data, we remind you of the following general obligations that, among others, you must take into account when sharing your space:
Adopt adequate security measures for personal information.
Have authorization from the owner if necessary. Keep in mind that you can only process personal data of minors with the authorization of their parents or guardians.
Have communication channels so that guests can contact you in relation to their personal data.
In the event that any authority requires you to provide information, we recommend that you review the applicable legislation on the protection of personal data. It is important that you seek advice from experts in the field so that you can be clear about what you can do with the personal data of third parties and what additional obligations and measures you must take into account.
4. Sustainable and Responsible Tourism
We recommend reading the document prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism "Sustainable tourism policy: United by Nature" (Executive summary available here) which highlights sustainability as a fundamental pillar for the development of tourism in Colombia as a factor in the competitiveness of tourism businesses and local social and cultural development.
Likewise, we recommend that you review the public information that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has made available to promote responsible tourism including correct waste management, the importance of wildlife trafficking prevention, how to protect the wealth of Colombian cultural heritage, and how to protect the rights of children and adolescents in the context of travel and tourism.
Also, you can find here responsible tourism recommendations of the Medellín mayor's office.
5. Health and Cleanliness
You should review the local recommendations that have been issued by local government and health authorities and make sure you comply with them. This guide contains information on health and safety protocols, but keep in mind that they may not be up to date so you should always check with your local authority.
- Coronavirus Colombia, Specialized website of the Government of Colombia
- Recommendations on cleaning and disinfection for community establishments (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -CDC)
- How to protect yourself and others (CDC)
The cleaning protocol is complementary to the local guidelines and regulations issued by government authorities. The San Ignacio de Colombia University Hospital has reviewed and endorsed Airbnb’s advanced cleaning protocol.
6. Safety (For Hosts and Guests) and Neighborhood Hotline
The safety of hosts and their guests on the platform, as well as their homes and community is one of Airbnb's top priorities. In this sense, a new Assistance Line for Neighbors in Colombia that allows neighbors to submit written and telephone complaints about shared spaces on specific Airbnb. This Helpline will make it easier for neighbors to contact Airbnb in the event of any inconvenience related to a nearby space, allowing community members to quickly and efficiently report possible infractions of community regulations.
Also, to contribute to the peace of mind of your guests, you can leave instructions with useful information for emergencies and warn them of any possible risk.
Contact information for emergencies
- Leave a contact list with the following phone numbers:
- Local emergency services:
- Emergencies: 123
- National Police: 112
- Firefighters: 119
- Civil Defense: 144
- Nearest hospital.
- Your contact number.
- A second contact number (in case guests are unable to reach you).
- Local emergency services:
- Make sure guests know the best way to contact you in an emergency.
- Communicating with them through the Airbnb messaging system is always a safe alternative.
First Aid Kit
- Make sure the space you share has a first aid kit, and tell guests where it is.
- Check regularly that the medicine cabinet has everything you need, check the expiration dates and replenish what has been exhausted.
- Be sure to clearly indicate your escape routes in the event of a fire.
- Leave an evacuation route map where guests can easily see it.
- In accordance with current regulations, the building management committee is responsible for drawing up an emergency plan for accidents, such as fires, earthquakes and the like, which includes measures to take before, during and after the accident, with special emphasis on evacuation during fires.
- Take a look around your space to identify areas where guests might trip or fall.
- Eliminate items that may pose a hazard or indicate them clearly.
- Remove all visible cables.
- Make sure the stairs are safe and have handrails.
- Remove or lock up items that may be dangerous to your guests.
- Leave these recommendations for your guests.
- When you turn on the light or use an electrical appliance, make sure your hands are not wet.
- Appliances should never be unplugged by pulling on their cord, as this can cause a fire.
- Extension cords are dangerous within the reach of children.
- Any repair to the electrical installation must be done by an expert.
- Verify that all electrical and fuel products in the space you share have the corresponding certification.
- Remember not to overload the extension cords.
- Make sure that all appliances in your accommodation are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and comply with the applicable safety regulations in your area.
- Remember that most appliances must be installed by a professional.
- In an emergency, select a meeting point at a safe distance from your accommodation where guests can gather in the event of a fire.
Gas detection and fire prevention
Here are some tips that can help you prevent accidents due to the handling of gas or fuels in the space you share and that we suggest you share with your guests:
- If you have gas appliances, make sure they comply with applicable safety regulations, and that if you have a carbon monoxide detector installed, it works properly.
- Have a fire extinguisher available and remember to check it periodically.
- Call your gas company if you smell gas, either inside or outside the space you share. Natural Gas has no odor, but an odor is mixed with the gas in order to help detect gas leaks.
- Call your utility company if you notice something out of the ordinary that could turn into a dangerous situation.
- Don't light matches or spark sparks near a place that smells like gas.
- Periodically check your gas appliances for unusual conditions such as soot production or a large, erratic yellow flame from the burner.
- When you recognize any of these unusual conditions, or any other, contact an authorized company specializing in it.
- The technical service must check the devices at least once a year.
- You and your whole family should know where the general shut-off valve of your gas installation is located.
- Quickly close the general shut-off valve in an emergency.
- Do not allow hobbyists or personnel without proper training and certification to touch or manipulate the facility.
- Do not manipulate or install, on your own, gas appliances, ventilation, injectors or extractors that modify the movement and circulation of air masses.
- Clearly urge your guests not to carry out such manipulations or installations on their own either. The manipulation of these elements must be carried out by an authorized person or entity and prior communication to the administrator or whoever takes his place, as appropriate. Violation of the above may result in fines for the owner or occupant.
Detecting Gas Leaks
In case of detecting the smell of gas, follow the following indications:
- Do not operate any switches or turn on electrical appliances.
- Don't light matches or lighters and don't smoke.
- Open doors and windows so that the space is ventilated.
- Close the controls of the gas appliances and the general stopcock.
- Do not open the stopcock again until you have repaired the installation or the faulty appliance.
Gas Cylinder Handling
In the event that there are gas cylinders in the space you share, we suggest that you bear in mind the following indications:
- The cylinder change must always be carried out with the head valve closed, so that the amount of gas released into the atmosphere is minimal.
- The cylinder change operation should never be carried out near sources of heat or fire, such as lighters, cigars or stoves.
- Propane and butane gas weigh more than air, so cylinders, both full and empty, must always be in an upright position.
- If a gas leak occurs, you should not open or close any electrical circuits, as these produce discharges capable of causing a fire or explosion.
- Some guests are traveling with children and need to know if your accommodation is suitable for them.
- You can use the Additional Notes section in the Listing Details section of your Airbnb account to indicate potential risks or explain that your accommodation is not suitable for children or babies.
The correct operation of appliances, such as heaters or air conditioning devices, is essential, as it can greatly affect the stay of your guests. There are many ways to ensure that your guests feel at ease:
- Make sure your accommodation is well ventilated.
- Indicates how to properly use the heater and air conditioner.
- Check that the thermostat is working properly and make sure guests know where it is.
- Check appliances regularly.
- Set a limit of guests on the space you share to ensure their safety.
- The building management committee may have certain regulations governing this aspect.
7. Civic Duty
Being a responsible host is, in part, helping your guests understand how best to engage with your community. When you explain to your guests what the local rules and customs are, you help create a great experience for everyone.
- If your building has common spaces or services shared by all residents, inform guests of the rules they must respect if they can access them.
- You can include the House Rules in the Additional Notes section of the Listing Details section of your Airbnb account.
- Guests often appreciate that you tell them what you expect of them before their arrival.
- It is recommended that you inform your neighbors that you plan to share your space.
- This will give them the opportunity to comment if they have any objections or if there are any aspects that you need to consider.
- Explain to your guests beforehand that noise can disturb your neighbors.
- If you are concerned that your guests may disturb the neighbors during their stay, you can prevent them from making excessive noise in several ways:
- Establish a quiet hours policy.
- Check the applicable regulations in each case. There may be specific regulations depending on the area, the schedule and the type of property, among others.
- Do not allow the presence of pets.
- Please indicate that your space is not suitable for children or babies.
- Ban parties and extra unregistered guests.
- Communicate to your guests the parking regulations of your building and your neighborhood.
- Review your co-ownership regulations and contracts that may apply to make sure there are no restrictions on pets.
- If you allow guests to bring pets, they will appreciate your indicating the ideal places to take them out for walks and where to dispose of their droppings.
- You can also offer alternative options should the need arise, such as the number of a nearby pet nursery, in case a guest's pet is disturbing the neighbors.
- Always respect the privacy of your guests.
- Our standards for surveillance devices clearly state what we expect from our hosts.
- However, in some places, there are additional laws and regulations that you will need to inform yourself about.
- If you do not allow smoking in the accommodation, we suggest that you put up signs to remind guests.
- If they can smoke, put ashtrays at their disposal in areas where they can.
- Additionally, we suggest you check the regulations of the building or condominium, since there may be restrictions on the consumption of tobacco in public spaces.
Talk to your insurance company or agent to determine what type of obligations, limits and coverage you need based on your particular circumstances. Keep in mind that Law 2068 of 2020 in its article 32 requires that you have a liability insurance policy against damage to guests and third parties. The aforementioned policy must cover any claim that occurs during the provision of the tourist accommodation service. At a minimum, you must cover the risks of death, permanent disability, temporary disability, injury, damage to third party property and medical expenses.
Host protection insurance and guarantee
AirCover includes Host Damage Protection and Host Liability Insurance, providing basic coverage in the unlikely event that a guest causes damage to your space or belongings or is injured, or has their belongings stolen or damaged while staying. We also include people who help with host activities, like co-hosts or housekeepers, so you can feel confident staying on Airbnb. Please note that such protection and insurance is not a substitute for homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or liability coverage and therefore you may need to cover other insurance requirements in addition.We strongly encourage all hosts to review and understand the terms of their insurance policy coverage. Not all insurance plans will cover damage or loss of property caused by a guest making a reservation.Learn more about AirCover here.
Civil liability and basic coverage
- Review your homeowner's or renter's policy with your agent or insurance company to make sure the space has adequate liability coverage and property protection.
9. Tax Guide
Visit the Airbnb Tax Resource Center which has a selection of articles and resources to help you better understand your tax obligations.
10. Consumer Protection Obligations
We recommend that you carefully review the Consumer Protection Statute, the regulations that regulate it and the guides of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce. It is important that you consult with experts on the subject to prevent any violation of the Colombian consumer protection regime.
In accordance with the Statute of Consumer Protection (Law 1480 of 2011), we remind you of some general obligations that, among others, you must take into account when sharing your space:
- The information you provide in your ad to those who decide to share your space must be clear, truthful, sufficient, timely, verifiable, understandable, accurate and suitable. You are in control of the content of the ads you decide to share.
- Remember that you control the price you advertise in your offer and you can adjust it at any time.
- Make sure your ads contain a detailed and true description of the quality and characteristics of the space you offer and want to share.
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