The rise in the price of electricity, which today operates under the so-called water scarcity banner, caused a change in the behavior of those who choose to place a property for rent on online platforms, such as Airbnb, for example. With the increase in the electricity bill, owners are now beginning to pass on electricity costs 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 was being applied to the electricity bill. At the end of June, the value of red flag level 2 had already risen 52%.
With the rise weighing on their pockets and reducing profits, homeowners advertised on Airbnb began to readjust their rates or put an extra fee for electricity consumption during the leased period. O UOL researched properties on the platform and found that advertisements already make the new costs clear.
“In my apartment, as people stay more on the weekend, at the beginning of the year the monthly electricity bill was around R$130 per month. Now it went to around R$170 per month and, therefore, I opted for readjust the daily rate in my apartment,” said the owner of an apartment in Minas Gerais, who preferred not to be identified.
Another owner told the UOL which has already started to charge renters an extra fee since, according to him, the electricity bill of the luxury house on a beach in São Paulo has already risen by around 80%. In this case, the fee charged is fixed at R$30, but there are cases where the fee is based on kilowatt-hour consumption.
“Since it’s the beach, people sleep with air conditioning on, turn on the sauna, pool, etc., and the increase in the electricity bill started to erode my profit. Now, I’ve put the fee there so that guests can help pay for this adjustment” , he said.
Is fee charging allowed?
According to Renata Abalém, lawyer and president of the Consumer Law Commission of OAB-GO, the collection of extra light fees are allowed as long as they are made before the closing of the contract.
“As soon as the information is accurate and everything you need to rent is clear there, it is not possible to say that the supplier was dishonest or that he is breaking some rule,” he said. “Therefore, if it is something previously stipulated, the consumer can even try to negotiate, but he cannot say that the charge was illegal,” he declared.
According to the lawyer, the consumer can contest the charge only if the request for a refund or additional fee is made after the rental, without prior consent, or the amount is exorbitant.
“There is no room for dispute, unless it is something exorbitant or has not been previously agreed upon,” he said.
What does Airbnb say?
Wanted by UOL, Airbnb informed that the additional charges are adopted around the world and that they are legal on the platform, as long as they are previously informed, in order to also try to avoid waste.
“This type of measure aims to avoid waste and can be adopted by hosts not only in Brazil, but globally, as long as the terms of the charge, including values, are explicit in the house rules and are informed before the reservation is made. , for analysis and agreement of guests,” said the platform.
“In this context, similar restrictions can be implemented by the hosts to also avoid wasting other natural resources, such as water and gas,” he said in a statement.