Airbnb in the City of Cape Town: How could the Regulation of Short-Term Rental in Cape Town affect Human Rights?

Author: Sarah Fick

ISSN: 1996-2193
Affiliations: LLB LLM PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of the Western Cape
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 32 Issue 3, 2021, p. 455 – 481


Short-term home rental in Cape Town, like Airbnb, may create tension between the interests of several affected parties. To cater for the interests of these affected parties, the state may choose to regulate the short-term rental housing market. Whichever regulatory route it will take, the state should take into account the interests of those affected. More importantly, it must consider how its regulations may affect the human rights of these interested parties. This contribution considers the way in which regulation may affect the human rights of those parties identified as (arguably) the primary parties affected by Airbnb. These are the property rights of the property owners wanting to place their properties on Airbnb and the housing rights of those wanting to live in the city. Considering how these regulations may affect the rights of these interested parties can guide lawmakers (both local – with a focus on the City of Cape Town – and national) when drafting regulations to ensure that they comply with their duty to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.