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Gov’ts War Against Young Entrepreneurs Continues As Airbnb Hosts Now Slapped With Heavy Taxes Amidst Pandemic

CAPTION: An AIRBNB apartment in Nairobi – Beginning this month, owners of such will have to acquire costly licenses in order to operate

As the nation continues to grapple with the challenges of an unprecedented second lockdown, it appears not even the young and creative Kenyan entrepreneurs are exempt from the latest harsh measures to contain the supposed spread of Covid.

With hoteliers in the country already feeling the pinch of the new tough restrictions which have come at a time when businesses were beginning to recover from conditions imposed in March last year, the government has now also gone after owners of private serviced apartments, homes and villas.

The group, which includes owners who rent out their spaces through the popular “Airbnb” have been slapped with new heavy licence fees effective this month.

According to a  statement shared by the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA), furnished apartments and private villas are among the licensable accommodation facilities that offer regulated hospitality services and are therefore required to be registered, inspected and licensed by the body before the commencement of

As a result, for members to be successfully registered by TRA and issued with the regulatory license, they are required to meet minimum requirements for licensing.

They are therefore required to pay a one-off application fee of Ksh. 1,000 and an annual license fee of Ksh.26,000 per house or unit owned annually.

Additionally, they shall require a NEMA license, a Single Business Permit, Home Insurance, 1% Digital Service Tax, 2% Catering Levy and 16% VAT plus 30% Corporate Tax because the enterprise must now operate as a Limited Company.


This latest move comes during a pandemic where just like their hotel counterparts, Airbnb hosts have been decrying low booking.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodations in that locale.

It currently covers more than 100,000 cities and 220 countries worldwide.

For hosts, participating in Airbnb is a way to earn some income from their property and for guests, the advantage can be relatively inexpensive accommodations.

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