Remember, in 2018, before the international Hansa in Pskov, the delegations and the number of rooms in hotels were counted? Then it was said more than once that Pskovians wishing to rent apartments to guests could help to resettle thousands of guests. Indeed, a large number of such proposals only benefit Pskov as a hospitable tourist city, even now, in the coronavirus. Because the Russians rushed to travel around their native spaces, there is usually little money for vacation, they are looking for cheaper ones, and apartments or rooms are just such an option.
But in fact, this type of business turned out to be extremely vulnerable in Pskov, as one typical trial showed.
The representative of the defendant, Olga Bakhireva from Pskov, spoke about its nuances “MK in Pskov”.
Olga and her husband have a single room in the center of Pskov. We bought it for children, but for now we decided to rent it daily. To keep everything in line with the law, the husband, who already had an individual entrepreneur, formalized an additional type of activity that allows him to provide housing for rent. The ads were placed on Booking. The contract of employment, the form of strict accountability, taxes – everything is fair. The apartment is rented mainly to families with children; young people under 21 were refused. Residents are forbidden to smoke, come with animals, make noise late at night.
The problems, Olga says, did not arise with the guests, but with the neighbor. There are eight apartments at the entrance, three of them are offered for rent. The pensioner neighbor was initially outraged that the apartment opposite her would be rented out. Olga assures: they tried to react diplomatically, left their phone, were ready to solve problems. The woman did call once, when the temporary tenants who returned late were busy for a long time with the jammed lock.
“We even replaced the door so that such problems would no longer arise and the neighbors would not have any inconveniences,” Olga Bakhireva said in an interview with MK in Pskov. – A neighbor after that incident complained to the police, but, of course, there were no grounds for initiating an administrative case. It wasn’t a party.
– She was generally convinced that we had a hostel, hung up advertisements around the house, discrediting our honor and dignity, set up other residents, – continues our interlocutor. – We have complained to the prosecutor’s office, there is an official answer … The Ministry of Internal Affairs twice conducted conversations with her that our activities were official. But with all this activity – when the TV journalists came to talk to her, she did not comment on anything.
So the trial was initiated not by her, but by another neighbor of the Bakhirevs, who, as the spouses believe, is an active pensioner. Indeed, from his side there were never any questions about Olga and her husband’s business, at least he never presented them to them.
The plaintiff asked to admit that the owners of the two leased apartments in the entrance provide hotel services. And ban this business. Because hotels in apartments of residential buildings are illegal.
On December 1, the Pskov City Court satisfied the plaintiff’s claims, recognizing that, although these apartments do not have signs of hotels, their owners do provide hotel services. Here is an ad posted on Booking. The court banned the provision of hotel services, that is, it actually banned renting apartments.
This is perplexing for the Bakhirevs. After all, to provide hotel services – you need a hotel room, this is the definition of services. And during the trial, it was proved that the spouses provide a one-room apartment for rent, not a room. It is allowed to rent out housing. How so?
“MK in Pskov” looked at the court practice: basically, such claims, as in this case, are initiated by neighbors. But, as a rule, we are talking about regular disturbances of the peace of those living in the same house with temporary guests. We could not find cases initiated without reason, simply because the neighbor’s apartment is rented by the day.
The court’s decision has not yet entered into force, the Bakhirevs filed an appeal.