Barcelona may tighten short-term rental restrictions

The mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau (Getty, iStock)

The mayor of Barcelona is proposing new restrictions on short-term rentals.

Mayor Ada Colau wants to ban renting a room in an apartment for less than 30 days, according to Bloomberg. The measure will be subject to public scrutiny and then to a vote in municipal council. With nearly 1.5 million inhabitants, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain.

The rule proposed by Colau would make permanent a similar measure that has been in place since August.

The law aims to “guarantee the social function of housing and avoid saturation of tourist rooms”, which would harm housing and local commerce, according to a statement from his office.

The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and many locals say the short-term rental industry is out of control. Lawmakers from other European tourist hubs, such as Paris, have also regulated short-term rentals.

Barcelona has heavily regulated the short-term rental industry over the years. It started in 2011 with a license requirement for short-term rental of entire apartments. In 2018, the city rolled out a host identification system to check whether units on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb were legal.

These measures seem to have some impact. The number of tourist beds in central Barcelona has decreased by 940 since 2017, although overall the number of beds is increasing due to growth in the outlying districts of the city.

The city has passed tenant friendly laws in recent years. Since 2019, owners have to negotiate leases based on the benchmark prices set for each of the city’s neighborhoods. [Bloomberg] – Dennis Lynch

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