Barcelona just declared war on Airbnb and other homesharing sites

(watch the documentary Bye Bye Barcelona on the negative impacts of tourism on the city)

Barcelona is targeting the sort of unlicensed apartments advertised on sites like Airbnb, in its latest effort to control the numbers of tourists flocking to the Spanish city. Earlier this year Barcelona introduced a one-year ban on new tourist accommodation. And last week its deputy Mayor Geraldo Pisarello launched a new pilot scheme whereby anyone who is caught renting out an unlicensed apartments through P2P websites will be fined. However, they can see 80% of their fine cancelled if they allow the city council to use the apartment as social accommodation for three years.

In Brief
  • Fines for operating an unlicensed apartment can reach as high as €90,000. The average fine is around €15,000
  • At the end of the three year period, landlords will be given a further choice – pay off the fine and reclaim possession of the apartment, or continue offering the property as social accommodation until the council receives full payment.
  • the council will also demand that the key websites – AirBnB, etc – provide it with all data they possess on listed tourist apartments without a council registration number. if they don’t they will be fined for each unlicensed apartment offered through their websites.
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Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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