Spanish city declares all-out WAR on tourists as rental apartments BANNED

Spanish city declares all-out WAR on tourists as rental apartments BANNED

Spanish city declares all-out WAR on tourists as rental apartments BANNED

REUTERS
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters


Published: 21/06/2024

- 22:48

Spain’s Socialist Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez supported the move

Spain’s second-largest city has declared an all-out war against tourists as 10,000 short-term rentals look set to be reclaimed for housing.

Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni said on Friday that the City of Counts would scrap the licences of the 10,101 apartments currently approved as short-term rentals by November 2028.


Collboni said: “We are confronting what we believe is Barcelona’s largest problem.

“Those 10,000 apartments will be used by the city’s residents or will go on the market for rent or sale.”

Spanish city declares all-out WAR on tourists as rental apartments BANNED

Spanish city declares all-out WAR on tourists as rental apartments BANNED

REUTERS

In a follow-up statement, he added: “We want to guarantee the right to live in Barcelona and deal effectively with the housing crisis we have been suffering for years.

“For this reason, from the city council, we act: No tourist flat in Barcelona. We will recover the current 10,101 … homes… We improve the 30 per cent rule to make the promotion of affordable housing in the city effective. Administration, society and the real estate sector must join forces to protect the right to housing.”

Spain’s Socialist Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez supported the move.

She said: “This is what it is about – making all the necessary efforts to guarantee access to decent and affordable housing.

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Barcelona skyline with Sagrada Familia at sunset, Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona skyline with Sagrada Familia at sunset, Catalonia, Spain

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“You have my full support in this task. Barcelona will eliminate the city’s tourist apartments in five years.”

Barcelona’s Tourism Observatory claimed the Catalan capital received 16 million tourists in 2016.

However, a pushback against tourists has engulfed other parts of the Iberian country.

Mallorca and Ibiza have been among the areas staging a fight back against tourists.

Catalan Socialist party (PSC) candidate for Mayor of Barcelona Jaume Collboni (L) flanked by his nephew casts his ballot in Barcelona on May 28, 2023

Catalan Socialist party (PSC) candidate for Mayor of Barcelona Jaume Collboni (L) flanked by his nephew casts his ballot in Barcelona on May 28, 2023

GETTY

Restrictions on rentals have been put out in Spain’s Canary Islands, Lisbon in Portugal, and Berlin, Germany.

Holiday rental platform Airbnb has not yet responded to the move.

Barcelona’s tourist apartments association APARTUR said the ban would trigger a rise in illegal tourist apartments.

“Collboni is making a mistake that will lead to (higher) poverty and unemployment,” it said.

However, the move is an extension of a current policy preventing new tourist apartments in the city in recent years.

Barcelona ordered the shutting down of 9,700 illegal tourist apartments since 2016 and close to 3,500 apartments have been recovered to be used as primary housing for local residents.

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