Catalonia fines Airbnb €30,000 for offering illegal tourist home rentals

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Igurisu Igurisu 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #182049
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    It’s about time – there does need to be some regulation of tourist rentals:

    “The Catalan government has slapped the US-based website Airbnb with a €30,000 fine for illegally commercializing short-stay apartment rentals that are not listed on the Catalan Tourism Register.

    The service puts tourists and private homeowners in touch and advertises unique kinds of accommodation – ranging from city studios, to caves and castles – for stays that can be as short as one night.

    Sources in the Catalan government noted that this practice is not allowed under regional legislation, which seeks to protect the hotel industry from what is viewed as unfair competition. If Airbnb does not pull the ads, the Catalan government may initiate proceedings to prevent online access to the site from the entire Catalan territory.”

    More here:

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/07/07/inenglish/1404733914_341057.html

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Profile photo of GarySFBCN GarySFBCN.
  • #182059
    Profile photo of Igurisu
    Igurisu
    Participant

    I’ve used Airbnb a couple of times, using them again in two weeks when I visit NY.  My guess is that there are two different cross purposes here.

     

    Airbnb who seem to be a reputable company based on not just my own experience but friends and family.  Their USP is offering different or unique accommodation which wouldn’t normally be available to regular tourists.  In my case  when we visit NY in two weeks, we are staying with a family in Queens.  Much more interesting than a hotel in Manhattan.  So I can see how and why Airbnb work as they do.

     

    However, I guess (only my guess), is that the Catalan government is worried about lost tax revenue and/or protecting registered hotels/hostels/etc.

     

    I’m sure a solution could be found that allows Airbnb to continue operating in the region.  After all, it still brings revenue to the region and the property owners/bars/attractions etc.

  • #182063
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    It isn’t only taxes.  I bought my home in a residential building.  It now has three tourist rentals and it has become a nuisance, the last incident requiring police action (I wasn’t among the many neighbors who called the police).

    Of course, the ‘communidad’ has the final say, but AirBnB and other similar services could place a message on their websites about proper behavior when renting in a residential building, but they refuse to do so.

    I’m guessing that building comunidades across Spain will prohibit tourist rentals within their buildings.  It is kind of sad as I realize that many are desperate for money in the horrible Spanish economy.

    And it would take such a small effort to make it work.  But those who profit from these types of tourist rentals are unwilling to take the small steps required to ensure that neighbors aren’t affected.

  • #182076
    Profile photo of Igurisu
    Igurisu
    Participant

    You make a fair point Gary, I hadn’t considered it from the perspective of other residents or neighbors.  I guess the reason I don’t think of things that way is that we (my wife and I), treat any rental and behave just as we would at home, with consideration for others.

     

    Given your experience I can fully understand your concerns.

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