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Barcelona sending letters calling on residents to report illegal tourist rentals

Barcelona City Hall (Ayuntamiento)
Barcelona City Hall (Ayuntamiento)

Barcelona City Council is sending out letters to residents urging them to denounce illegal tourist rentals.

This is the latest step by the City Council in its drive to stamp out tourist rentals in Barcelona.The left-wing local government, headed by Mayoress Ada Colau, appears hostile to all types of tourist accommodation in the City, including hotels, but has made restricting private tourist rental properties one of its flagship policies.

The letter explains that illegal tourist rentals create “speculation, a black economy, and damage relations in the community of neighbours where they take place.” Tourist rentals in Barcelona can be much more profitable than ordinary rentals, which the City Council argues is driving up the cost of housing for locals.

Having beefed up inspection teams and increased fines for owners who rent out their properties to tourists without a local permit, City Hall is now reaching out to local residents and urging them to denounce illegal rentals.

A website has been created with a database of all the legal rentals in the city, so locals can check if they suspect an illegal rental in their neighbourhood, and report any cases of tourist rental flats without a licence.

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One thought on “Barcelona sending letters calling on residents to report illegal tourist rentals

  • A moratorium was placed on tourist rental licenses because of innumerable instances of “turismo de borrachera”: young Italian men running naked through Barceloneta in the middle of the day, neighbors unable to sleep in the Old Town because of wild parties going on at all hours of the night, etc. etc. Like living next to a frat house. Turns out many of these illegal (i.e., unlicensed) tourist rentals are operated by non-residents who lease several apartments at a time and then turn around and rent them to groups of partygoers (also from other countries!). The new mayor has continued the moratorium and is trying to develop rules that will allow neighbors and tourists to live together in peace. Tom & Barbara, in case you don’t know Barcelona has a population of about 1.6 million but receives almost 8 million visitors per year. Extraordinary demands on that city and its residents. Reporting illegal tourist rentals is not spying; it is a civic activity in which one may choose or not to participate. No one is getting paid to report illegal activity. Please keep an open mind and educate yourselves about the extent of the problem in Barcelona.

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