Back in December last year Sitges put in place a moratorium on new holiday rental licences in the municipality. It’s not hot news, but some people might want to know about it.
The ban on new licences came into effect at the end of December 2016, and will stay in place for the rest of this year. Owners with existing licences can continue to rent their homes to tourist.
There are currently 1,500 flats in Sitges with tourist rental licences, and the local authorities estimate the number of illegal tourist rentals could be double that figure.
Like Barcelona, Sitges is struggling with a growing numbers of tourists and their need for accommodation. Renting private homes to tourists on short visits can be extremely lucrative in a town like Sitges.
The municipal authorities argue they need a moratorium in place whilst they take stock of the situation, and decide on a strategy for the future.
Politicians argue that tourist rentals drive up rental prices for locals, but the Apartur Association of Tourist Apartments say rental prices are rising for other reasons, and halting new licences will just increase the number of illegal rentals.