September 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm #183063
There has been a big outcry in Barcelona about tourist rentals in recent weeks, especially in the Barceloneta district down by the beach, which is super-popular with young tourists. Local residents have staged protests against tourist flats outside the offices of a company that manages tourist rental flats.
Things must be very bad if the (elderly) folk of Barceloneta are out in the streets protesting.
Jaume Collboni, the socialist candidate for Mayor of Barcelona yesterday suggested that all tourist rentals should be limited to a minimum stay of 2 weeks, though he didn’t say how this could be enforced. He said we need to avoid Barceloneta becoming the “Magaluf” of Barcelona.
Collboni proposed new measures to limit the supply of tourist rental flats in different areas of Barcelona like the Old Town and the Eixample. The town hall has already put a moratorium on new rental licences and indicated that, in future, all tourist rental flats will be contained in dedicated buildings.
It’s clear that the holiday rental business in Barcelona and many other parts of Spain is going towards more regulations and less legal rentals. Investors need to keep this in mind.
On the other hand, a residents association in the Raval has complained that the problem isn’t so much tourist flats and low-cost tourism but the “gentrification” of the area pushing up prices and pricing some sorts out of the market.
September 13, 2014 at 9:01 am #183201
UPDATE: Barcelona city hall has announced new measures to control tourist rentals in Barcelona, including inspections going on beyond the end of the summer, and in more districts (not just Barceloneta). Inspections will also be widened to include hostels. The number of inspectors will be doubled from 60 to 120. Punishments for illegal rentals or repeatedly disturbing the neighbours will be more severe.
All part of the draft ‘Special plan for tourist apartments’ expected to be passed in October. The plan is supposed to be “very restrictive” with tourist apartments. “From the very first day the message has been one of zero tolerance,” says Mercè Homs, a councillor in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella Gothic Quarter.
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