Airbnb warns hosts not to advertise swimming pools due to drought restrictions

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Airbnb and other holiday rental platforms are advising landlords in Spanish areas with drought restrictions not to advertise swimming pools as an amenity at their accommodations. Failure to do so could lead to legal issues and claims from guests for misleading advertising when they find empty pools or withered gardens.

According to the newspaper El Periódico, the advice not to present swimming pools as a feature of the accommodation in the advertisement on the platforms comes in response to the restrictions on water use due to drought. Hosts are encouraged to inform guests that they may experience an empty pool, water shortages or poorly maintained gardens.

Importance of good information

Airbnb therefore urges the owners of tourist accommodations in a letter to update the description of their accommodation on the platform. They should include the government-approved water restrictions in the house rules. Also according to the Spanish consumer organisation OCU, it is essential that landlords provide this information in writing so that there is proof of it. Owners must notify guests in advance, preferably by email, if a reservation has already been made.

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Legal implications and compensation

If a guest decides to cancel due to the lack of amenities due to drought restrictions, the host must provide a full refund. When a guest requests compensation, this can be up to 25% of the costs. Airbnb recommends that hosts agree to this. If landlords advertise a swimming pool and guests only discover that it is empty during their stay, claims may follow.

Also read: Hotel swimming pools in Catalonia must admit general public


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