BARCELONA – Barcelona extends the ban on ‘home-sharing with tourists by one month. This ban on renting rooms for short periods to tourists in Barcelona was introduced for a year until August 6. The idea was to regulate the sector.
However, after August 6, residents of Barcelona are still not allowed to share their house or apartment with tourists for less than 31 days. This is different from the rest of Catalonia. Moreover, if they do, it could result in hefty fines. The decision has a major impact on the city’s sector. Because more than half of tourist rental property owners who rent through Airbnb (the largest platform in the field) are already dependent on home-sharing.
Prevent eviction with home-sharing
In addition and according to NIUS Diario, one in five users of the platform admit that by renting out a space in their home through Airbnb, they “avoided eviction or foreclosure.” The hosts surveyed by Airbnb indicated that about 40% of their household income is used to pay the mortgage.
Decision taken to regulate housing market
The decision of the municipality to extend the ban for another month in the city has been taken because more time is needed to shape the new special urban plan for tourist accommodation (Peuat). The first approval of this took place in January.
The new Peuat – the old one was rejected by the Justice Department – includes the ban on so-called home-sharing. This is the rental of rooms for short stays. With this decision, the municipality aims to preserve “the social function of housing”. And also to prevent “the saturation of tourist rooms” in Barcelona. According to the local government, renting rooms causes inconvenience to permanent residents of the city and harms local businesses.
However, it is allowed to rent out rooms for more than 31 days for regular use. Likewise for students or temporary workers.
Extension causes legal uncertainty
The association Veins i Hosts (ViA, Neighbors, and Hosts) warns in a statement that extending the current ban situation creates “legal uncertainty”, as the decision replaces the specific municipal regulation for this sector.
Thousands of tourists without accommodation
From ViA, they also warn of the uncertainty that the ban on home-sharing will create among tourists. It could lead to “thousands of guests without accommodation in the months of August and September”. The owners also fear an increase in “fines and sanctions”. And therefore blame Mayor Colau’s “lack of foresight and aversion to tourism”. The entity defends renting single rooms for less than 31 days helps to generate additional income in a social situation ravaged by the effects of the health crisis.