There is a big problem in Barcelona’s housing market: tenants are taking advantage of the city’s fame as a tourist destination, turning profits on their rented apartments. The situation goes something like this: property owners rent their apartment and the new tenant rents it again without the owner’s permission.
This latest big business can easily turn a monthly rental payment of 950€ into a profit of 8.000€ or more. According to Barcelona’s Town Hall, Airbnb is the cause of this problem and they have more than 15.000 apartments for rent in Barcelona, almost half of them without tourist rental license. Even worse, last year there were 234 apartments with illegal tourist rental licenses.
No more tourist rental licenses in the city
To be able to rent their apartments to tourists, property owners need to have a tourist rental license (which pertain to each individual property, not to the owner). In 2014, the government stopped issuing tourist rental licenses until stricter regulations have been put in place. This way they were trying to improve the quality of tourism in Barcelona, but Airbnb fought back. The firm accused the Town Hall of caring more about the hotels and less about its citizens.
Advised opinion from our lawyer
As Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb said, their business is like a coin – with two ways of interpreting it. To clarify and find the right answer for our question, if Airbnb is the solution or the problem for Barcelona, Casamona asked its lawyer, Jaume Prats. “There are a lot of problems with Airbnb and the one about re-renting is the worst. In this case, the owner will suffer the consequences, unless they can provide proof about what their tenant is doing”, he explained. The fines that the owners will have to pay can be between 30.000€ and 90.000€.
On Aibnb’s website they claim that their services can be trusted because they verify personal profiles and assure secure payments. What they miss is checking the tourist rental license. “The real concern is if it’s legal or not, if their activity has a license. Airbnb is not a solution, it’s a commercial opportunity. It’s cheaper, but if the tenant has a problem, the owner won’t help him”, concluded Jaume.
Casamona has the right solution
Casamona knows that both owners and tenants can have problems because of Airbnb. The good news is that we have the best solution! For people who want to rent for short time we have apartments with tourist rental license, trustworthy owners and great prices. It’s the safest and fastest way to your perfect holiday!
Sources: El Periodico, El confidencial, Airdna