Airbnb required to remove over 4,100 ads for tourist rooms

The tourist rental platform Airbnb must take down 4,102 adverts for tourist rooms in shared homes in Barcelona as they do not have the relevant licence, making their activity as tourist lets illegal.

23/07/2022 10:18 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The City Council sent an order to the platform on Friday, requiring the removal of the adverts within a period of fifteen days. If the ads are not removed within the established time frame, the City Council will bring proceedings against Airbnb to fine the platform 60,000 euros.
As for the owners of the ads, a process will also be started to notify them they are breaching regulations. Firstly, they will be sent a warning to cease their activity without a fine. Once the information has been sent to all of them, if further checks show they are still operating, fines will start to be imposed.
More sustainable and balanced tourism, respectful towards others
These steps come after an update was approved in January for the Special Urban Plan on Tourist Accommodation (PEUAT), restricting tourist room lets and only allowing them if they are in tourist homes which have been converted into somebody’s usual place of residence. No tourist flats have been turned back into usual residences to date, and so no licences have been given.
The new PEUAT is intended as a tool for promoting the management of sustainable tourism, striking a balance between economic activity and the needs of local people in the city and preserving everyday life, the right to housing and a mix of uses.
Shock plan against illegal tourist lets
The requirement to remove the ads comes within the framework of the shock plan against illegal tourist accommodation, which was initially aimed at the rental of whole flats for periods of less than 31 days and which now also includes shared rooms.
Launched in 2016, the plan has brough good results and helped put an end to the uncontrolled proliferation of this activity, reducing the figure of 6,000 illegal tourist lets significantly thanks to inspections and fines. Since the plan was introduced, some 51,000 ads have been analysed and nearly 17,500 disciplinary cases brought, resulting in 7,400 orders to cease activity and 8,100 fines.

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