First municipal fine for a discriminatory property rental ad ratifiedA judge in Barcelona has confirmed the fine of 90,001 euros which Barcelona City Council imposed on a property agent for excluding people from access to a home on the grounds of their origin.
The Office for Non-Discrimination (OND) detected the case in October 2019 after a communication via the City Council’s complaints system, where a citizen denounced the fact that the advert cited being Spanish as a requisite for accessing the rental home. The person who reported the case demanded that it be studied as a possible case of property racism.
Once they had analysed the advert, the OND passed the case onto the Anti–Mobbing and Housing Discipline Unit created by the City Council in 2015. The latter brought a case against the advertiser, the property agents (API) and the website Idealista, where the ad had been published.
Barcelona City Council processed the case and gave notification of a fine for violating the Catalan Act on the Right to Housing and also European and international legislation on human rights. The property agent and the Idealista platform challenged the fine in court and the judge has now ruled on one of the parties denounced, ratifying the municipal fine.
The sentence by the Barcelona court is the first ruling in the Spanish state against discrimination in accessing housing, in a case brought by the administration.