Barcelona reduces by 95% illegal touristic flats
Council shuts down 4,900 non-registered apartments
Barcelona city council has closed down 4,900 illegal tourist flats, according to official figures published this weekend. This means a drop of 95% in the offer of non-licensed apartments.
The council plan of action against non-registered tourist apartments, adopted in 2006, has also allowed a reduction on the number of advertisements without mandatory license published online.
Barcelona has also "recovered" for its own housing needs 1,171 properties, which were considered illegal tourist flats before and are now being used for the residential park of the city.
The increase of human and technical resources has help Barcelona authorities to inspect more than 17,000 flats ads published in 140 websites. In total, 6,453 owners were sanctioned for not having the mandatory license for tourist apartments.
Barcelona city council argues that controls have contributed to reduce an activity that used to be "out of control".
At the same time, local authorities praised the role of online platforms that have collaborated with them in order to remove non-licensed ads. Platforms must make sure that each advertisement includes the flat number at the tourist register, according to Catalan regulations.
At the end of 2018 there were 272 advertisements without mandatory license, less than in 2016, when the number was 5,875.
Between 2016 and 2018 up to 13,014 disciplinary case files were registered, with 6,453 ending with sanctions. Figures are five times higher than in previous years.