Barcelona fines property owner €420,000 for illegal holiday rentals 

14 Old Town apartments rented out with no tourist licenses 

The building on Carrer Ample in Barcelona's Old Town
The building on Carrer Ample in Barcelona's Old Town / Ariadna Comas

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

January 2, 2024 12:30 PM

January 2, 2024 12:33 PM

Barcelona has fined the owners of a building in the city's Old Town €420,000 for illegally renting out accommodation to tourists for several years. 

The city council described the property owners as repeat offenders and said their actions were "very serious." 

The owners of the building, located at 24 Carrer Ample, are a family with joint ownership. They rented out 14 apartments in the building, marketed as tourist accommodation on and Airbnb, without the necessary authorization. 

Warning to others 

The owners illegally rented out all the building's apartments to tourists, except for one flat, which was rented out to a former tenant who helped to manage guests checking in and out of the accommodation. 

Local councilor Albert Batlle said he hoped the fine will "serve as a warning to anyone tempted to do something similar." 

The illegal letting of tourist flats "seriously harmed the rest of the residents of the area," Batlle said. The city council will be "relentless" in ensuring it does not happen again, he added. 

Illegal holiday lets disguised  

According to the council, the property was rented out to tourists for years without authorization, disguised as traditional rents. 

Since 2018, municipal inspectors have been asking for the deactivation of ads on Airbnb and They discovered that the offenders were deactivating and activating profiles with different names, photos and hosts in order to avoid being caught. 

The owners stated that they did not know what their tenants were doing, and that they were subletting their flats to tourists. 

Last April, however, following a joint inspection between the municipal inspectors, local police and the Old Town district authority, it was found that 14 of the 15 existing dwellings in the building were being occupied by tourists staying in flats without a tourist accommodation license. 

According to Barcelona City Council, illegal tourist rentals have been reduced considerably in the last eight years.