Catalan government to crack down on rising short-term rentals

Temporary contracts soar in Barcelona as landlords try to circumvent tenant-friendly rules

Tourists on Barcelona's La Rambla
Tourists on Barcelona's La Rambla / Miquel Vera
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 30, 2024 12:16 PM

March 30, 2024 12:24 PM

After the Spanish government introduced a new national price index to cap rents two weeks ago, temporary contracts in Barcelona have surged.

These contracts, usually lasting less than 12 months, have become a means for landlords to enter the rental market without having to comply with recent regulations favoring tenants.

Short-term rentals now represent 30% of total rentals in the city, according to Idealista, because they allow landlords to create annual contracts, giving them more flexibility to terminate agreements and increase rents. 

To prevent this trend, the Catalan government plans to introduce new legislation to stop landlords from circumventing the law. 

In an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN), Territory Minister Ester Capella stated that the government is seeking "the necessary legal tools" to curb the migration of long-term leases to the temporary market. 

"It is urgent because we see on a daily basis how the availability of long-term rentals is disappearing," she added. 

Given the ability of certain landlords to evade the law, Capella says it is important to "find a way to close the loopholes."

"The contract is what it is, regardless of what it is called. From the point of view of the courts, it is punishable," she added.

However, Capella has yet to specify how this regulation will be implemented, as it will no longer be possible to process it as a bill, as originally planned, after the Catalan president called a snap election for May.