barceloneta

Barcelona City Council to forgive fines on illegal tourist apartments if owners put them up for social rent

August 5, 2015 08:52 PM | ACN

The City Council of the Catalan capital has announced it will remit 80% of the fine on tourist apartments with no licence located in Barcelona's Ciutat Vella district if the owners put the property up for social housing rent for a minimum of 3 years. Once this period is over, the owner will be able to extend the social rent or pay the remaining 20% of the fine. The City Council explained that the initiative is "a pilot test" in order "to start changing the city's tourist model", as tourists are too concentrated in some areas. This has created some friction with locals, mostly due to some visitors' wild street parties and to the rise in rent prices, as many properties have been transformed into tourist rentals, quite often without a licence. In this vein, the City Council will ask digital platforms such as Airbnb for the identification data of all their rentals in Barcelona. These platforms will be fined for each illegal flat on offer or if they refuse to issue the requested list.