Barcelona cracks down on illegal subletting for tourists and closes 256 apartments
The Catalan capital’s action plan against illegal accommodation for tourists resulted in July in the closure of 256 apartments whose activity has been considered illegal, a figure which has to be added to the 112 orders announced in the first half of 2016. Besides ordering the ceasing of their activity, the accommodation websites responsible for the flats, Airbnb and Homeaway, will have to face a 30,000 euros fine for not having the required licence. This has been possible mainly due to the task of the so-called ‘flat scouts’, a figure recently created by Barcelona’s city hall, who have found 234 illegal accommodations, while the official inspectors in charge of this only detected 22. “This is not a summer campaign but an action plan which has come to stay” warned Barcelona’s deputy mayor for Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility, Janet Sanz and emphasised that tourism in Barcelona “is not related to seasons”.