- Title: Spain's Balearic Islands to fine illegal tourist rentals
- Date: 8th August 2017
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT BEACH MAN IN WATER MAN ON THE BEACH PRACTICING TRICKS WITH A DRINKS BOTTLE WOMEN WALKING ON THE BEACH VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT OUTDOOR CAFES VARIOUS OF BUILDING WITH BANNERS HANGING FROM WINDOWS READING (English) "WE WANT TO REST" AND "WE NEED TO SLEEP" TWO WOMEN LEADING A DEMONSTRATION AND CARRYING A BANNER READING (Spanish) "FOR THE ABOLITION OF ALL TOURIST RENTAL APARTMENTS" VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS WEARING T-SHIRTS READING (Catalan) "BARCELONETA (NEIGHBOURHOOD) IS NOT FOR SALE" VARIOUS OF BUILDING WITH SIGNS READING "NO TO TOURIST APARTMENTS"
- Embargoed: 22nd August 2017 16:05
- Keywords: apartments HomeandAway Spain tourism Barcelona Airbnb rentals Balearics Mallorca
- Location: PALMA DE MALLORCA AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: PALMA DE MALLORCA AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0036TAR1VR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spain's Balearic Islands will from Tuesday (August 8) penalise landlords for illegally renting apartments to tourists with fines of up to 40,000 euros ($47,228) amid an increasing backlash against the effects of mass tourism across the country.
The move is an escalation in efforts to crack down on home-sharing sites such as Airbnb by city councils or local authorities in Spain, as concern mounts over the side-effects of their increasing popularity.
In the Balearic Islands, which drew more foreign visitors than any other region in Spain this June, rental costs have jumped and there are fears of a housing shortage for residents.
Rental prices in Palma de Mallorca, the Mediterranean archipelago's biggest city, have risen 40 percent in the last five years, according to property platform Mitula.
Renting apartments without a licence was banned in the region in 2012 under a previous administration, but enforcement was largely non-existent, according to the Balearic government.
The new legislation establishes fines of between 20,000 and 40,000 euros for those renting flats without a license to tourists for under a month, without a contract or deposit.
Local residents will be able to report suspected illegal flats through a website, and online platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway could also face fines of up to 400,000 euros if they are found to advertise rentals without a license number.
Biel Barcelo, the Balearic Island government's head of tourism said the administration shred concerns from local residents about the negative effects of mass tourism and the law aims to contribute to a sustainable model of tourism that doesn't affect the local population negatively.
Each island in the Balearics - Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera - will have a year to decide if and where they will allow licensed tourist rentals to continue.
Concerns about visitor crowds and rentals have spread across Spain and have prompted a growing backlash, even though the tourist industry is key for the economy and the government wants to encourage holidaymakers to return.
On Monday (August 7), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy highlighted the financial benefits of tourism and encouraged Spaniards to treat visitors well after a video emerged last week of masked activists scaring tourists with flares in Mallorca.
Barcelona, in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia and another tourism magnet, has also introduced controls on tourist apartments and sought to fine Airbnb and Homeaway for advertising ones that are unlicensed. Local residents have been staging protests against private flat rentals for several years in Barcelona complaining about drunk tourists and the noise they make as well as the effect the private rentals have on local real estate price.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None