There are around 16,000 holiday rentals in the city, of which nearly 7,000 are unlicensed. Last year Barcelona fined Airbnb €600,000 for continuing to advertise unlicensed flats on its platform.
The city has doubled from 20 to 40 the team of inspectors who roam the streets seeking out illegal rentals, armed with apps that reveal at a click whether properties are legal or not. By next year their number will have risen to more than 100. Cross-referencing licences with property advertised online, they identify rogue apartments which are then ordered to close down. Owners – when they can be found – face fines of up to €60,000.
“We often can’t track down the owners. They have disappeared,” said Silvia Arrue, who coordinates the team of inspectors.
Peter Huntingford, public affairs […]