Barcelona City Council has stepped up efforts to stamp out illegal tourist rentals in the Spanish city by sending out letters to residents calling on them to report unlicensed rentals.
Spanish Property Insight reports that the local government, headed by Mayoress Ada Colau, is rather hostile to all types of tourist accommodation in the City, and has made restricting private tourist rental properties one of its flagship policies.
The letter explains that illegal tourist rentals create speculation in the market, not to mention a ‘black economy’, as well as damage local community relations.
Tourist rentals in Barcelona can be significantly more profitable than ordinary rentals, which the City Council argues is driving up the cost of housing for locals.
Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight stated: “Having beefed up inspection teams and increased fines for owners who rent out their properties to tourists without a local permit, City Hall is now reaching out to local residents and urging them to denounce illegal rentals.”
A website has been launched with a database of all the legal rentals in the city, so locals can check if they suspect an illegal rental in their neighbourhood, and report any cases of tourist rental flats without a licence.