Barcelona’s Town Hall Closes 615 Illegal Tourist Flats

22 September 2016 – Inmodiario

The first two months of the shock action plan carried out by the Town Hall of Barcelona to fight against the problem of illegal apartments continues to bear fruit, with the cessation of activity at 615 illegal apartments and the opening of 1,290 new files as a result of the inspector’s work.

The objective is to minimise the black market supply of tourist accommodation, which is particularly high in some of the more central districts of the city. The aim is also to restrict such properties from taking up roots in the city, given that they are economically unsustainable and disrespectful of the governing legislation; moreover, critics argue that they lead to the eviction of neighbours from the most affected neighbourhoods.

One of the new features of the plan is the team of twenty people that is responsible for checking in situ whether illegal activity is being undertaken in specific tourist flats. The team also interviews tourists and neighbours with the aim of obtaining the addresses of possible tourist flats operating without a licence. In the last two months, 1,222 online searches have been performed for tourist flats without a licence number, and as a result 1,045 street visits have been undertaken, which have allowed the team to identify 766 illegal homes.

The Town Hall has already issued cessation orders and sanction files (€30,000) to 418 of those apartments operating without a licence, and in terms of the others, the corresponding administrative checks are being performed to be able to open the files.

Meanwhile, the new municipal website, which visitors can use to find out whether a tourist home is legal or not, has received 825 reports.

In the field of inspection, the Town Hall works not only to detect the illegal supply of homes being let out without any kind of licence, but also works with other types of unusual tourist accommodation published online.

In this sense, 32 establishments have been identified to be operating as B&Bs without the corresponding licence. Soon, all of these places will receive the corresponding disciplinary procedures – in the form of an order to cease activity and a sanction file.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake