In these troubled times it seems that we live from crisis to crisis. Many citizens have found holiday rentals are a way to increase family income by renting rooms in their own houses; or their second homes, to tourists compared to those who use this possibility to hide a business activity. The abuse by those who act irregularly offering services more typical of a hotel business or “Bed & Breakfast” rather than a private activity of renting rooms in your own home, has led to the need to regulate this “activity” in view of the lack of a special laws to resolve this type of situation.
The Spanish Treasury took part in the matter and forced the platforms (Airbnb, Vbro, Booking … etc.) to promptly report all the income obtained by the owners as a result of said activity and now it will be the municipalities who will claim their share, in the form of licenses or permits to develop that business activity.
The hen that lays the golden eggs of vacation rentals is being encircled, due to the multitude of problems or conflicts that have arisen on some occasions due to the lack of regulation. The law is behind the reality and despite the fact that after the reform of the law in 2019 that incorporated the possibility that the Communities of Owners can prohibit, limit or condition vacation rentals, the truth is that this measure has not was very successful in requiring large majorities to take the agreement, because in the end it is a limitation to your ability to use your private property within your own home.
And now, suddenly, we find ourselves with the surprising news that in Barcelona the renting of a room in your own house to tourists has been prohibited. Indeed, the Government of Catalonia has left this possibility in the hands of each city council and Barcelona has been the first to do so. In this way, for a year, no one else will be able to request a license to share their home with tourists. And this news has spread like wildfire without perhaps understanding exactly what has actually been prohibited.
The owners of tourist apartments can continue with their rentals if they are already registered. A new rule try to prevent that some property owners take advantage of camouflaging an illegal hotel or “Bed & Breakfast” activity by renting rooms as a private holiday home.
Marisa Moreno Castillo
Consul of Demark & Lawyer