Barcelona residents urged to report illegal rentals

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@bcn_ajuntament / Twitter
PILLOW TALK: Authorities are keen to clamp down on illegal flats.

BARCELONA COUNCIL is spreading a message for tourists who want to visit and stay in a holiday rental or homeshare, and that is to make sure it’s properly licenced first.

A social media campaign from the Catalonian government is encouraging visitors to check if the vacation listing they want to rent is legally registered in the city.

The online process for tourists can be done entirely in the English.

The campaign also urges locals to report flats they believe are being rented out illegally, with the hashtag of #fairtourismBCN.

In keeping with a wider trend in Spain, Barcelona has been at the vanguard of issuing restrictions for Airbnb and similar sites for several years now.

In 2011, the region of Cataluña created the licence that all legal vacation rentals must now bear, known as the HUT license.

Three years later it stopped issuing new licences completely; at present there are 9,600 apartments in the city that are property licensed.

The government says it has shut down as many as 2,000 illegal listings with beefed up enforcement teams.

They also reached an agreement with Airbnb to remove illegal listings from its platform following a protracted battle, and levying an as yet unpaid €600,000 fine.

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