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Spain Cracks Down on Holiday Rentals to Address Housing Crisis and Soaring Rents

Spain’s government has announced a stringent crackdown on short-term and seasonal holiday rentals due to growing frustrations among locals who feel increasingly priced out of the housing market. The government aims to investigate listings on popular platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com to ensure they possess the required licenses, stated Consumer Rights Minister Pablo Bustinduy.

“If a property doesn’t have a tourism license, advertising it on internet platforms should be illegal and subject to penalties,” Bustinduy emphasized during an interview with state broadcaster TVE.

Spain faces the challenge of balancing the benefits of tourism, a crucial economic driver, with addressing the concerns of residents who find themselves unable to afford rising rents. In Barcelona, Mayor Jaume Collboni highlighted a staggering 68% increase in rent prices over the past decade as a key factor behind his plan to eliminate all short-term rentals in the city by 2028.

The Association of Tourism Apartment Owners, Apartur, criticized this measure as tantamount to expropriation, while Spain’s Constitutional Court is currently evaluating its legality.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced earlier this week the creation of a registry for holiday rental properties as a measure to limit the number of available listings. This initiative follows recent protests in Barcelona, the Canary Islands, and Malaga, where residents have voiced their frustrations over the surge in tourist rentals. In these popular tourist destinations, seasonal hospitality workers often struggle to find affordable accommodation, forcing many to live in caravans or even their cars.

Both Airbnb and Booking.com have yet to respond to requests for comment.

Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez indicated that the government is also considering measures to regulate mid-term rentals, ranging from one to eleven months. Additionally, the government may grant neighbors in apartment blocks a say in whether a property can be listed on rental platforms.

“We must uphold social rights, such as the right to housing,” Rodriguez stated in an interview with radio station Cadena SER.

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Calvin van der Spuy
Calvin van der Spuy
Calvin van der Spuy, a seasoned journalist with 8 years of experience, has dedicated his career to the relentless pursuit of the unbiased truth. At just 20 years old, Calvin's passion for journalism ignited at a young age, leading him to become a respected voice in the field. With a knack for uncovering stories that matter, Calvin's work is characterized by its integrity and commitment to factual reporting. He brings a fresh perspective to every piece, ensuring that his audience receives well-researched and accurate information. Calvin's dedication to maintaining journalistic standards makes him a valuable asset to any newsroom. In his journey, Calvin has covered a diverse range of topics, from local community issues to international affairs, always striving to shed light on the stories that need to be told. His curiosity and determination drive him to explore every angle, ensuring that no stone is left unturned. When he's not chasing leads or conducting interviews, Calvin enjoys engaging with his community and staying updated on the latest news trends. His friendly demeanor and approachable nature make him a trusted source for reliable news. Calvin van der Spuy continues to inspire with his unwavering commitment to truth and his passion for storytelling. His journey in journalism is a testament to the power of dedication and the importance of seeking the unbiased truth in today's ever-evolving media landscape.