The allegal limbo in which tourist rooms in private flats have floated for years officially ends this Friday, although this does not mean that activity in Barcelona will disappear overnight.
The decree of the Government that finally regulated this figure of tourist accommodation established a period of one year for the town councils to decide their own rules of the game, and the Catalan capital has reaffirmed itself in what is currently a ban .
In this way, from tomorrow whoever has rooms advertised in their home for periods of less than 31 days is committing an offense. “If the city council detects non-compliance, it will assess the disciplinary actions that need to be carried out”, sources from the council have pointed out.
The so-called ‘shared homes’ or rooms for tourist use in habitual dwellings continue to generate mixed opinions. The hosts or domestic operators have lashed out at the new situation, due to the “legal uncertainty” that it causes them.
They consider that it is a form of sustainable accommodation, which distributes the wealth of tourism among residents, and unlike tourist apartments (where the traveler has total autonomy), coexistence is controlled and calm. For years the city council demanded a legal framework from the Generalitat, which was finally produced, but leaving room for maneuver for the city councils.
The one from Barcelona was clear a year ago that this accommodation formula would not have a place in the city, considering that its control would be difficult. Especially because illegal tourist flats converted into false rental rooms were detected, with no one residing.
It was also argued that there are already enough regulated tourist places and that this use harms the traditional housing market. For this reason, it first established a moratorium to cut off any potential license processing, and then integrated the issue in the update of the special urban plan for tourist accommodation (PEUAT),initially approved last January, where this activity was not accommodated. Pending final approval and a final decision on the matter, the suspension remains in effect. But Colau’s team is clear about its refusal to implement, despite the discrepancies with some parties .
So since August 6, “the exercise of the activity of shared home without having the corresponding enabling title may constitute a punishable offense according to the tourism law of Catalonia,” say municipal sources. If the council detects them, it will assess what sanctioning measures to take. That is, anyone who has hired rooms at home as of this Friday is led to possible complaints.
Sources from the Association of VIA have criticized that the “inaction” of the city council by not regulating the activity leaves them in a situation of “helplessness and serious vulnerability”. They indicate that some 2,000 residents have reservations for this August and the rest of the summer.
But now they do not know whether to cancel them and leave their guests without accommodation, or to risk being fined by the council.
They argue that they continued to accept reservations because they hoped that the possibility of creating a restrictive ordinance instead of a ban would prosper in the last municipal, as defended by opposition parties and even the PSC, a partner in the government of the Comuns. And they thought that in the meantime the allegation would be maintained, without penalty as before.