Airbnb will appeal the fine of Barcelona City Council for announcing illegal rental flats

Recently the Barcelona City Council has informed to the citizens its intention to fight against the illegal renting of flats in the Catalonian capital. Ada Colau, Major of Barcelona, communicated the decision to take measures intended to eliminate the hidden economy generated by illegal property rentals; considered as a source of illegal competence against the regulated activity of legal touristic accommodation businesses in the center of Barcelona.

In this context, it has arisen the first big action of the Council, a very controversial measure with a high level of notoriety due the company affected: Airbnb. Specifically, the online firm has been fined with € 30,000 by the Barcelona Council for publish illegal rental offers in its website. In addition, one more fine (up to € 600,000) could be applied in case the Council finds solid evidences that prove that Airbnb is publishing unlicensed holiday rental housing in the future.

In this regard, a spokesman of Airbnb declared two days ago to Agencia EFE the decision of the company to defends its interests. Airbnb will appeal the fine because is, according Airbnb, considered contrary to the European law, as it blames them for infringements committed by third parties.

Another measure that has been implemented by the Barcelona City Council is the creation of a “team of viewers” who are responsible for detect the existence of illegal rents. In this way, and according the Council has communicated to several media, this team have identified 234 illegal rented flats in a single month.

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