Barcelona City Council fines Airbnb with 600.000 euros
Ada Colau, Major of Barcelona, has informed this week about the new fine to Airbnb. This time a sanction of 600,000 euros for publish illegal touristic flats. Homeaway has been also fined for the same reason.
In summer Airbnb was already fined with 30,000 euros. According a study of the Barcelona city council, around 40% of the touristic apartments in the Catalonian capital have no license to develop this activity, which represents not only an illegal competence but also the consequence of the raising in the price of touristic rentals. The study also shows that the benefit of legal apartments is between 3% and 4%. In contrast, those illegal rentals reach profits between 7% and 12%.
As already did Airbnb in relation with the first fine, the Californian firm has announced that they are going to appeal the sanction. Once again, they consider that their activity is not illegal and they cannot be fined by the irregular actions of other individuals that use their platform to publish holiday apartments without official permit.
Airbnb spokesman has declared to several media that Barcelona is the only city that have fined them. In other 200 cities around the world they take an important collaborative role, has they manage the collection of the special local taxes or fees associated to touristic apartment rentals.
This is another battle in the war between Barcelona council and Airbnb, probably only the justice will establish who is right in this controversy.