It looks like Spanish authorities have decided to crackdown on Airbnb, the website where travelers from all over the world can book cheap accommodation in private apartments and houses. That’s because Spanish hoteliers are complaining, saying they’re losing a lot of business because of it.
Due to this Airbnb crackdown in Spain, local authorities all over the country have decided to put into effect new regulations – regulations like the new one in Madrid that says anyone booking an apartment or room on Airbnb must book for a minimum of five days.
They’re hoping that will stop people wanting to take weekend breaks from booking through Airbnb, and force to book a hotel room in Madrid instead.
In other Spanish cities, local authorities are beginning to insist that private homeowners must list their apartments and homes on the local registry if they plan on renting them out through sites like Airbnb. And, of course, pay taxes on the income they receive as a result.
Sadly, while I can see the homeowners’ point of view – it’s a great way to make a little extra money and alleviate financial hardship, particularly when properties are lying empty or are not being sold due to Spain’s dire property market – I can also see the hotel and city authorities’ points of view as well.
Spanish hotels are losing business to Airbnb, while still having to jump through all the legal hoops private homeowners haven’t had to deal with. They’re also having to pay the appropriate taxes on hotel stays, whereas many private homeowners have not been.
But, with many homeowners who are renting rooms through Airbnb in Spain saying being able to do so is ensuring they can still pay their mortgages or their utility bills, you have to feel sorry for them too.
Hopefully, Airbnb itself, whose Spanish headquarters are located in Barcelona, will be able to negotiate an agreement with authorities around Spain that will work out well for both the homeowners renting out property, and the hotels and city councils who feel they are losing money because of it.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice if all parties could benefit from Spain’s extremely successful tourist industry without one side losing out?