Almeida Takes Axe To Madrid Holiday Lets

Madrid´s Mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has announced that the city council is temporarily suspending new tourist apartments licences with “immediate effect”.

The move comes amid a growing housing crisis with local people priced out of long-term rental property in the Spanish capital.

He also announced that the city council will not authorise properties converted from commercial to residential tourist lets in the centre of the city and will increase fines for tourist properties that do not comply with short-term letting regulations.

According to the website, a platform dedicted to campaigning against the US rental giant for ” disrupting housing and communities” there are 25,543 tourist apartments listed in Madrid. Of which some 64% are entire homes.

However according to the Madrid authorities there are 13,500 of which only 941 have current licences for holiday lets.

In order to combat the issue, the city councul is increasing fines to owners for the operating of illegal holiday lets.

The first fine is set  at €30,000, the second at €60,000 and the third ,€100,000 and anything over could pay up to €190,000.

The current fines are only €1,000, €2,000 and €3,000.

The number of city inspectors is to increase by 15 percent, up to 75.

In order to help visitors check if the apartment they’re interested in is legal or not, the city will also publish a list of flats with licences and their location on an official letting website.

“People who want to stay will know if they are in a legal or illegal accommodation and the consequences that may arise because of this” said Almeida.

However some in the sector said the announcement did not go far enough.  The Regional Federation of Neighbours of Madrid (FRAMV) believes Almeida’s plan is not enough and that the regulations should apply to the entire municipality not just the central areas.

The spokesperson for the left-wing Más Madrid, Rita Maestre, also spoke out against the plan, saying that the vast majority of tourist apartments already operate freely without a licence, and that the new legislation will do little to change that.

Spain´s main tourist and hotelier association, Exceltur, said that there is not enough inspection capacity anywhere in Spain to be able to control that legislation is complied with.

The average monthly rent prices in Madrid currently stand at €20.7 per square metre, after registering an increase of 18.2 percent over the last twelve months.

Earlier this year the central government introduced legislation in an attempt to give tenants more rights and a rental price cap.

“Vacation rentals are having an impact on the market, especially in the historic centres of cities,” Madrid’s general director of Housing and Rehabilitation of the Community María José Piccio-Marchetti Prado, told Business Insider Spain.




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