Illegal rentals investigated

Online platforms face fines

Online platforms face fines Photo: Shutterstock / AlenKadr

Spain’s Ministry of Social Rights and Consumer Affairs has requested information from online platforms for tourist homes operating throughout Spain to determine whether the rentals are being advertised illegally.

The department has decided to initiate this procedure after learning that a significant number of tourist homes are operating without the required licence. The platforms, including AirBnB, are intermediaries who allow certain information to be advertised, and it is those responsible for this information (the owners or the companies that carry out this commercial activity) that are the focus of this investigation.

If, from this preliminary investigation, it is determined that there are indications of non-compliance, a fine could be imposed of up to €100,000. This amount, however, could be higher and amount to between four and six times the illegal profit earned, depending on the volume of illegal activity.

90% are illegal

In addition to financial penalties, the online platforms could be shut down permanently. “We are assessing the sanctions that can be carried out with regard to rentals that do not comply with the regulations and are advertised”, said the director general of Consumer Affairs, Daniel Arribas.

The Secretary General for Consumer Affairs and Gambling, Bibiana Medialdea, has also said, they have had official proof of, “very high levels of non-compliance within the tourist rental market”, which in some areas could reach more than 90 per cent, and if these accommodations are illegal, their advertising would also be illegal and it is up to Consumer Affairs, “to pursue it, inspect it and, if necessary, sanction it”, said Medialdea.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.