Barcelona to ban AirBnBs and other short-term rentals

Jaume Collboni, mayor of Barcelona, is taking local concerns about tourism's impact on the city's shortage of housing and rising rents seriously, as he announced on Friday that the city will enact a citywide ban on short-term rentals, effectively banning Airbnb and similar companies from operating in Barcelona. No new licenses will be given to those applying to run short-term rentals, and no licenses for the approximately 10,000 currently licensed rentals will be renewed, with the goal of eliminating short-term housing rentals by 2029.

Bloomberg provides more information:

"More supply of housing is needed, and the measures we're presenting today are to provide more supply so that the working middle class does not have to leave the city because they can't afford housing," Collboni said. "This measure will not change the situation from one day to the next. These problems take time. But with this measure we are marking a turning point."

Bloomberg explains that while other cities have implemented stricter rules in order to more closely regulate short-term rentals, including host occupancy rules (New York, Vancouver, Tokyo), limits on how many properties a host can run (San Francisco, Seattle), bans on rentals in certain neighborhoods (Dallas), and limits on how many nights a listing can be rented each year (London, Amsterdam, Paris), Barcelona may be taking "the world's most aggressive stance" to date.

According to James Blick from "Spain Revealed," who supports the move:

Many residents have complained about noise, overcrowding, and the overall disruption caused by short-term rentals. By phasing out these tourist apartments, the city aims to restore a sense of normalcy and community to affected areas. But why wait 5 years…? The mayor has said that this is to indemnify owners of tourist rentals so they still have time to recoup their investment. In other words, not to totally blindside them. Also, I've read that this is to make the decision more difficult to challenge in court.  The current stock of tourist rentals isn't having their licenses revoked; they will just not be renewed after November 2028. . . . Many people in Barcelona have long complained about uncontrolled tourism impacting their way of life and altering the landscape of historic neighborhoods. Undoubtedly, this will be positively received overall.

Blick also stresses that the ban won't impact hostels or apartment hotels.