Catalan Government plans legislation & taxes for AirBnB ‘style’ nights in Barcelona & Sitges

Catalan Generalitat to regulate on ‘renting rooms in private homes’


Barcelona’s deputy mayor of urbanism Janet Sanz, appears to have signaled that renting rooms in your home via AirBnB, is not illegal
(subject probably to the limitations put on whole properties when rented via AirBnB : the council promises more clarity soon).

Largely it appears… the renting of whole properties is their primary concern, hence the need for a tourist licence or the restrictions in some areas, to get one.

On residents occasionally renting their space,
“There is no regulation in this moment. It’s not illegal”

AirBNB Catalonia Barcelona Regulations Article

As a reaction to the growth of Airbnb, Homeaway, Niumba

The Department of Enterprise and Employment presents a draft decree, which will take 5 to 8 months to happen.

Allowing home owners to rent out rooms, legally

A form of housing that was illegal & unregulated, in some autonomous communities, including Cataluyna
(national rules were missing from the Urban Leases Act of 2013)

To embrace new emerging forms of tourism, such as the so-called ‘Bed & breakfast’, ‘dormitories’ or ‘RV areas’

  • Aimed specifically at the tourist offer of bed and breakfasts & renting a room
  • Must live in the apartment, before and during the rental period (must be registered in the property)
  • 4 months a year max (stay can not exceed 31 days)
  • Only to rent two rooms of the house
  • Total numbers staying must meet the certificate of occupancy
  • Owner to collect city tax of
    0.65€ per Barcelona night/0.45€ elsewhere
  • Use of the bathroom to guests who have to have a room with ventilation
  • Can only serve breakfast (bed & breakfast)
  • Tourist license still needed for renting whole apartments

Each municipality will be able to decide if any areas are excluded & whether owners must inform neighbours before renting out the apartment

Now 8 forms of tourist accommodation

  • Hotels
  • Hostels (youth hostels)
  • Apartments
  • Rural houses
  • Houses for tourist use
  • Camp site (mobile home and bungalows)
  • Rooms in shared apartment (home)
  • Areas for Motorhomes/RV’s in transit
    (no fixed elements e.g. bungalows or modules/maximum stay of 48 hours)

Tuística Licence Issues

  • 24 hours telephone contact no, required, to alert landlord to incidents
  • absence of license can mean fines of up to 90,000 euros or, if necessary, closing the floor.
  • Any occasionally misbehaving visitor’s behaviour is assigned to ‘The tourist apartments’, which can be closed
  • Licenses may be lost if not registered to owner of the apartment
  • May not transfer the license from one property to another
  • May need to install meters and noise sensors, and make record searchable online
  • Terrace nay need closed
  • May need to limit access after 10 pm (with coded doors)
  • Local police, may not attend noise complaint, but still lodge the issue
  • Potential fines of 1,500€ plus expenses


  • Exceltur the tourist lobby for large hoteliers has been on the warpath
  • Rise of platforms that connect individuals with home owners (e.g. Airbnb, Homeaway or Niumba)
  • Rentals by foreign tourists has risen 59.7% since 2010, say Exceltur
  • Issues with the tax aspect of owners and other rental requirements for such apartments.
  • 800,000 to one million nightly
  • Of International tourist arrivals of 64,995,275, up 7.1%
  • Average expenditure per tourist per person fell 0.6% to 971 euros
  • City breakers spend 84.8% lower
  • Airbnb estimated 323 million euros benefit to Spanish economy & creation of 5,130 jobs generated
  • Exceltur suggest deteriorating quality of life & expulsion of the resident population, can result
  • Barcelona currently has 600 hotels with 74,000 rooms
  • Over 9,600 registered tourist apartments
  • Exceltur estimates there are 137,000 rooms for rent in private homes through online platforms
  • In Barcelona 75 per cent of holiday lets operate legally
  • In 2014,  33 apartment owners hit with fines of up to €30,000 ($40,000),
    while a further 113 cases were still open.
  • In 2014 477 Barceloneta apartments on Airb, but only around 70 officially registered (almost 7 times less)
  • May 2014: reportably, approximately 30% of lodgings are now authorized holiday apartments, yet about 70% not legitimate