Palma de Mallorca will begin its ban on short-term apartment rentals via Airbnb this July.
Just weeks after Airbnb purged nearly 80 percent of its listings in Japan, a similar ban has spread to Spain, the New York Times reports. Starting this July, Palma, the capital of Spain’s Balearic Islands, will no longer allow travelers to rent apartments through home-sharing sites like Airbnb.
“We want Palma to remain livable for its inhabitants,” Antoni Noguera, the mayor of Mallorca’s largest city, told the Times. “We believe that we are setting a trend, because there are many cities in Europe that have the same problem.”
“We want Palma to remain livable for its inhabitants.”
Unlike other cities, like Paris and Amsterdam, which have restricted the number of days people can rent out their apartments, the new rule says that short-term rentals are only allowed in detached townhouses. If apartment owners are caught renting out their space to tourists, they will face a fine of €40,000, which is about $46,802.
Tourism accounts for around 40 percent of the island’s GDP. Noguera hopes, however, that the new ban on short-term apartment rentals will contain tourism rather than dampen it while also allowing Palma’s 440,000 residents to still find affordable housing, since rents have increased by 40 percent since 2013, the according to the BBC.
Not everyone agrees with the new ban. A homeowners association in Mallorca, called Habtur, believes that politicians are putting all the blame on Airbnb for the lack of affordable housing in the area, when in reality it’s their fault for not building enough affordable housing and fighting overtourism in other ways.
“Banning Airbnb will do nothing to solve our housing crisis, but it will stop the democratization of a tourism sector that has been controlled by a few hotel oligarchs,” Joan Miralles, the president of Habtur, told the New York Times.
Of the 11.63 million visitors who visited Mallorca in 2017, only five percent stayed with an Airbnb host, according to a report Airbnb released at the end of May.
“This is a fine against local families who share their homes and bring great benefits to Mallorca and the Balearic Islands. We share their disappointment and will appeal,” Airbnb said.
“This is a fine against local families... we share their disappointment and will appeal."
Even though you’ll no longer be able to rent apartments via Airbnb in Palma, it’s unclear if cities in other parts of the Balearic Islands, such as Menorca and Ibiza, will follow suit immediately since a regional law has allowed local authorities to set their own rules regarding short-term rentals.
This article originally appeared online on June 25, 2018; it was updated on June 27, 2018, to include a statement from Airbnb.
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