Rent2Greece.com – The Catalan government has slapped the US-based website Airbnb with a €30,000 fine for illegally commercializing short-stay apartment rentals that are not listed on the Catalan Tourism Register.
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb has become the world’s most popular site for vacation accommodation. It has listings in more than 34,000 cities in 190 countries, and around 15 million people have used its services.
Some of the Barcelona properties listed for rent on Airbnb don’t have the legality according to the government of Catalonia which is why the regional government announced a heavy fine of €30,000 (£24,000) on the ground of breaching the local laws.
In Barcelona, in the recent years, hundreds of thousands of private lets are on offer to cater to a growing number of tourists. Hoteliers have taken aim at the flats over what they deem unfair competition; while several neighbourhood associations blame private lets for driving up housing prices in central districts.
The fine against Airbnb is the Catalan’s government’s second shakedown on the sharing economy in recent months – in June it announced fines of up to €6,000 for drivers who use the ride-sharing app Uber.