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Tourist apartments: a new and problematic phenomenon

 

Tourism is changing substantially in many cities, generating new situations and problems that did not exist in the past, such as the appearance and constant increase of rental housing for tourist use in communities of owners.

Barcelona has become a world reference for tourism thanks to its cultural attractions, architecture, and leisure it offers and an international magnet for the business activity it presents. If we take the data before the Pandemic as a reference, in 2019, Barcelona received almost 12 million tourists, of which 3,480,060 stayed overnight in tourist flats.

In Barcelona, there are 9,657 homes for legal tourist use, which receive tourists daily, and every year about 2,000 incidents related to them are registered in the civil service.

The main reasons for the complaint have to do with noise (suitcases, furniture, music, parties …), misuse of common areas, dirt and insecurity. Incidents derived from the consumption of alcohol and drugs are also causes of conflicts in neighboring communities that see their rest interrupted without being able to do anything since, in many cases, the lack of response from the apartment manager makes coexistence with tourists impossible.

Given the growing problem, the Barcelona City Council launched the municipal coexistence and tourism service, which aims to mediate conflicts between residents and tourist flats to improve coexistence. However, they point out that residents report conflicts in 68% of cases to the Guàrdia Urbana, and the rest do so by e-mail or by phone at Barcelona.cat. There is also the option of filing a complaint with the corresponding administration to carry out the appropriate steps.

It is possible to agree to modify the Community Statutes prohibiting rental housing for tourist use in Catalonia. Still, it requires approval at the meeting of the ⅘ parts of the community members with the right to vote. Those represent the parts of the total of the community coefficient, according to the provisions of art. 553-25, 2 concerning art. 553-11 of the CCCat. If there is already a license for tourist use in a flat, this modification will not be retroactive.

At CALVET, we encourage you to maintain a conciliatory dialogue and seek a satisfactory solution for all parties.

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