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Airbnb Still at Odds with Barcelona City, Calling New Rule for Hosts a 'Joke'

After Barcelona City Council conducted inspections and imposed sanctions on illegal tourist rentals in the city, Airbnb responded by announcing restrictions on multiple listings in the downtown area. The city council responded bluntly.
February 10, 2017, 12pm PST | PabloValerio | @pabl0valerio
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Ciutat Vella
Iakov Filimonov

In its press release, Airbnb said hosts located in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (Old City) district would only be able to rent out one place on the Airbnb platform (no restrictions apply to listings in the city’s other nine districts).

Tourism councillor Agustí Colom called the rule “a joke” (“una presa de pèl”) and demanded that Airbnb immediately take down all illegal listings — ones without a tourist license — from its site. “The only agreement possible with Airbnb is that the platform agrees to comply with the city regulations, which are absolutely clear,” he said.

Airbnb listings in Barcelona. (Source: Inside Airbnb)

Airbnb is no stranger to conflict, battling cities like Berlin and Paris that argue that its business increases rental prices, reduces available housing stock and, as a result, pushes locals out.

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Published on Thursday, February 9, 2017 in Cities of the Future
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