Valencia has become the latest Spanish city to impose new rules to tackle the rise in tourist rentals, which many locals complain is forcing them out of city centres due to the sharp rise in rent.
A new Tourism Law, set to be voted in before the summer, will limit tourist rentals to ground-floor and first-floor apartments, meaning tourists will no longer be able to rent apartments with picturesque roof terraces or sea views.
The law will also ban new tourist rentals in Valencia’s Old Town, as well as force buildings exclusively dedicated to tourist apartments to hold a license similar to those held by hotels.
“The new regulations will see town halls take back control of urban use and in Valencia, we are going to put in place an important barrier to stop the phenomenon going any further in future,” said Sandra Gómez, deputy mayor of Valencia.
From this summer, rental apartments will have to register on a regional database that will give each apartment a specific number. This number will have to be displayed on sites like Airbnb. If the sites refuse, they could be handed fines of up to €600,000.
Valencia, the home of Spain’s most famous dish, paella, is the latest in a long line of Spanish cities to take action against so-called “over-tourism” and the proliferation of tourist apartments.
Barcelona City Council has been tackling the problem by searching out tourist rentals that do not have the necessary permits and has fined rental sites Airbnb and Homeaway €600,000 for advertising illegal rentals.
In Madrid, owners must obtain a special license if they are going to rent out their apartments for longer than 90 days a year.
Palma, the capital of the Balearic island of Mallorca, announced in April it was to ban tourist rentals in the city, where graffiti reading “tourists go home” has been daubed on walls in the old town.