24 Apr, 2024 @ 15:58
1 min read

OPINION: Airbnb might be viewed as a menace in Spain – but if I owned a property it’s the first place I would list it!


AIRBNB and Booking.com are coming under fire for ‘forcing locals out’ of major cities across Spain. 

The problem, according to youngsters in Malaga, Barcelona, Sevilla and elsewhere, is that as tourist flats surge, housing stock reduces, leading to price increases.

Acting as a double whammy of sorts, Brits, Americans and other foreigners residing in Spain are willing to pay more than the average Spaniard for a room, decreasing availability further.

Outrage was sparked today after it was revealed companies are making millions of euros by managing hundreds of Airbnbs in the biggest cities, including Madrid, Malaga and Sevilla. 

But are we really surprised that homeowners are renting out to tourists when long-term lets are so unappealing? 

READ MORE: Exclusive: Moment expat brothers are arrested inside their own home after kicking out squatters


New laws in Spain to ‘protect the tenant’ seem to be counterproductive in the long run by driving landlords away to the tourism market and shrinking supply. 

For example, landlords letting long term cannot increase the rent for five years after the contract is signed. 

For many, especially those with a variable mortgage, that is too much of a gamble to take.

Just ask the thousands of homeowners in Britain whose monthly payments soared due to spiking interest rates in the wake of the war in Ukraine. 

And with a regional war brewing in the Middle East, who knows what’s round the corner? 

If mortgage rates spike due to external factors, property owners could face losing money for years on end as they are legally unable to up the rent to cover costs. 

Meanwhile, it is so difficult to evict non-paying tenants, and the countless horror stories about squatters is enough to put you off for life. 

Our recent exclusive on how two brothers were arrested for kicking out squatters from their flat in Barcelona laid bare the ridiculous legal system. 

And just this month British expats were attacked upon returning home to Ibiza to find their villa taken over by cannabis-growing thugs. 

If tenants stop paying rent or your home is taken over by ‘okupas’, you have two options: The legal route, which can take years to make its way through the courts, or call in the heavies, which itself can cost thousands. 

Apart from a few measly tax breaks, there are simply not enough incentives for landlords to let their homes long term. 

Meanwhile with Airbnb or Booking.com, they know they will be paid every month and won’t have to deal with squatters or non-paying tenants. 

Spain must make it more worthwhile to rent out long term, or bring in much tougher restrictions on holiday apartments. 

Because for many, given the choice between making hundreds per week hassle-free, compared to hundreds per month with no incentives, it’s a no brainer. 

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

GOT A STORY? Contact [email protected] or call +34 951 273 575 Twitter: @olivepress

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Macklemore is coming to Spain: US rapper, 40, to perform on the Costa del Sol this summer

Nazi symbol is spray-painted on bust of British merchant in Alicante: Archibald Dickinson saved Republican families at the end of Spain’s Civil War
Next Story

Nazi symbol is spray-painted on bust of British merchant in Alicante: Archibald Dickinson saved Republican families at the end of Spain’s Civil War

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press