Madrid cracks down on Airbnb

City officials in Madrid claim that tougher rules are required in order to stop the city centre from being turned into a theme park for tourists.

Under the new rules, up to 10,000 apartments will no longer be able to offer short term rentals to tourists.

The new rules stipulate that any city centre apartment in a residential building that is used for holiday lets must have a separate entrance than the one used by building residents.

What this effectively means is that 95% of all holiday lets in the city centre will now be illegal.

Popular holiday rental website Airbnb has declared the new regulations as “not very clear,” “unfair” and containing “disproportionate restrictions.”

The city councillor for sustainable urban development, José Manuel Calvo, said that these rules are necessary because “massive tourism does not bring added value to cities, rather, on the contrary, it degrades them.”

“In the neighbourhood of Sol, there are two tourists for every resident. In the Cortes neighbourhood, the ratio is 1.3 tourists for every resident. This is what’s known as touristification,” he added.

Mercedes González, a PSOE councillor, said there is an urgent need for regulation to prevent the city centre from becoming “a tourist theme park” ruled by “the law of the jungle.”

“This is a first step, necessary to start walking towards a different kind of city where residents can live in peace.”

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