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Spain to Investigate Change in Law to Control Tourist Apartments in Residential Areas

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Following news that Barcelona is to ban tourist apartments in an attempt to reverse the flood of such properties in residential areas, the Minister of Housing and Urban Agenda in the Spanish Government, Isabel Rodríguez, has announced that they are studying a possible modification of the Horizontal Property Law to regulate tourist apartments as another economic activity and to “empower” neighbourhood communities and have them participate in these decisions.

This was stated in a television interview in which she argued that this decision is a consequence of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, which was already pronounced in two sentences in two neighbourhoods of Oviedo and San Sebastián last year.

Specifically, the magistrates concluded that the rental of housing for tourist use is an economic activity, which is why they agreed with two communities of owners and ordered the cessation of tourist rental activity in several apartments.

“From there, it will be the neighbourhood communities that will also be able to participate in these types of decisions, because this phenomenon, which is not exclusive to our country, affects the entire world and the main capitals in the European environment”, she explained.

Along these lines, Rodríguez has criticised that the proliferation of tourist apartments is colliding with the right and access to decent housing, is raising the price of rentals and limiting the supply of residential rentals.

For this reason, during her speech she welcomed the fact that the autonomous communities are taking “hands on the matter”, giving the recent example of the Barcelona City Council’s decision to want to eliminate all tourist apartments by 2028.

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