Barcelona’s Mayor Announces Total Ban on Short-Term Rentals by 2029

In a bold move to address the housing crisis and skyrocketing rents, Barcelona’s mayor, Jaume Collboni, announced a citywide ban on all short-term rentals, set to take effect by 2029. This comprehensive policy aims to halt the issuance of new rental licenses and stop renewing existing ones, ensuring that no homes will be permitted as tourist accommodations in the future. Currently, Barcelona has around 10,000 registered short-term rentals.

Addressing Housing Shortages

The primary motivation behind this drastic measure is the acute shortage of affordable housing for the city’s middle-class residents. Mayor Collboni emphasized the need for more housing supply to prevent middle-class workers from being priced out of the city. He acknowledged that while the measure won’t immediately solve the problem, it marks a crucial turning point in the city’s approach to housing and tourism.

Comparisons to Global Practices

Barcelona’s strategy is one of the most aggressive stances against short-term rentals worldwide. Other major cities have implemented various restrictions to manage the impact of short-stay apartments on housing markets. New York, Vancouver, and Tokyo require hosts to live in the apartments they rent out, while San Francisco and Seattle limit the number of properties a single host can list. Dallas has banned short-stay apartments in certain neighborhoods, and cities like London, Amsterdam, and Paris have capped the number of nights an apartment can be rented annually.

Berlin initially implemented a complete ban on short-stay lets of entire homes in 2016 but found it challenging to enforce. The city revoked the ban in 2018, replacing it with less stringent restrictions and higher fines for violations.

Current Situation and Future Outlook

Barcelona has already banned rentals of rooms for tourists, yet rental prices continue to rise. The city’s urban planning department noted that rents have been climbing despite previous measures. According to Idealista, Spain’s largest property listing website, rent prices per square meter in Barcelona increased by 14% in the 12 months through April, making them the highest among Spanish cities.

In 2023, Barcelona was visited by 16 million tourists, highlighting the immense pressure tourism places on the local housing market.

Conclusion

As Barcelona moves forward with this ambitious policy, the city will serve as a critical case study in balancing the needs of its residents with the demands of a global tourist destination. The effectiveness of this ban in alleviating the housing crisis and its impact on the local economy and tourism industry will be closely monitored by cities worldwide facing similar challenges.


Barb is the president of NASTRA and has spent her professional career in hospitality and real estate. After acquiring her first short-term rental in 2018, Barb moved her focus to legal advocacy after she sued the city of Nashville over a permit issue. Over the last three years, she has mentored more than 2,800 new STR hosts and is the Community Leader for Airbnb in Nashville, as well as an Airbnb “Ask a Superhost” Ambassador. Barb has appeared on numerous radio broadcasts, television shows, and podcasts to talk about her love of hosting. She also manages and co-hosts a number of short term rentals across Tennessee and Arkansas. Barb and her husband Pat own a hotel brokerage, development and consulting company. Look for her upcoming podcast series, “Women of Airbnb.”

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