Madrid has made public the draft of the decree with which it intends to regulate the houses used by tourists in the Spanish capital. At present Airbnb has more than 13,000 ads in the city, to which other portals such as Home Away or Booking should also be added. Madrid is next to Barcelona the municipality most affected by the phenomenon of mass tourism through these platforms, which has caused a clash between the interests of residents and tourists that this decree seeks to mitigate.
The new rule establishes as a first requirement that all those who rent a house to accommodate tourists must have a certificate of suitability, which must be issued by an architect or an engineer and that will be used to register your home in the registry will enable the regional Executive. This document will certify that it complies with the requirements set forth in the regulations, such as having civil liability insurance, claims sheets, heating in operation, hot and cold water supply, sufficient energy sources, a fire extinguisher, basic emergency signage and an evacuation plan of the building and the house. Likewise, the owners will be obliged, as they do the owners of regulated tourist apartments or rural houses, to send the data of the people they are staying to the General Directorate of the Police.
One of the main changes of the decree refers to the consideration of the platforms, which are now listed as tourist companies. The main obligation that marks them is to control the offer that they present in their platforms, in such a way that they will only be able to offer those that have the suitability certificate and that are registered in the Registry. That will surely be the main point of friction with platforms like Airbnb since they consider that they are not a business and that they simply mediate between owners and guests, so they have no capacity or obligation to control the offer.
In case it does not, the text empowers the Community of Madrid to open a disciplinary file that could end in penalties of up to 300,000 euros. An important amount, but that represents half of the maximum penalty fixed by the city of Barcelona. Specifically, last summer closed the file that led to a fine of 600,000 euros against Airbnb and threatened to impose a fine of the same amount.
The Executive chaired by Cristina Cifuentes has avoided limiting the number of days or rooms that can be rented to avoid problems with the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC). This agency appealed in March 2015 the previous Madrid regulations on tourist rentals, considering that it violated the consumer’s choice capacity since it only allowed rentals of more than five days, which he considered leaving the market of short stays in hands of hoteliers. The only restriction that marks the new regulations is the maximum number of people who can stay in the house. In homes with an area of less than 25 square meters, only a maximum of two people can stay; between 25 and 40 meters, the number is extended to four and for each additional fifteen meters, up to two more people can be accommodated.
Regarding the management of coexistence between guests and neighbors, the text refers to the Regional Law on Tourism Management and obliges owners to provide information on citizenship norms. The main mechanism of control of the norm is the possibility that it leaves to the communities of neighbors to prohibit the tourist rent, as long as it is reflected in its statutes.
The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here the read the original article.