HOL­I­DAY RENTAL WEB­SITES UN­DER FIRE

Va­len­cia re­gional gov­ern­ment set to fine seven well-known in­ter­net rental sites

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By James Parkes

THE VA­LEN­CIAN gov­ern­ment has trig­gered new ac­tion which could re­sult in huge fines for hol­i­day rental sites such as pop­u­lar Airbnb that have not ad­hered to the re­gional author­i­ties' re­quire­ments.

The re­gional tourism agency, AVT, has launched dis­ci­plinary ac­tion af­ter an of­fi­cial warn­ing was is­sued a year ago be­cause the apart­ments and vil­las that ap­peared on these web­sites did not have the of­fi­cial tourism li­cence re­quired in the re­gion.

AVT sources have con­firmed ac­tion is be­ing taken against seven in­ter­net por­tals, with fines rang­ing be­tween €6,000 and €30,000.

The to­tal fig­ure would add up to €210,000 - an amount far be­low the fine Barcelona coun­cil im­posed on Airbnb alone.

In that case, the com­pany ap­pealed in court claim­ing it was not re­spon­si­ble for the prop­er­ties as it was only a mid­dle­man of­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion, in­sur­ance and a se­cure pay­ment sys­tem.

Airbnb's ap­peal was suc­cess­ful and the fine had to be with­drawn.

Sim­i­lar ac­tion on be­half of the in­ter­net rental sites is ex­pected once the fin­ing process con­cludes in Fe­braury or March.

Na­tional tourism as­so­ci­a­tion Ex­cel­tur es­ti­mates there are around half a mil­lion hol­i­day rentals that are not li­cenced by the Va­len­cia re­gional gov­ern­ment.

AVT wants to en­sure that only hol­i­day lets with its seal of ap­proval - com­ply­ing with se­cu­rity and health stan­dards - are of­fered to tourists.

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