Spanish resident fumes as landlords ‘kick out locals’ in summer | World | News

Spanish nationals denouncing the effect overtourism is having on their cities hit out at the holiday rental market.

One Reddit user listed a series of issues created by the presence of an unregulated number of tourists in southern Spain, one of the most sought-after destinations in the country.

Answering a question asking whether over-tourism impacts people’s day-to-day lives, the social media user mentioned among the most pressing problems they experienced were the high presence of Airbnbs, the huge cost of rent for small apartments and the difficulty in finding year-long rentals “because landlords want to kick you out on summer time so they can rent it for tourists. This one drives me the craziest”.

The Reddit user added a huge influx of tourists to one area can drive it to change in order to cater to the visitors with higher purchasing powers than locals.

Local bars and restaurants, they claimed, ramp up their prices and neighbourhood shops close down leaving space for “generic souvenir shops”.

Agreeing with the Redditor, another Spanish social media user claimed some neighbourhoods in southern Spain are overrun by Airbnbs.

They wrote: “Imagine what it does to a neighbourhood if a quarter of the houses are empty or used by tourists. Imagine the noise. Imagine what it does to your local shops. Imagine that you only speak Spanish and your whole neighbourhood fills up with foreign tourists that often don’t speak your language.

“I like Airbnb, but there should be a limit on the amount of Airbnbs in a street. It can’t be that the whole city centre becomes an Airbnb neighbourhood.”

A third said: “I live in Mallorca and yes, it’s full. Trying to get anywhere during tourist season you have to add an extra 20 to 30 minutes and when you get there there’s no parking.

“Cyclists are everywhere, thinking they own the road and shouting abuse at you if you don’t move your car. When we get a day off to go to the beach, there’s nowhere to sit and my children have to look at the drunk carry-on from tourists – and that’s at the nice beaches, I hate to know what Magaluf is like!

“The constant sound of planes in the sky and the helicopter tours that go right over the house. The rental prices… we need limits on tourists and to attract a better type of tourists.”

Many of the activists behind the wave of anti-over-tourism protests sweeping over Spain in recent months have lamented Spaniards in holiday hotspots are struggling to find where to live due to the high demand for accommodation compared to the availability, which pushes up the costs and emboldens landlords.

Some Spanish local governments are trying to regulate the holiday rental market, aware of the issues caused to locals.

In February, the Junta de Andalusia published a new decree affecting holiday rentals, which includes seeking the approval of neighbours before turning a home into a short-stay accommodation for tourists, getting a licence and registering the house with the tourism department before starting to host paying guests.

Failing to get a licence can see operators of rentals receiving a fine ranging between £1,711 and £128,334 (€2,000 and €150,000), depending on the gravity of the infraction.

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