Spain needs to balance regulating the black-market economy with making it easier to start a business or keep one running.
The regional government of Madrid has set a minimum stay of five nights in private homes and apartments, limiting the use of Airbnb and other vacation rental services in the city.
Hosts will be required to register their homes and meet certain standards related to size, pricing, accessibility, and services.
The move follows a law passed last summer that leaves regulation of vacation rentals to local governments. Madrid and other cities are trying to raise tax revenue and are also under pressure from a highly regulated hospitality sector that sees short-term rentals as a threat.
According to El Pais, Madrid has between 6,000 and 8,000 homes for tourist use, many of which are not registered.
At the time Spanish legislators revised short-term housing rules last summer, Spain’s Finance Ministry estimated that undeclared revenue from rentals of private homes amounted to some $4 billion in 2010. At the same time, with unemployment in Span greater than 6 million families survive by letting out either rooms or entire houses to tourists.
Earlier this week the regional government of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, fined short-term rental and vacation rental sites for violations of local laws.
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Photo credit: The Madrid page on Airbnb.es. Airbnb