- If ratified by local government, the law will put a stop to tourist rentals in the capital.
Ibiza Town, the capital of the White Isle, is close to passing a law that will ban flat rental companies like Airbnb.
According to El Confidencial and Diario De Ibiza, tourist rental companies would be severely hit by the new law, which, should it get ratified by local government, will make it impossible for visitors to rent rooms in houses, apartment blocks or semi-detached houses. The only accommodation available will be hotels and other properties with specific licenses. The aim is for the law to be in place by the start of the 2018 season. "We're a small municipality with a very large population density," said Ibiza Town councillor Elena López Bonet. "Housing is for residents, not tourists."
Ibiza Town would be the latest municipality to adopt the ban, following Santa Eulària des Riu last summer. San José and San Antonio, meanwhile, have banned rentals in apartment blocks, but not in houses. The island's new tourism law, which was passed in August 2017, states that any company offering accommodation illegally could be fined up to €400,000, while owners face penalties of up to €40,000.
"The arrival of digital platforms has created an untenable situation," said Ibiza council's director of tourism, Vicent Torres. "What we've lived through these past summers hasn't been positive for anyone, which is why we want our housing stock to return to being residential and not for tourists."
A representative from Santa Eulària des Riu council also weighed in on the issue: "This problem won't be solved in a year. This summer, I'm sure we'll see many flats available for tourists and examples of people living in terrible conditions because the price of accommodation remains so high. But it's a first important step, and it's the right path towards putting an end to this plague."