A candidate for mayor of Malaga, one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations, has said he will crack down on tourist rentals if he wins the upcoming election in May. Daniel Pérez made the comments in a video he shared on Twitter.
Pérez said: “Malaga suffers from a serious housing shortage and one of the major factors is tourist housing, which is eating up the city, especially in the centre, and is making it impossible for locals to find rental properties.
“You have to take action. A brave mayor is needed to put a stop to tourist rentals that are creating a serious problem in the city.”
Pérez filmed the video with the mayor of Palma, the capital of Majorca, and said he wanted Malaga to copy that city’s tourist apartment ban.
Palma introduced a ban on tourists renting family homes in 2018 and the rule has recently been upheld by the Supreme Court.
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The mayoral candidate said: “It only takes will, municipalities such as Palma de Mallorca have shown by providing a solution to the problem.”
The AVVA association of tourist housing in the wider Andalucia region, of which Malaga is part, accused Pérez of using the tourist industry as a scapegoat.
A high number of holiday homes can push up the average price of rental accommodation and push local people out of the market.
According to data from Spain’s national statistics institute, INE, the number of tourist rentals is growing across the country.
In four areas of Spain, as many as one in four homes are used as tourist rentals. These include areas in Fuerteventura and Majorca.
In nine areas of the country, more than 20 percent of all homes are registered as tourist rentals.
Valencia has recently introduced restrictions on holiday homes in the city centre while Toledo has said tourist accommodation will only be allowed on the ground and first floors of homes in the city centre.
Critics feel that holiday homes depersonalise city centres and squeeze local residents out of the rental market.
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Local residents in Barcelona’s popular and touristy Gothic Quarter have complained about the high numbers of tourists and the subsequent noise in the area.
Several cities around the globe have introduced restrictions on Airbnbs, one of the world’s biggest apartment booking platforms.
In Amsterdam, entire homes and apartments are only allowed to be used as holiday rentals for 60 nights of the year.
San Francisco requires hosts to live in their home for at least 275 days a year, although people can rent out a room in their flat on Airbnb with no limits.
Cornwall has also struggled to find a solution to its accommodation shortage as the number of holiday homes in the region surges.
Many local residents have had problems trying to find a rental house in Cornwall due to soaring prices.
Second homes and holiday homes have pushed up prices across the property market, leading to tension.
Visit Cornwall last year announced plans to require holiday home owners to register their rental property on a platform.