The Regional Secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, said that in his attempts to eradicate the clandestine property rentals on the Costa Blanca, that he says number over 400,000 places, he is pleased with the progress that the community has made.

During the months of July and August, inspections have formalised the registration of 1,300 tourist apartments. Since the beginning of his legislature in 2015, Colomer said that 32,335 apartments that were illegally rented out, have been identified, with the opening, this year alone, of 209 cases that could end in sanction.

Three of the major online trading platforms, Homeaway, Airbnb and Rentalia, have received the maximum fine allowed by the current law for trading with unlicensed rental properties: 30,000 euros each. However, Colomer said that the fines are only a ‘drop in the ocean’ for these giants, and now the Consell wants to increase the amount of the maximum penalty to 600,000 euros.

In July and August, 1,396 new rental properties were registered in the province of Alicante, 752 in Valencia and 441 in Castellón. 181 companies have received inspections and 13,758 homes have been approved. Since 2015, the number of apartments regulated on the Costa Blanca has risen from 25,494 to 34,764, which has been made possible by the involvement of many local municipalities in the battle against clandestine housing.

The market in the rental of unregistered apartments is thought to be worth at least a billion euros annually in unpaid taxes to the Hacienda, involving about 125,000 home owners who offer their properties for rent, especially during summer, privately and without a contract.