A report from the collective of Terraferida and DinsAirbnb has identified that Airbnb continues to allow the advertising of properties without the correct tourist licence under the Balearic Tourism Law.

The two groups have been able to classify which properties display the licence number in their advertisements and which do not. As a result, they have found that only 44.8% of properties in Ibiza comply with this requisite, and 60% in Formentera. The average in the Balearic Islands stands at 62.2%.

Using data gathered from August 2017 to April 2019, the indication is that this type of offer has reduced by 1,735 beds in Ibiza. Two years ago, according to Terraferida, there were 27,953 beds on their platform and at the last count in April, 26,218 beds.

In Formentera however, there has been an increase in advertisements with 2,065 beds available in 2017 and 2,616 in April 2019 – an increase of 551 beds.

Massive Fraud

In carrying out their research, they have also identified ‘massive fraud’, in that the same licence number is being used for multiple properties, whereby each should have their own individual registration or licence number.

One of its conclusions is that properties advertised on Airbnb are still on the rise throughout the whole of the Balearics, however there is a decrease in Ibiza.

They also warn that despite the regulation of tourist properties in this legislature and the possibility of making properties legal, “the real number of illegal properties is huge”. In the Balearic Islands alone, Airbnb has more than 500,000 illegal properties.

Good News

According to the Diario de Ibiza, upon learning about the decrease in Airbnb properties registered in Ibiza, the director of Tourism of the Consell Insular de Ibiza, Vicent Torres Ferrer, said: “This is good news, and I think it is the result of the work we have been doing in these two years.”, Referring to information campaigns and inspection work . Torres acknowledged that administrative procedures regarding the application of sanctions “are slow” and perhaps do not communicate “fast enough to the offender for the sanction to be effective, but the sanctions are and will continue to be received,” he said.

On the illegality of the advertisements, the insular director of Tourism ensured that “platform scans” are done on a regular basis and highlighted the agreement with Booking.com so that they do not advertise establishments without a licence number, as opposed to the currently open sanction files against Airbnb and HomeAway.

This comes within weeks of Booking.com coming under fire for attempting to entice owners to rent their properties illegally.