Monday, December 6

Fines of 6,000 euros from the Community of Madrid to illegal tourist apartments denounced by neighbors

A rain of sanctions is coming for Tourist Use Homes (VUT) that operate in Madrid without the proper papers. The first have arrived this week to the owners of three flats who were denounced months ago by neighborhood associations in the center of Madrid, as evidenced by the notifications of the Community of Madrid published on these lines, to which they have had access We are madrid and that were received last Wednesday.

The General Directorate of Tourism has issued several sanctions of fines of € 6,000 for failing to comply with regional legislation on tourist housing, all of them in the Centro district and one located on Huertas street. In some cases, it has also eliminated the management companies from the Registry of Tourist Companies of the Community of Madrid.

The sanctions are the final result of the complaints presented by the Sol y Letras Neighbors Association, which has been denouncing the illegalities of companies and individuals that operate in tourist apartments in Madrid for more than six years without having legal support for this activity. Most of them operate on flats for residential use and do not have the pertinent license for change of use, which allows them to carry out economic activity in a tertiary-use premises for lodging.

Many of the thousands of tourist apartments that currently operate in Madrid were registered in the Registry of Homes for Tourist Use of the Community of Madrid with a simple responsible declaration, in which they claimed to have “the mandatory permits and licenses required by other Administrations and Public organisms”. However, the lack of a municipal license to carry out their activity, which many of them suffer from, are facilitating these first sanctions, as well as the opening of other files by the Madrid City Council.

“It has been proven that we were right,” says the president of the neighborhood association, Víctor Rey. “The tragic thing is that a lot of time has been wasted in decreeing these sanctions,” he adds while appreciating the “setback” that a fine of this volume supposes for each tourist home: “Many people will have to think about it before opening a illegal activity in Madrid “.

The three fines indicated are the first but more will come: throughout the summer the Community of Madrid notified this association and La Corrala de Lavapiés that it was initiating 44 sanctioning proceedings against as many tourist flats that could be in breach of regional tourism regulations. In the coming weeks, they expect more than a score to be sanctioned, just as tourist activity begins to rebound in the capital. “During the pandemic, many tourist homes have started to have residential activity, but they are re-emerging with the return to normality,” warns Víctor Rey, who also recalls the annoyances caused by illegal parties in tourist flats during curfews .

A battle that lasts six years

The neighborhood associations of Centro have been warning of the problem of tourist flats since 2015, when they detected that they were beginning to multiply and generate conflicts in their neighborhoods. As of 2017, the first complaints to the Madrid City Council began, after detecting a legal loophole in the PGOU of the capital that could serve to put a stop to a sector that was totally deregulated at that time.

The Madrid City Council approved in March 2019 legislation to limit changes in use (from residential to tertiary accommodation) and thus stop the conversion of homes into tourist flats by stopping municipal licenses. The plan was later endorsed by the justice, although with the arrival of Almeida the Urban Development area is trying to change it to allow opening VUT in low and in some first. At the same time, administrative procedures have been initiated from the municipal Activities Agency on more than 1,600 VUT. Many of them were pointed out by the aforementioned neighborhood associations, after a long work of data collection and bureaucracy to present all the demands.

“The administrations have to comply with the obligation to sanction, they have no choice when the law is violated,” says Víctor Rey, who encourages citizens to continue denouncing what they consider to be one of the most serious problems faced by the inhabitants of the district. Center. Those who want to do it through their association can contact them by email [email protected] or in its physical premises, located in C / San Damián.