Barcelona’s council has threatened to expel Airbnb from the city after accusing one of the company’s executives of illegally listing a sublet flat on the site in December 2014, without a tourism licence, and after allegedly misleading the property’s landlady by including a clause in the rental contract to allow “work colleagues” to stay in the flat on an “occasional basis”.

Mr Kuehne did not personally live in the city, but was Airbnb’s regional manager in Latin America at the time. He tweeted Barcelona council saying: “I have not worked for Airbnb for a long time. I regret you using my case to attack people who use the platform properly.”

Airbnb has fired back at Barcelona, saying their aim is to help home sharing “grow responsibly sustainably” by ensuring that hosts are owners and not businesses. Barcelona’s council has placed a freeze on new tourism accommodation licenses in the city centre owing to what it sees as tourism saturation.

Tagged with →