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Cracking Down on Illegal Airbnb Properties in Medellín

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Cracking Down on Illegal Airbnb Properties in Medellín

Table of Contents

March 9, 2024

The Mayor has recently taken decisive steps to address the issue of illegal Airbnb or Short Rental properties in Medellin. Recognizing the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism, local authorities have initiated a strategic plan to bring these unlicensed accommodations into compliance with the law.

The Troubling Reality: Over 1,700 Illegal Tourist Homes Discovered

According to the District Administration’s findings, more than 1,700 properties across Medellín are currently operating as tourist accommodations without the necessary documentation and permits. These include requirements such as land use definitions, updated commercial registrations, notifications to police authorities, adherence to health and environmental regulations, and compliance with scheduled activities and registered operations.

The Looming Consequences: Fines, Closures, and Deregistration

Failure to comply with the requirements outlined in Law 2068 of 2020 and Decree 1836 of 2021, issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, can result in severe penalties. Offenders may face fines of up to 2,000 times the current legal monthly minimum wage, temporary closure of their establishments, and even cancellation of their registration in the National Tourism Registry for up to five years.

A Comprehensive Approach: Balancing Tourism and Coexistence

The overarching objective of this initiative, as stated by Manuel Villa Mejía, Secretary of Security and Coexistence, is to regularize tourist accommodations while ensuring compliance with current legislation and designated zoning areas. Authorities aim to prevent residential buildings from being adversely affected by noise, disruptions to citizen coexistence, and illicit activities such as the sexual exploitation of minors, drug consumption, and prostitution.

“ Our objective is to regularize housing intended for tourist accommodation, guaranteeing that it is developed based on current legislation and in the areas designated for this purpose. It is important to prevent residential buildings from being affected by noise and citizen coexistence situations. In addition, we must prevent the sexual exploitation of minors, drug consumption and prostitution ,” noted the Secretary of Security and Coexistence, Manuel Villa Mejía.

Tourism’s Vital Role: A Driving Force for the Local Economy

Recognizing the importance of tourism as a significant contributor to Medellín’s economy, María Fernanda Galeano Rojo, Secretary of Economic Development, emphasized the need for a balanced approach. “We have articulated ourselves to carry a message of legality, understanding the importance of tourism and its contribution to the economy, but all within the proper framework to ensure healthy coexistence and the correct development of this productive activity,” she stated.

Compliance as a Commitment to Quality and Safety

Beyond legal obligations, adhering to standards is a commitment to quality, safety, and sustainable development. To validate whether properties are situated on appropriate land for tourist services, residents can consult the “Mapgis v9” platform or visit one of the four urban planning offices. It’s important to note that the land use concept does not replace the urban planning license or other related regulations.

A Significant Presence: Tourist Homes Leading the Way

According to data from the Vice Ministry of Tourism, a staggering 74.36% of tourism service providers in Medellín with the National Tourism Registry (RNT) are tourist homes, followed by travel agencies and traditional accommodation establishments. This statistic underscores the widespread nature of the short-term rental market and the urgency of addressing its regulatory gaps.

A Call for Collective Action: Empowering Residential Communities

In addition to the enforcement efforts by authorities, the administration is encouraging residential unit administrators to actively report irregularities within their communities. Failure to do so may result in fines of up to three minimum wages, emphasizing the shared responsibility in maintaining order and upholding legal standards.

As Medellín continues to grow as a popular tourist destination, the city’s proactive approach to regulating illegal tourist homes reflects its commitment to balancing economic growth and responsible tourism practices. By fostering compliance with laws and safety standards, authorities aim to ensure a harmonious coexistence between residents and visitors, preserving the city’s charm while embracing its vibrant tourism industry.

Renting Airbnb / Short Term Rentals

Even though the apartments are listed on Airbnb you need to be careful who you rent from because you can find yourself on the if the Tourist Police start raiding the building, and find that the Airbnb Apartment you’re staying is not legally registered with the city. There are reputable short term rental agencies that can help you with finding legal and comfortable apartments in Medellin that meet your budget. Agencies such as Liv Realty Medellin, CasaCol & Urban Housing, has hundreds of apartments you can choose from and you can book with the confidence that the apartment you’re staying in meets City of Medellin requirements.

Editor’s Note

I have been living in Medellin for over 8yrs; I remember in 2017 I was staying at one of Casacol’s properties called Edificio Soul LifeStyle and they were raided by the Medellin Tourism Police. about 80% of the apartments were shut down and a lot of tourists were put into the street. I was lucky because the apartment I was in was legally registered with the city. Please be careful who you rent from because the Airbnb company is not doing their diligence in ensuring the apartments are legally registered.

Carlos

Carlos

I have over 20yrs experience in Software Engineering and Digital Marketing. I'm also the founder of Medellin.co, my goal is to help both visitors of and locals of Medellin by providing trusted resource of everything Medellin. If you're interested in Guest writing for Medellin.co please feel free to contact me.

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