Spanish news website has reported that Barcelona has imposed a maximum fine of €600,000 that can be given to home rental sites if they promote unlicensed accommodation.

The online newspaper refers to  a 2012 regional law, whereby any apartment rented to visitors in the Spanish region of Catalonia must be logged in the province’s Tourism Registry and have a permit.

This recent revision to the law sees a 20-fold increase in the maximum fine applicable where the existing €30,000 fine will be increased to €600,000 under the decision announced on Tuesday.

Urban planning councillor Janet Sanz told that the rise in the maximum fine came after the popular sites like Airbnb and HomeAway continued to advertise unlicensed holiday apartments.

“This illegal offer has a very hard impact on our neighbourhoods, it raises rental prices, fuels the underground economy and generates conflicts between neighbours,” she told a news conference.

“The municipal government will introduce changes in the penalties that are applied. We want to reach maximum fines of up to €600,000.”