Spain’s Holiday Rental Laws

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Spain’s holiday rental laws, which came into force in 2016, have concerned some people who are worried about following the bureaucratic process, especially as the forms must be completed in Spanish. You can read the full text of the law (in Spanish) here.

As a relocation consultant anything that happens in Spain related to the property market is of interest to me.  Right now in Andalucia a big change in the holiday rental law is impacting on everyone who lets a residence to tourists. Landlords must comply with a new raft of rules and if you think that you can ignore them, please be aware that there are some very steep sanctions (fines of £1,500 – £180,000) in place if you don’t obtain all the relevant paperwork. The authorities are sweeping the Internet looking for holiday rental advertisements.  Under pressure from the government and tourism industry, the authorities need to enforce this law, so beware!

At Location Moves we provide a compliance service to our clients with holiday properties who list them with us for rent.  To help you, we complete and submit the forms, as well as make sure that the property complies with the requirements of the law. But, let’s look at the key elements of the law and how it might affect you and your property.

What counts as a holiday property rental?

The law deems these to be properties in a residential area that are promoted online or in other media for holiday use and there is a financial transaction involved. If you allow guests to use your property and no money is involved, you don’t need to register the property.  Additionally, long-term rentals are not affected by this law either. Homes in rural areas are exempted from the law in order to promote tourism in rural areas. As are owners of a group of three or more dwellings within a 1km radius, which are classified as Touristic apartments.


The whole property or single rooms?

The law also covers types of properties. You can either rent a property in its entirety, or part of the property as long as you also reside there. For example, if you have a holiday B&B and you live in the home, you are allowed a maximum of six people as guests. And, if you are renting out the entire property, you will need to follow the occupation license rules as to the number of people allowed to stay in it. Whatever the license says, the maximum number of people allowed is 15.


How to successfully register your property?

These are the rules for which you will need paperwork and supporting evidence:

  • A copy of the license of occupation and compliance with the technical quality requirements for housing
  • Direct external ventilation, e.g. doors to patio and some means of shading the windows, i.e. canopy, curtains or blinds
  • Suitable and complete furnishings plus sufficient bedding & towels
  • Fitted AC units in bedrooms and lounge plus heating if you rent it out from October to April. Exemptions may be made for properties of ‘Cultural Interest’.
  • Well stocked medical kit
  • Information about local amenities and services
  • Information about the operation of all electric appliances
  • Provide cleaning service before and after rental period
  • Details of any rules e.g. pets, smoking, community rules
  • A complaints book has to be made available (called Libro de Reclamaciones Andalucía) with a sign to indicate it is available
  • Contact number for emergencies

As you can see, most of these are simply common sense. The law also regulates the handling of deposits, refunds and other terms and conditions for the benefit of both the owner and the holidaymaker.


Registering Your Spain Holiday Rental

To submit a registration, with or without the help of Location Moves, you will need:

  • All property details, including a Licence of First Occupation, a record of the Cadastral reference and date when your property was registered at the Land Registry.
  • Information about the owner including contact address for receiving updated information.

Once you have all paperwork, you need to take it all to Andalucia’s Tourist Registry (ATR). You can download a copy of the form ‘Declaración Responsible’ at the ATR website.  There is no fee for registering your property.  Once completed, you will then need to take the form and supporting documents to the eighth floor office of Delegaciones Territoriales de Turismo at Edifico Services Multiples, Avda. de la Aurora 47 in Malaga. Also take a copy of the form for receipt.  As an alternative you can register your form online.  To register online you must first obtain a digital certificate.

Once the property is registered with the ATR each dwelling will be assigned a unique alphanumeric code which by law must appear in all publicity offering the property to let, i.e.  holiday rental websites like AirBnB, TripAdvisor, real estate agencies, your own website, rental advertisements etc.

Please remember that you must advise the Registry of Tourism of Andalusia of any changes, for example, if you decide to convert to long-term rentals.

It is vital that you have your registration paper and unique ID number before you advertise your property for rent.  Additionally, it is worth bearing in mind that if you don’t comply with the holiday property rental law, the fine is anything up to €180,000.

If you have a property that you would like to promote as a holiday rental for part or all of the year, but have been put off by this new registration law, then please contact me.   Location Moves can do all the hard work for you, allowing you to make extra income from your holiday property.





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