Andalusia Publishes Draft Regulations for Holiday Lettings


Andalusia’s regional government, or Junta, has prepared draft new regulations for holiday lettings, according to press reports. These regulations will control the way private individuals can rent out their homes to tourists.

The draft Decree on Tourist Use Homes (Decreto de las Viviendas de Uso Turístico) was drawn up by the Junta’s Tourism and Commerce supremo, Rafael Rodríguez, in consultation with the “Mesa del Turismo” tourist industry association, and other local interest groups.

The local tourist industry is said to be pleased with the results, which probably spells bad news for private landlords who dabble with holiday lettings to help pay the bills. Spain’s powerful hotel lobby sees holiday lettings as competition to be limited as far as possible, whereas private landlords have no lobby.

Catering to one of the demands of the hotel lobby, the decree will establish a registry of all holiday letting for landlords renting properties, or even just rooms, to tourists for periods of one month or less. The Junta talks about improving the quality of service, which is another way of raising cost and barriers to entry for private landlords.

Private homes rented out to tourists are defined as “tourist use” homes or “uso turístico”, not to be confused with properties built specifically for renting to tourists, called “apartamentos turisticos”. The difference between the two categories is small but significant, and often confuses property investors. The new regulations concern the former, namely private homes sometimes rented out to tourist on a short-term basis (uso turístico), not properties built exclusively as investments for renting out to tourists.

The draft regulations are supposedly based on an analysis of the current situation of holiday lettings in Andalusia, aiming to develop a strategic plan for the sector. Cave houses will be included in the register, which should come into force within six months, so by the end of this summer 2014.

Regional governments and municipalities across Spain are clamping down on private individuals renting out their homes to tourists, to the delight of hotel lobbies. Barcelona recently introduced a moratorium on new tourist rental licences, whilst the Balearics have long restricted holiday lettings.

15 thoughts on “Andalusia Publishes Draft Regulations for Holiday Lettings”

  1. Derek

    I’ve been renting in Spain for over 20 years, I will now holiday elsewhere in Europe if I can’t rent a private apartment or house in Spain due to increasing costs and legislation due to this new law. Seems car hire ,taxi drivers, restaurants, supermarkets etc. will all be big big losers, where was their lobby ? Hotel all-inclusive travellers don’t normally use those in general.
    Also is another great move from Spain putting people off buying properties (so building, trades people etc takes a hit also just when it was starting to recover) as most can only contemplate buying investment (ha ha) homes there if they get some rental income to ‘help’ towards the mortgage. Just yet another reason for property owners to get out of Dodge… and catch a cruise instead….

  2. Renting

    So what is the point of having a European Union, if it cannot protect the “small man” from large lobbying groups and powerful Governent ? ??? No wonder UKIP is gaining strength as a party to get us out of Europe. This new legislation gives one more reason to leave the EU !

  3. Bede

    Just one more nail in the foreign buyer property market. Hot on the heels of world-wide asset declaration; higher VAT; higher ITPAJ; higher mortgage rates (if you can get one!) ; higher taxes generally; and a load of etcéteras. Add all of the above to the ilegal properties scandal and what do you get?……….Yes, an ongoing property crisis now in its 7th year!!!
    Whatever the government (this one or the next one) might say about economic recovery, the fact remains that Spain has only ever had single digit unemployment when there was construction going on. Taxes on property sales should be dropped to zero; all that other nonsense that puts foreign buyers off should be scrapped; the ilegal properties legalised overnight, i.e. by royal decree, and properties bought with funds from outside of Spain should enjoy additional benefits, like no IBI taxes for 5 years or something similar.

  4. Rebecca Jones

    I’m just wondering how they’re going to police it. Are they going to get the policia local involved for instance? Are they going to knock on doors and ask possible tourists if they are tourists? Our local police officer probably doesn’t speak a word of English, so how is that going to work? Are they going to start taking thousands of people to court? Which lawyers are going to be doing this? etc. etc.

    1. Maggie

      Yes they are the Guardia came up our path and visited the two houses before us. When they came to us they asked how long we had lived hereif the house was ours or did we rent. and lots more so yes they are going to police it

  5. speakfreak

    It’s great news that the Spanish Government are bringing in some control to the sector. I really don’t get why people are complaining if they have nothing to hide. This doesn’t stop people renting apartments. Just makes them register them, ensure they are up to standard- and pay taxes on the income. What’s wrong with that? You are declaring your income aren’t you? 😉

    @Derek- the burden is on the landlord- why should it make a difference to you as a renter? Instead you will get more guarantees and controls that the apartment you rent is safe and properly managed.

    @Renting- a “big lobby group” are local residents who actually have to deal with the noise from sunburnt drunken stag parties weekend after weekend. Other than buying cheap beer they do nothing to contribute to the local economy and actually destroy a lot of the charm and atmosphere that may have attracted them in the first place. By the way if you are an agency I’d be interested to know your view on AirBnB.

    @Bede- the property crisis is only a problem for those trying to get rich in property. For people who want to just own a house, lower prices are a godsend.

    @Rebecca- simple. Harassed and angry neighbours will call the police and if you don’t have a licence you will get fined. If you don’t have harassed and angry neighbours, you shouldn’t have problems getting a licence.

    What’s wrong with a controlled and well managed private rental sector, which contributes to the local economy and pays taxes on an equal footing with hotels and bed and breakfast places?

    1. Wig go

      As a recent buyer in Frigiliana Andulicia , circa 10/12/2015 , can anyone advise what the current status is for regulations on holiday lets or has this now been enforced and where can I find details. Does this vary for each community?

  6. Freshfielder

    What happens about the insistence that Non-residents (who actually are not renting their property out) MUST BE renting so they will be subject to an “assessed” amount that their property “Would” receive, and then TAXED on that supposed amount? That law is actually encouraging/forcing people to try to go into the rental market — just to recoup some of the tax. As usual with Spain “the Big Finger doesn’t understand what the adjoining THUMB is actually doing”. So the Regions are actually pushing private owners to offer their home, or part of it, for rental in the expensive seasons, but the Hoteliers don’t want that to be happening. Nothing changes or gets better.

  7. NeedMoreRentals

    Excellent points raised by speakfreak. There is no suggestion of a ban. Like other industries the holiday rental market does need regulation. The licences are expected to be free – ‘official registration numbers’ will then be included by an owner/manager when marketing a rental home. If your holiday home is up to scratch with basic health and safety measures in place and you are aware of your tax obligations then you really have nothing to be concerned about.

    1. charlotte Foster

      I agree that having regulations is a good thing. They need to be there and I, as a landlord, have no problems with them being there. The few issues that are concerning me is that I now need to have air condition in every room. We have an apartment and have air condition / heating in the lounge area and in the main bed room. The second bed room, with no air condition, opens up out into the lounge. I have been there during the hot times and during the cold times and it works fine – just open to door to the lounge – the air condition is just outside. But now I have to go and get air condition into that second bed room. The other issue is about the internet. Our development is supposed to have internet on site but it does not work very well. I therefore do not rent our apartment out as having internet and it is clear in our adverts that it is not included. Now I have to provide a working internet which I will have to pay for. I am not sure why that is necessary.

      But, apart from that, I agree that having certain regulations are good.

      However, they are, I understand currently looking at minimum rentals of 5 days. Why should anybody regulate how long you can rent your apartment for. If anybody want to rent it for 3 days and you are happy to do so – then that should not be a problem. As far as I can see you now have to provide the cost per day – what is wrong with the cost per week. If people want to rent their apartment out for a week and people want to rent for a week – what is the problem. Why do we have to start fiddling around with daily costs.

      So although good – there are a few issues that stand out as a bit over the top, in my opinion.

  8. Helen

    I think being registered will be a plus when advertising rental properties as it gives us an official status together withdrawn health and safety reassurance compliance to the customer. Thjs will encourage potwntial customers to rent.from people.who are rdgistered.Registration is free which is good.
    To deal with tax on rental income we will have to put our prices up.

  9. Liz Llamas

    I am a resident in a small block (6 flats). Recently one of the flats has been bought and converted into 2 separate ‘flats’ to be rented out to tourists. This has all been done without the new owner informing anyone of his intentions and he actually indicated that he would be living there with his family which has turned out to be a lie. Do we as residents have any rights? As I said we are a small community and in the few days since the work on his flat was completed 9 to 10 people have been staying in his property. What can we do? Thank you.

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