Making a bit on the side with holiday rentals won’t be so easy in future for property owners in Catalonia. Following in the footsteps of The Balearics, the government of Catalonia has passed a decree making tourist rental licences obligatory for landlords.
The decree creates a new classification of housing called ‘vivienda de uso turístico’ or ‘tourist use housing’, which will apply to any residential property rented out for 3 months or less. From now on a licence, obtained from the local town hall, is required.
So rentals in Catalonia, holiday or otherwise, of 3 months or less, will be illegal in future without a licence. The cost of the licence and other conditions will be left up to local town halls to decide.
The regional government of Catalonia, or Generalitat, says the new regulations will raise standards for holiday rental clients whilst protecting landlords by making it easier to kick out troublesome clients.
What the Generalitat kept quiet is that the new licence will raise revenue and help the tax authorities clamp down on holiday rental income tax evasion. Many landlords, especially foreigners, charge cash and don’t declare rental incomes to the Spanish tax-man, which won’t be so easy in future.
Some half a million homes are rented out to tourists, according to estimates by the Generalitat. Landlords who rent without a licence in future will risk fines of between 30,000 and 90,000 Euros.