Private holiday rentals will be restricted in many popular tourist areas in favour of the hotel industry, if a new draft law is passed.
The Association of Holiday Rental Mangers in Madrid (Asotur) warns that a new law on residential rentals being drafted by the Department of Housing (in the Ministry of Public Works) will restrict the rights of private owners to engage in holiday-lettings, limit the choice of tourists, and harm the Spanish economy.
The draft law plans to devolve the regulation of all residential rentals to Spain’s 17 regional governments, some of which aim to restrict private tourist rentals in favour of the local hotel industry.
Up until now, the existing law on residential rentals (LAU) protects the rights of owners all over Spain to rent their homes to tourists on a short-term basis. That said, there is already a hotch-potch of local laws restricting holiday-lettings in areas like the Canaries, the Balearics, and Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. This has been a murky area for years, as I reported in an article for the Sunday Times on Spanish holiday rental licences back in 2007
The draft law is a “legislative blow against short-term holiday rentals,” warn Asotur, in comments to the Spanish press. “This is an attack on civil liberties, limiting the use of private property and the freedom of tourists to choose how they want to spend their holidays,”
In some areas there are no local laws on tourist rentals, meaning as many as 20,000 holiday rentals will take place in a legal vacuum if the law goes ahead, they warn.
Tourist rentals generate 1.45 billion Euros in direct income, half a billion in indirect income, and are a source of income for at least 150,000 families, according to research by Magma Tri Hospitality Consulting.
“The passing of this law could deal a death blow to a growing sector that contributes enormously to the economy,” says David Tornos, president of the tourist rental management association.