The trade organisation representing tourist-lettings operators in Spain has appealed for a new approach in the face of legislation that looks designed to limit the business in favour of the powerful hotel lobby.
The Tourist Accommodation Association (Fevitur) argues that second-home owners who rent out their properties on a short-term basis to tourists need an appropriate legal framework in which to work, but not excessive regulation that makes it impossible for most owner to comply.
Tourist lettings operators do not deny that some regulations and control are needed, including recognised standards that protect consumers and property owners alike. The problem is recent legislation, for example the new rule in Madrid making all rental periods below five days illegal, that makes it impossible to cater legally to short-term rental demand.
At a recent conference to discuss the sector, the Vice-Counselor for Tourism and Culture in the Madrid region, Carmen González, unconvincingly claimed that “the priority is to sort out this new activity that could destabilise the city model”.
Fevitur say its members seek regulations designed to avoid fraud and guarantee the rights of both consumers and owners. They also argue Spain needs to rationalise the proliferation of regional laws that have exploded since the business was devolved to Spain’s 17 regional governments. Many regions now have their own laws, increasing confusion and complexity.
Pablo Zubicaray, President of Fevitur, criticised the excessive regulations the sector now labours under. “Regulations should clearly state that we offer a property, and that as such, we comply with all necessary security requirements,” he said. “If we work at it properly, we could have some of the best regulations in the world.”