EDITOR’S NOTE: Many people buy a second home in Spain with the idea of renting it out when they are not using it, but are confused by the patchwork of regional regulations governing short-term rentals to tourists. Rental-expert Louise Brace makes it easier to understand what is going on with this summary of the latest situation in each region.
By Louise Brace.
This summer saw the highest recorded number of holidaymakers visiting Spain’s top tourist destinations and increasingly, they’re choosing holiday rentals as their accommodation of choice. In fact, according to research by TripAdvisor, Spain is now the most popular European destination for holiday rental holidays.
It’s been three years since the Spanish government excluded holiday rentals from the LAU (Ley Arrendamientos Urbano) and delegated the task of regulating the industry to its 17 regional governments. Still only 11 of the 17 autonomous communities have published a decree to regulate holiday rentals. Find out the latest status in your region.
Is it regulated? No, but you can view the latest draft decree for Andalucía here.
Due Date: Owners can register from 11th May 2016 on the Registro de Turismo de Andalucía. They will have three months to register, before the Junta de Andalucía have warned they will issue fines.
Essentials: Cooling and heating system required, can offer single room occupancy
Points to watch out for: Owners with three plus properties situated within same building, complex, or within a 1km radius must register as ‘Apartamento Turístico’. Stricter regulations are applied.
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 80/15
Since: May 2015
Essentials: Maximum stay 1 month, single-room occupancy not permitted
Points to watch out for: Owners and agents with properties in the same building must register as ‘Apartamento Turístico’. Stricter regulations are applied.
To register your property: Details on how to register your property can be found in the decree
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto/34 2003
Since: April 2003
Essentials: Properties classified as Viviendas Vacacionales or Casas de Aldea (properties located in rural areas), your property must be available during July, August and September, to be able to offer during other periods of the year
Points to watch out for: Apartments in multifamily buildings are not regulated. register as ‘Apartamento Turístico’. Stricter regulations are applied.
To register your property: Registro de Empresas y Actividades Turísticas
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 20/2015 (amended version)
Essentials: A maximum of 12 guests/6 bedrooms may be offered,
Points to watch out for: Only unifamily homes can register: villas, chalets, townhouses. Apartments in multifamily buildings are excluded from the decree.
To register your property: Inscription for Tourist and Activities and Accommodation
Note: The regional government is studying an update to current regulations
Since: April 2013
Essentials: Single-room occupancy is permitted, maximum 12 guests/6 bedrooms
Points to watch out for: Currently only owners or managers with a portfolio of two plus properties may register
To register your property: Tourist Business and Accommodation Register
Note: The regional government is in the process of updating its Tourism Act and regulations will be updated.
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 198/2013
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 113/2015
Since: May 2015
Note: The National Commission for Markets and Competition requested the decree be revisited, claiming that the previous government changed points in the decree at the last minute, including unnecessary obstacles for owners. The new Canary Islands Government are currently revisiting the content of the decree.
Essentials: Single-room occupancy is not permitted, guest details must be logged with the police
Points to watch out for: The decree currently excludes no less than 90% of holiday rentals, as properties situated in tourist designated areas were excluded and homes situated within a residential community needed agreement from the community to go ahead.
To register your property: Present your Declaration of Responsibility (Declaración de Responsabilidad) at your local or regional town hall (Cabildo Insular). The decree sets out the requirements.
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 19/2014
Since: March 2014
Essentials: No single room occupancy is permitted.
Points to watch out for: Owners should also have public liability insurance in place to apply.
To register your property: Holiday rentals should register under the category Alojamiento Turistico Extrahotelero (Non-hotel accommodation). Further information and application forms for registering your holiday rental in Cantabria.
Note: Owners must also register the activity with the tax office (Hacienda) and Social Security.
Is it regulated? No
Notes: The regional government of Castile-La Mancha is discussing the introduction of regulations. No definite date has been set.
Is it regulated? No
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decret 159/2012
Since: November 2012
Special Note BARCELONA: The granting of licences in the capital has been frozen for two years, as of May 2014
Essentials: Owners must take a copy of guest passports and all guest details must be logged with the police, your H.U.T. number should be included in all advertising, properties must have a first licence of occupation.
Points to watch out for: It’s free to register, but individual councils (ayuntamientos) may charge a procedural fee to register and you will need to pay (145 €) if you want your holiday rental quality graded
To register your property: Follow the link to the necessary application forms and FAQs for registering your holiday rental in Catalonia
Note: Access is given to an online platform where you register every guest, a tourist tax may be applied in the future.
Is it regulated? No
Is it regulated? Yes under the original Decreto 52/2011
Since: March 2011
Essentials: Single family homes i.e. villas, chalets and townhouses can apply for a holiday rental licence. Apartments are not regulated under the old decree.
Points to watch out for: There is a registration fee (check with your regional tourism office)
To register your property: Decree and application form to register your holiday rental in Galicia.
Is it regulated? No
Note: The regional government of La Rioja are working towards a decree to regulate holiday rentals. Further news is due to be announced at the end of this year.
Is it regulated? Yes under the Decreto 79/2014
Since: July 2014
Special Note MADRID CITY: The regional government ruled that holiday rentals in the capital could offer a minimum stay of five days. The average stay is four days, effectively excluding holiday rentals from city and weekend break market.
Essentials: Single-room occupancy is not permitted, properties must offer free Wifi
Points to watch out for: Applications must presented together with with a floor plan, stamped by an architect or surveyor.
To register your property: Decree, July 2014 and application form to register your holiday rental in Madrid. Applications can also be presented at a post office.
Note: The CNMC (National Commission for Markets and Competition) have stepped in, alleging the situation in the capital makes it impossible for owners to compete against hotels. No action has yet been taken to change the situation.
Is it regulated? No
Note: The regional tourist board have suggested that regulations may be introduced with the publication of the new Tourism Regional Act. No date has been given.
Is it regulated? Yes under the original Decreto Foral 230/2011
Since: November 2011
Essentials: Properties are categorised as ‘Casa Rural’ if the property is built in the traditional architectural style of the region and ‘Apartamento Turístico/Vivienda Turística’ if the property is a modern construction.
Points to watch out for: As of 3/10/2015 all properties must include their registration number in advertising.
To register your property: The Registro de Turismo websites contains Information and application forms to register your holiday rental in Navarra
Note: Applications are processed by Tourism and completed at the local town hall (ayuntamiento). At this point a registration fee will be payable.
Is it regulated? Yes under the original Decreto 92/2009 which was updated this year to Decreto 75/2015
Since: July 2009 and amended May 2015
Essentials: This year it has become compulsory to register your property
Points to watch out for: If you manage five or more properties you must register as a Tourist Company.
To register your property: Download the application forms and present your Declaración Responsable at a local tourism office, online with an electronic signature or at the post office.
Note: Registration codes for private owners start VT and managers and businesses EGVT. Followed by a code for each province.
In regions where regulations have yet to be introduced, owners should still be able to rent out their property for short-term accommodation under the original LAU (Urban Tenancy Act), as long as there has been no ruling to exclude holiday rentals. In this case, it is not permitted to advertise the property anywhere – on or offline – as tourist accommodation.
A legal contract must be prepared for every guest. We recommend you check with a legal representative for your region.
Holiday rental regulations are changing frequently across the regions. It’s advisable to check for updates with your local tourist board.