ANDALUSIA: Holiday rental regulations in new Decree explained in detail

Lawyer Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt explains the new regulations governing holiday rentals just introduced in Andalusia. He gives us an overview of the Decree in force, the requirements landlords must meet, how to register your holiday rental in Andalucia and explains the steep sanctions for non-compliance.

Register through us in only 24 hours: Registration of Holiday Homes (Andalusia)

Marbella-based Larrain Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 year’s taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain. You can review here our client’s testimonials.

marbella property market recovery costa del sol
Marbella, Andalusia’s flagship resort town, where the property market is harmed by the new regulations on holiday rentals

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of February 2016

Introduction

Since 2013 I have highlighted the ongoing trend in all regions of Spain to pass legislation on private holiday rentals:

New Measures to Bolster Spain’s Ailing Rental Market
Holiday Rental Laws in Spain

Anyone who has read my articles here will know I am not in favour of these tourist rental laws because they have not been drafted with consumer’s best interests in mind, but rather with those of the hotel industry that fought tooth and nail to regulate this sector, and thwart what they call “unfair competition”.

Spanish politicians, and particularly those in Andalusia, have taken a string of controversial decisions in the last few years in the face of an anemic post-crisis recovery (i.e. the infamous worldwide asset declaration requirement (Model 720), stringent regional Holiday Rental Laws in various Spanish regions, the empty home expropriation decree for ‘social reasons’, a disappointing ‘Golden Visa’ residency investor scheme, draconian anti-money laundering laws etc.). These laws are proving to be highly unpopular with expatriates to the point of driving many away. Unsurprisingly many town halls are reporting of late that foreign population has taken a sharp dip in their census over the last few years (for example, the Marina Alta region of Valencia has lost a third of its foreign population). Maybe some expats have chosen to live under the radar to avoid complying with Tax Model 720 worldwide asset declaration, others have simply had enough and packed their things and gone back to their home country.

If Spain had truly a modern diversified economy these unpopular laws wouldn’t be such a big deal after all, and we could shrug it off. But the sad fact is that Spain’s GDP is unhealthily over-reliant on the Tourism and Construction sectors (over 20%), and this fact, coupled with huge unemployment levels that reach alarming all-time highs in Andalusia, make for a bleak picture. Perhaps regional politicians would do well to ponder carefully on the far-reaching consequences of decisions taken on the hoof. In my humble opinion there are many countries out there that are doing a sterling job at attracting foreign investments by adopting superb fiscal measures (chiefly Portugal). Spain should take a good hard look at itself and abandon its self-complacent attitude and start embracing competitive measures that would renew the market’s interest (especially amongst British, traditionally our largest market by far). Spain has all the makings to become the hotspot; all it requires is competent down-to-earth politicians passing tax-friendly laws that attract foreign investments. Is this too much to hope for?

In February 2016, after a long struggle, Andalusia finally passed its own regional holiday rental law in the wake of much upheaval. This article serves as a gentle reminder on this new law to all those landlords who are currently letting out property in the region of Andalusia or intend to in the near future. I strongly advise to heed the guidance I provide below and not to ignore this new piece of legislation. The fines for non-compliance are very steep (ranging from £1,500 to £115,000).

Anyone who thinks the Junta de Andalucía will not hound infractors and fine them harshly is deluding himself. The whole purpose of this legislation was geared from the outstart towards sanctioning offenders as those behind it had an axe to grind. Moreover in other parts of Spain town halls are already levying substantial amounts on the back of similar new laws. They are using new technology (‘web crawlers’) that methodically and relentlessly trawl internet to come up with non-regulated rentals that are advertised over the web. Authorities cross-reference this information against their public records and unregistered properties are brought to light as a result. Not to mention that at a time where Administration’s coffers are bereft post-crisis this represents a golden opportunity to hunt, apologies, I meant raise taxes and prop up politicians’ dwindling coffers (because gold statues and palaces don’t pay for themselves you know). God bless them all.

In Barcelona, for example, in two unrelated recent cases they have levied fines of £24,000 (source) and £70,000 on the same token (source).

A positive side effect of this law will be to bring into the open all the undeclared tourist rentals. So if after reading my article you become a law-abiding citizen registering your properties to rent them out as tourist accommodations make sure you are filing and paying your Non-Resident Taxes in Spain as well! It would be a faux pas to register them and not declare and pay tax on your rental income in Spain. EDIT 11th April: newspaper article from El País:  Taxman turns attention to hidden internet property rentals.

Let this article act as a stern warning to all landlords in Andalusia: The Taxman Cometh!

Andalusia’s Holiday Rental Decree

 

 

EDIT July 2017: for a simplified version of this in-depth article jump to my blog post: Holiday Rentals in Andalusia Made Easy – 3rd July 2017.

Andalusia approved on the 3rd of February this new decree which had sparked much controversy and debate. The final version has dropped some of the more contentious points but still retains many which are highly questionable in my humble opinion. Andalusia’s Holiday Rental Law was officially published in the BOJA on the 11th of February. Link to the new law:

Andalusia’s Holiday Rental Law.

The official name is Decree 28/2016, of 2nd of February of Tourist Holiday Rentals (viviendas con fines turísticos). The best way to go around it is simply analysing point by point what it establishes.

Obligation to Register your Property: as from the 11th of May 2016

In compliance with this Decree, and with Law 13/2011, of Tourism in Andalusia, landlords may register as from the 11th of May 2016 onwards, day on which this new Decree will come into force. Mr. Rafael Salas Gallego, Malaga’s Tourism Director, has confirmed the registry will not be operative before the 11th of May. So landlords now have a three-month deadline to gather all their paperwork and may start registering themselves as from the 11th of May onwards before Andalusia’s Tourist Registry (or ATR going forward). The Junta de Andalucía has promised public awareness campaigns to clarify on this new law.

You can download and fill in the form supplied by the ATR called ‘Declaración Responsable’ and hand it over at one of the ‘Delegaciones Territoriales de Turismo‘ once completed. Registration is free unlike in other regions of Spain.

If your command of Spanish is low, you can hire a lawyer to do this on your behalf in exchange of a reasonable fee.

Excluded Properties

The following properties are excluded from being regulated by this decree:

• Properties which are lent to friends or family without an exchange of money (free).
• Properties that are let to the same individual for a continuous period of time exceeding two months. In which case it will be regarded as a standard rental agreement subject to Spain’s Tenancy Act. More details in my in-depth article: Spain’s Tenancy Act (LAU).
• Rural properties, located in what is legally classified as rural land, are expressly excluded as they are subject to their own legislation: Decree 20/2002. I have covered this in an in-depth article: Andalusia’s Holiday Rural Rentals.
• Landlords, or property management companies, that own or rent three or more properties, personally or through corporate structures, each located within a radius of 1 km from the reception office in the same unit (i.e. building, urbanization, condominium) will be excluded from this new decree (this is very bad news). They will be subject to the much harsher Decree 194/2010 (Apartamentos Turísticos) which basically equates these properties to a hotel. This has very serious restrictions on use i.e. landlords cannot use the property themselves for more than two months a year, they must cede the management of the units to a professional company for a minimum period of ten years etc.

Definition of Holiday Rental – What Properties are Included

The decree is rather vague on this point. Any property that complies with the following points will fall under the remit of this new regulation:

• The property is located in land classified as ‘residential’ (in other words, rural and tertiary land are excluded as they are each subject to their own legislation on rentals).
• The property is rented out to tourists regularly on a short-term basis (days, weeks, months).
• Reservation system is enabled. Reservations can be made.
• The property will be regarded to be rented out touristically when the landlord advertises it using specialized media. By specialized media it is understood companies who intermediate between landlord and tenant in exchange of a commission such as: travel agencies, real estate agencies, holiday rental websites (i.e. Airbnb, HomeAway, Tripping, Tripadvisor, Flipkey, VRBO etc.).

Examples of Private Holiday Rentals

All the following landlords fall under the remit of this new law and must comply with its terms or face hefty fines.

1. Mr. Raistlin Majere, and loving wife Claire, own a duplex in a beachside urbanization in Estepona and rent their property out three months a year advertising through HomeAway and similar niche websites.
2. Mr. Aedan Cousland owns a luxury villa in Benahavis, Marbella, which he rents out to affluent Arabs only during the summer season for a substantial return. He advertises only through upscale real estate agencies.
3. Mrs. Morrigan Flemeth and husband Alistair own and live in a Guest House in Fuengirola renting out rooms to tourists all year round. They advertise over internet.
4. Mr. Loghain McTir, UK resident, owns and rents three high-end properties through a management agency. Two of the properties are located frontline in Puerto Banús and the third one in the prestigious Sierra Blanca estate.

Rental Types

Properties can be let as a whole or else by rooms (like in a Guest House).

If it’s the whole property that is being rented out, no more than 15 lodgers will be allowed simultaneously at any time (think of a large villa).

If the property is being rented out by rooms, it is mandatory the landlord lives in the property himself. No more than 6 vacancies can be offered and each individual room cannot exceed four lodgers.

Photo: Marbella, tourism capital of the Costa del Sol

Lodging Requirements

Some requirements from the draft decree have been dropped i.e. wi-fi; which is now a moot point as it is no longer required.

• The property must have attained what is known as a Licence of First Occupation (LFO, for short). It is also known in some parts of Spain as First Occupancy Licence, Habitation Certificate, Habitation Licence, Licencia de Primera Ocupación, Cédula de Primera Habitabilidad, Cédula de Habitabilidad or Cédula de Ocupación. A LFO is a licence issued by the town hall (ayuntamiento) once the building works have been completed, which allows the purchaser to dwell in the property legally. The property developer is responsible for applying for this licence, once the Certificate of End of Construction has been issued. It ensures the property is above board complying with all planning, health & safety and disabled access laws both at a national and regional level. It is also very important as it is required by utility companies to supply the property with water, electricity, gas and telephone connection.
• Rooms must be ventilated and have blinds or shutters to obscure them when necessary.
• Rooms will have the appropriate furniture required for use by lodgers and in proportion to the number of lodgers per room.
• Air conditioning unit affixed in every bedroom including living room (as a fixed fixture, not as a portable device unit) when the property is offered between the months of May and September (inclusive). Landlords will be given one year to adapt the rooms to this requirement as from the time this law is passed (11th of May 2017).
• When properties are let during the winter season (October through to April, inclusive) a heater must be made available in every bedroom including living room (as a fixed fixture, not as a portable device). Landlords will be given one year to adapt the rooms to this requirement as from the time this law is passed (11th of May 2017).
• First aid kit.
• Landlord must provide physical or electronic brochures of the closest amenities, medical treatment facilities, parking spaces, restaurants, shopping centres as well as plans that detail use of urban transport, map of the surrounding area and general tourist guides.
• A complaints book will be made available as well as installing a large visible sign informing lodgers that a complaint book is available. Sample complaints form click here.
• Mandatory cleaning service at the start and end of every new accomodation.
• Clean sheets and bed linen as well as supplying a spare set.
• Provide lodgers with a working contact phone number of person to be held accountable for any complaint or query raised so the situation is addressed immediately.
• Provide instruction booklets to use household and kitchen appliances.
• Inform lodgers on property use restrictions (such as no smoking areas or pet restrictions) as well as on Community of Owners internal bylaws.

Holiday Rental Agreement & Registration Form

i. Holiday Rental Agreement

• It will have the details of the landlord, including a working telephone number as outlined in the previous section above to address complaints, the property’s unique alphanumeric code on being registered at the Junta de Andalucia, the reservation dates (arrival and departure dates), numbers of lodgers and total price of the holiday rental.
• If the agreement does not specify it, it is presumed the rental starts at 16.00 and ends at 12.00pm.
• The landlord, or person designated by him, will show the lodgers around explaining how the kitchen and household appliances work as well as providing them with security cards and access codes to the premises. If the tourist accommodation is included in what is known as a Community of Owners, the landlord must supply his guest a copy of the internal bylaws ruling the community so he adheres to them during his lodging.
• A copy of the signed Holiday Rental Agreement will be stored by the landlord for up to one year to provide it for inspection by the relevant Authorities.

ii. Registration Form

• All lodgers, not just the one making the reservation, will be fully identified in compliance with current Security laws (popularly dubbed as ‘Gag’ Law). Lodgers will supply a copy of their personal ID/passport. Like in hotels, all guests will be required to fill in and sign a registration form on entry. In compliance with art 7.2 this registration form must be then sent to the Police or Guardia Civil for every guest over the age of 16 years old within the next 24 hours of the accommodation following Security Laws from 2003 (Orden INT/1922/2003, de 3 de julio, sobre libros-registro) and from 2015. You can send a copy of the filled in and signed registration form personally, by fax or else by e-mail. Registration forms are standardized by law; click here for a sample copy.
Online registration: follow this link to submit by e-mail to the Guardia Civil a copy of your completed Registration Form. Alternatively you can also use this other link (scroll down for the links).
• Registration forms must be stored by landlords for a period of up to three years for the inspection of the Security Forces.

Price and Reservation

• Price offered will be per night and all-inclusive. This means it must include all the following: utility consumption (water, electricity, heating, A/C), cleaning of (bed)room at the start and end of every new lodging, clean bed linen, taxes. The bill will give a detailed breakdown of all expenses including any extras requested by the guest (like in hotels).
• It is compulsory for a landlord, or person designated by him, to hand invoices to a guest for every payment made including the initial reservation fee (even if it is just for one night’s accommodation).

Following article 8.2, and for the avoidance of doubt, landlords can decide freely upon the rental terms on the following points (so long as the tenant agrees): price, bookings, reservation deposit and cancellations.

If a landlord does NOT word these terms in a short-term tenancy agreement then by default the following rules will apply:

• Unless agreed otherwise, the maximum reservation fee is 30% of the total price.
• If cancellation of the reserve is done over ten days in advance the landlord can pocket 50% of the reservation fee in compensation.
• If the cancellation is done under 10 days then the landlord is entitled to pocket the full amount of the reservation fee.
• If it’s the landlord that cancels he may do so without penalty over ten days in advance.
• If the landlord cancels under ten days he must pay a compensation to his guest of 30% of the final agreed total price.
• If the cancellation is due to a force majeure, then both landlord and guest are exempt of awarding compensation. Examples of such admitted by law courts are flash floods, earthquakes, strong winds, general strikes.

How to register your holiday rental in Andalucia – Inscription before Andalusia’s Tourism Registry (ATR)

All landlords that wish to rent out their properties in Andalusia must register their property before the ATR.

You can self-register here (as from the 11th of May 2.016 onwards):

Enrolment at Andalusia’s Tourism Registry.

Download, print and fill in the form supplied by the ATR called ‘Declaración Responsable para el acceso o ejercicio de la actividad‘; specifically the annex on page 7. Once done, hand it over physically at one of the ‘Delegaciones Territoriales de Turismo’ in the region where your property is located. It can also be completed online if you have a digital certificate enabled. Unlike in other regions of Spain registration is free in Andalusia.

You will need to supply the following details:

• Property details, cadastral reference, number of potential guests according to its Licence of First Occupation.
• Landlord’s personal details and an address for official notifications.
• Details of management agency or designated person if landlord appoints someone to act on his behalf. Any change in details must be communicated so the ATR remains accurate at all times.
• Details of this inscription will be passed on to the local town hall.
• Once the property is duly registered before the ATR each dwelling will be assigned a unique alphanumeric code which – by law – must appear in all publicity offering the property to let (art. 9.4) i.e. internet webs, estate agency brochures, glossy magazine rental advertisements etc.

You will then be assigned a unique alphanumeric code i.e. VFT/MA/00001.

It goes without saying that any property let in Andalusia that does not sport said unique ATR code will be easy to spot and may result in heavy fines.

Fines and Sanctions

They are divided into three categories:

a.- Light offence. Can be either a written warning or a sanction with fines up to €2,000.
b.- Serious offence. Sanctioned with fines ranging from €2,001 up to €18,000. The premises may be shut down temporarily at the authority’s discretion (for periods less than 6 months), the rental licence may be revoked temporarily.
c.- Very serious offence. Sanctioned with fines ranging from €18,001 up to €150,000. The premises may be shut down temporarily at the authority’s discretion (for periods spanning between 6 months to 3 years), the rental licence may be revoked indefinitely.

If the landlord is sanctioned two or more times for very serious offences within a three-year period, the property will be struck off the ATR indefinitely.

Statutory Limitation of Sanctions

• Light offences: six months.
• Serious offences: one year.
• Very serious offences: two years.

The statutory limitation starts as from the time the sanction is imposed by the Administration. The time can be interrupted by the initiation of legal proceedings. If the administrative procedure is paralyzed for more than one month for reasons unrelated to the offender, the statutory limitation will be renewed once again (eventually time-barring the sanction).

Clandestine Activity

If the Authorities catch you red-handed renting out a non-declared property (that is not registered at the ATR) this will be regarded as a serious offence attracting fines ranging from £1,500 up to £14,000.

Conclusion

If you own property in the region of Andalusia and plan to rent it out as a tourist accommodation make sure your property is first registered before the ATR. Do not chance it thinking they won’t catch you as one of the requirements to advertise rentals is to publish the unique alphanumeric code supplied by the ATR in all advertisements (article 9.4). Any offering made going forward that lacks said ATR code and you will be done for. Let alone the unbridled use of web crawlers to hound non-compliers which is proving most effective.

Bottom line, always be on the right side of the law. Hire a lawyer to ensure your property is registered to let and fully compliant with all the minutiae. Ensure you acquire all the gadgets the Andalusian law requires for each room listed above (A/C units, first aid kits etc) to avoid sizeable fines. And to close, do not forget to declare and pay tax in Spain on your rental income (you can read my article Non-Resident Taxes in Spain for more information on your tax liabilities as landlord).

Politics: the art of creating new problems where none existed.”

Registration fees (per property): on application

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

Holiday home related articles

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No delusional politician was harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2016 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE THE AUTHOR’S ALONE

* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI).
SPI disclaims any responsibility or liability related to your access to or use of any third party content.

Thoughts on “ANDALUSIA: Holiday rental regulations in new Decree explained in detail

  • Mark Blythe says:

    Dear Raymond,
    Further to John’s message/s to you, I would like to add the following. We have been to both the Tourism Department of the Junta de Andalucia in Granada and our local Town Hall in Salobreña on numerous occasions now, most recently this morning chasing another tail supplied by the lawyer who happened to be associated with our purchasing the property back in July (2015). Since there is clearly no LFO registered for our town house (built in 1978) – or equivalent document: “Cedula de Primera Habitabilidad”, “Cedula de Habitabilidad”, “Cedula de Ocupacion”, “Habitation Certificate”, “Habitation Licence” – I think I have covered all of the alternative title to LFO – the same aforementioned solicit sent us to the Town Hall to ask for an equivalent/alternative document, a: “Legalidad Urbanistica de la Vivienda”. The Departamento de Urbanismo has absolutely no idea idea what our solicitor was talking about, and assured us that no such document existed.

    My question to you is: Since our house was built in 1978, apparently preceding the implementation of an LFO, how was the construction company able to complete and sell the property in the first place? Moreover, if it really is the case that there was no alternative process to the LFO in place then to what degree, if at all, are we: 1. Exempt for the responsibility of having to obtain said LFO, or 2. to what degree can hold the lawyer who assisted with our purchase responsible for obtaining an LFO now? This question comes loaded as she (our lawyer) was aware that we intended to run our property as a B and B!

    Many thanks in advance,

    Mark.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Mark.

      As explained to others in this thread, LFOs are a 2000 thing. They did not exist back in the 70s.

      A property built in 1978 categorically did not require a LFO. It stands to reason your lawyer never requested it.

      I cannot assist you further than what I have already explained to others; you are not exempt from the law. Your town hall must supply a LFO or equivalent document for you to register before the ATR. Yes it is red tape and I have made it clear from the first paragraph of the above article, and all other related articles of mine, that I strongly disagree with many aspects of this new law.

      Your Delegacion Territorial of Turismo and/or town hall must give you alternatives; common sense must prevail as you did not create the problem, otherwise you will be unable to register as you will be stuck in a legal limbo.

      There is little more than I can add as the problem is of their own making as I have tirelessly pointed out in my articles relating to this matter including this one.

      Regards

      • Mark Blythe says:

        Dear Raymundo,
        Thank you for clarifying this. We will battle on then…
        Best wishes,
        Mark.

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          I am sorry I cannot be of more assistance Mark. But it is them that must give you a solution.

          Regards

  • Hello Raymondo
    Thanks again for all of this information; I am very impressed by your ability to reply clearly to questions about such a complicated legislation.
    Apart from the question about the legal capability to apply to the town hall (in Nerja) which I’ve put to you further up as it relates to your reply dated February 12 to Susan (shall I repeat it here?), I have some doubts about exact content of the obligation to get details about the quests and keep them as well as pass them on to the Guarda Civil.
    If we rent out to a colleague, Mrs, A for the use during a week by herself, her husband, Mr. B, their sons C, aged 16 and D, aged 17 + their daughter E, aged 3, what information do we need to include – for each of these in
    a) the contract
    b) a registration form (signed by which person? – in particular when it comes to C, D and E) , which we keep for three years
    c) a registration form (see query above) which we send to the Guarda Civil no later than 24 hours after the commencement of the rental (or the expected arrival of the guests?)
    Should we keep copies of all their five passports for 3 years?
    Can we use the same registration form? – we have form (in Spanish) for the following information (apart from that identifying the establishment):
    No of identity doc.
    Type of doc
    Date of doc
    First “apellido” (first family name?) We expect, that Danes, who have only one family name should fill it in here
    Last “apellido” (last family name?) (we’d leave this blank)
    “Nombre” (first name?)
    Sex
    Date of birth
    Nationality
    Date of entry (into Spain or date of arrival at the apartment in Nerja?)
    The formula seems to be named “Tamano A-5”

    Can we use this?
    Once more, thanks a billion for all your assistance
    Sincerely
    Jens

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hello again,

      As stated in the article itself, you are under the obligation to submit a registration form for anyone over and above the age of 16 years old. Therefore guests A through to D (E is excluded) will need to be registered.

      I do not translate official forms or documents, sorry. The form, following my article above, is standard and a sample copy may be found here:

      http://www.interior.gob.es/documents/642012/1554605/Anexo+de+la+Orden+INT_1922_2003+de+4+de+julio/b57100c9-e269-4aad-904f-7d5edba89347

      Regards

      • Thanks a lot, Raymundo
        I take it that not only do we not need to send in the details for guests under the age of 16 (that is aged 0 – 15 inc.), but we do not need to take and keep their details at all, and copies of passports as we do for the grow-ups.
        Do you know should sign the forms? Each individual guest for him-/herself? Those aged only 16 or 17 also? Or can one person – the one renting the apartment – sign for everybody?
        Also thank you for informing me elsewhere (further up in this discussion) that an owner of an individual apartment in an apartment block can apply for a cedula de habitalidad on his own instead of having to wait for the community of owners to agree on doing so.
        It is hard to describe what a relief it is to be able to put questions here and get good and quick answers to them.
        Once more, thank you!
        Best wishes
        Jens

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          Morning Jens,

          You are correct. There is no need to keep passport details for under 16 year olds. Only for over 16 year olds for a period of three years in case there is an inspection by the Security Forces (nothing related with the Tax Office).

          The registration form should be signed by the lodger (guest) himself under “Firma de viajero” on the bottom right. Yes, a 16 year old must sign in his own name and right. An adult cannot sign for him unless there is some medically certified physical or mental disability.

          Apologies, I had overlooked your query on LFO. You would need to request the LFO for the whole block I am afraid. As you are an interested party you could apply for a copy yourself or else for an equivalent document for the purposes of the ATR registration. I do not believe you can request it individually for your flat following my specialized article on Licence of First Occupation. These LFOs are granted by blocks (buildings), not individually by flats. That is only true of detached dwellings.

          You are more than welcome Jens.

          Best regards

          • Thank you so much for more enlightenment, Raymundo
            Ok, so we won’t ask for any information about anybody under 16 (apart from them being included in the total figure of guests in the contract).
            Just to be sure; what you say about a LFO – which are given since 2007 or something for new buildings – also applies to a cedula de habitalidad for apartments in old buildings from the 70’es? This must mean f.inst. that if one old apartment is unfit for living in, the whole block cannot get it’s cedula de habitalidad? Doesn’t sound reasonable, does it? And neither does it sound reasonable that we cannot get a cedula de habitalidad if we can’t make the other owners (or a majority) agree to for apply for one…..
            Sorry to be such a fusspot about details, I’m afraid it goes with the career, doesn’t it? 🙂
            Thanks again,
            Best regards
            Jens

  • Thanks for the time you are taking answering all of these questions. Could you please answer a couple for me.

    I assume that a property which is not advertised as a tourist rental and in which only friends or relations stay from time to time will not have to be registered.

    Regarding the payment of tax on rentals, the non-resident department in AEAT in Málaga state that a separate tax return on form 210 must be submitted in respect of each group (at first they said each person) renting the property and submitted collectively at the end of each quarter. If the property is rented on a weekly basis for even one whole quarter this would mean 26 tax returns in the case of a property with two joint owners.

    Another problem is that they say details of the renter must be included under the heading ‘Pagador/Retenedor/Emisor/Adquirente del inmueble’ which also requires a NIE number without which the form will not validate. Does this mean that everyone coming to Spain to stay in a private rental property will have to obtain a NIE number and register with AEAT? This is getting just too ridiculous for words.

    I believe that the true intention of the Junta de Andalucía is to totally destroy the private rental sector to what they think will be the advantage of the hotel trade which is a big mistake because people who prefer self-catering will just go to another country for their holidays.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I dare say I think you assume wrong and my article is crystal clear on that point; there are only four exceptions that do not require registering before the ATR and yours is not one. If you are taking money to rent out this property on a short-term basis you must register before the ATR. If no money is exchanged then no need to register.

      You must submit one model 210 for every joint owner, not per guest or lodger.

      If your taxation is with VAT then yes you must submit your returns on a quarterly basis.

      You would understand it clearly if you followed the link to my article Non-Resident Taxation in Spain:

      https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2015/12/08/non-resident-taxes-spain/

      Regarding your comments, I do not think they want to destroy private rental but they are certainly making it more complicated for everyone involved adding unnecessary red tape. It is not admissible that landlords need to jump through hoops to rent out their properties which, in my opinion, only benefits the hotel industry who are the ones that stand to gain from all this regulation.

      Hope that helps.

      Regards

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Morning Jens,

      There is no reply option after a number of queries have been made by the same person. So I need to reply to an old post of yours to address your new question.

      LFOs are a 2000 thing. A building completed in the 70s will categorically not have a LFO issued. As in previous posts, you must contact your town hall and request a LFO or equivalent document. Should this not be possible, you must explain your situation to your ‘Delegación Territorial de Turismo‘ so you may register before the ATR and comply with Decree 28/2016.

      As written, I will not be able to reply to your new posts once a limit is reached, it is hard coded, sorry.

      Regards

      • Hello Raymundo

        Thank you for being so patient and for finding a way to answer one more in-depth question. I think that we will probably have to hire a local lawyer to help us approach the town hall. Do you think the real point of this act is not to help the hotel industry but to create employment for lawyers? One certainly has to be very stubborn to try to rent out and be law-abiding at the same time …

        Most people in Spain to whom we’ve talked seem to say that this will go away and they will never find anybody out anyway, but being a lawyer myself I find it quite difficult to adopt this attitude, and on top of this we WANT to pay our taxes, so we can hardly hope to keep our renting out a secret.

        Anyway I feel a lot less lost thanks now to your article here and your answers to my questions + those of other people here.

        Please keep up the good work and all the best luck with your LLM.and future career – not that I think your’re going to need any luck at all 🙂

        Best regards
        Jens

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          Morning Jens,

          We all need much luck when we start off but I’d like to indulge myself thinking that hard work and sacrifice plays a more important role on making it (besides timing).

          No I do not think this law has been enacted thinking of us lawyers. As I have highlighted in others articles of mine since 2013 the hotel lobby is powerful in Spain and pushed hard to regulate a sector which was in a legal limbo. I understand to a point their views but not to the point when it hurts pricing on artificially stifling competition through stringent regulation that limits landlords rental/property rights. On doing this you will restrict supply thus driving prices upwards making the Spanish economy overall less competitive through clumsy regulation. Other countries are adopting superb fiscal measures attracting foreign investments i.e. Portugal. We should follow their lead and not burden foreign investors, that bet in Spain with theitr own hard-earned money, with extra admin hassle. Spain categorically does not need more red tape.

          The aim of this regulation, always in my humble opinion, is not to help out consumers as has been largely publicized in the media but to disincentivize private holiday rental and benefit the hotel industry as a whole. A second goal is to bring into the light undeclared lets, which are legion, and force them to pay taxes. That is why I title the heading with ‘The Taxman Cometh’ borrowing a quote from the greatest English playwrighter that ever lived.

          Spanish politicians, as all their kin, wield much power and sometimes I am unsure they realize to what extent they damage the broad economy with their flawed decision-making. But again these are just my personal views.

          Regards

  • I was careful to say ‘in which only friends or relations stay from time to time’ rather than ‘let to friends or relations’.

    In respect of the tax situation, does that mean that the information given to me by AEAT that a separate tax return must be submitted in respect of each rental and declared collectively at the end of each quarter is incorrect? The article to which you refer seems to indicate that the tax on the rental may be paid on an annual basis on one form for each owner in the same way as the imputed non-resident tax. If this is so who do you put down as the ‘Pagador’ as there are likely to be several? It cannot be left blank as the form will not validate.

    You mention VAT. Does VAT also have to be charged and paid on the rental? AEAT says that there is no facility for a non-resident to register to pay VAT.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      I get the feeling we are talking at cross purposes Andrew.

      Guests do not have to complete tax forms. That will be the landlord as explained in my quoted above article.

      VAT, as explained elsewhere in this thread, is payable by the landlord if he offers ancillary paid for services such as daily changing of linen, breakfast, extra storage etc akin to what hotels offer. If no additional payable services are offered, then no VAT is payable.

      If you ‘lend’ your apartment to friends, as in no money is exchanged, you are not bound by the requirements of the above article as described in point one of the exemptions listed by the Decree.

      Guests or lodgers most certainly do not need to apply for a NIE number; that is only required by non-resident taxpayers i.e. landlord on renting out a property.

      Regards

  • Obviously guests do not have to complete tax returns, I don’t think I indicated that I thought they did.

    AEAT states that the name of the guest must be entered on the form 210 under the heading ‘Pagador/Retenedor/Emisor/Adquirente del inmueble’. If this is so the form cannot be validated or a PDF generated unless a name and NIE number is entered under this heading. That’s why I ask if a guest needs to obtain a NIE number and register with AEAT in order to rent a property.

    AEAT also states that these returns should be submitted collectively at the end of each quarter but in your article on non-resident taxes it states that one overall return can be submitted quarterly OR ANNUALLY in respect of all of the rentals for that period. The problem of entering the details of the guest still applies as there is only a facility to enter one name and NIE number.

    As far as friends or family using the property is concerned there is a paragraph in your article which states

    ‘The property will be regarded to be rented out touristically when the landlord advertises it using specialized media.’

    implying that if it is not advertised using specialised media it is not regarded as being rented out touristically.

    At the conference in Málaga on 23rd February it was stated by Junta de Andalucía officials that if a property was advertised on the internet it would be considered to be tourist rental accommodation and that if it was not registered it would constitute an absolute offence and there would be no necessity to prove that any actual rental took place. It was further stated that they would not be ‘knocking on doors’ in order to detect offenders.

    There still seems to be many anomalies in the advice given by the Junta, AEAT and various third party advisory services which need to be ironed out

  • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

    I see. Lodgers categorically do not need to apply for a NIE number as it would be an admin nightmare; it would be ludicrous. The only NIE number required is that of the landlord, as taxpayer, as I have stated above repeatedly.

    My article on non-resident taxation indicates, that on renting, you can submit tax model 210 quarterly or annually depending on the case.

    The quote you make of my article is straight out of the Decree; that’s exactly what the Decree says. If a landlord uses specialized media to advertise it will be taken for granted they are renting on a short-time basis. This however cannot be construed as only those who advertise in specialized media need to register before the ATR, those who do not are exempt; that is a wrong interpretation of my article and of the Decree. I understand it is a bit of a grey area but that’s the wording of the law. This is complemented by the four exceptions that do NOT need to register before the ATR. In my first reply to you, following what you wrote is your case, I advised you were not exempt from compliance as you were charging your acquaintances for the (short-term) rental.

    Dozens of people have already queried in this very thread if they need to register and comply with the Decree despite not advertising in specialized media. My reply to all has been the same; you need to register and comply.

    The Junta itself has declared that on registering before the ATR this will trigger an inspection at some point in the future to verify compliance.

    Andrew, the law has just been approved, the registry is not operative until May. It is understandable there will be teething problems (inconsistencies) across the board that need to be ironed out as you write.

    P.S. is there a reason you do not use my first name in your five posts across two articles when you address me? You seem to be the only person doing that.

  • Exactly, it would be ludicrous but the fact remains that it is impossible to submit a form 210 for actual (as opposed to imputed) non-resident tax that does not show the name and NIE number of the ‘pagador’.

    Regarding the use of the property by friends and family I think it would be pretty much impossible to prove tourist use of a property that was not advertised for rental even if any kind of private transaction did take place between the renter and the owner!

    There is no particular reason that I do not use your name in my posts other than the fact that it is something I have never done in any forum where the identity of the person I am addressing is not in doubt. Come to that, it is not something I usually do in face to face conversation with one person either and, with apologies to the contributors who have used it above, I am particular averse to the use of the salutation ‘Hi’.

    On the other hand maybe I am just subconsciously apprehensive of being taken to task if I inadvertently spell your name incorrectly!

  • Hi Raymundo.
    I have been reading through all your great work again and think I understand everything. Can you please let me know if I got any of the following wrong:
    I own a Spanish property from 1980 that has no LFO and I can’t really find a lot of the paperwork from back then. It sleeps 20 people and I want to rent it out. I have checked the town hall and they have the same drawings/plans like the villa was built.
    1) I need to hire a technical architect to come and inspect the villa. He will be able to let me know if I am missing anything like disability access in order to obtain a cédula de habitabilidad. Once I have got everything needed he will draft a Certificado técnico de habitabilidad that I take to the town hall and they will issue me with a cédula de habitabilidad within a few months that I need to obtain a renting license (ATR). At this point it does not matter what paperwork I have from 1980s purchase because the architect has signed off on that the villa has all the requirements needed.
    2) I register for the ATR and obtain the license and use the number given in all advertising. Since I have registered this will trigger an inspector to come to the villa to inspect that it meets all requirements and if it does not there might be a fine.
    3) I cannot advertise the property for more than 15 people so I will have to put max 15 people on all advertising. 20 people is just not allowed in any case in any villa and if I put that I might get a fine. There is no way around this.
    3) The villa has to have all things you detailed including a complaints book and I need to get the passport copy of everyone above 16 and get them to sign the registration form and send it to the police.
    4) I get an accountant to file yearly with the Spanish tax authorities and pay the tax. If the owner of the villa is an off shore company I can still deduct all employees wages, utility bills etc after Jan 17 and pay tax on the net profit because Isle of Man has come off the blacklist then.
    5) If I rent the property out before 12th May and remove my advertising from the web before then there is no way I can get a fine as the ATR registration was not open. I am therefore assuming they are not checking villas at the moment to try and catch people out before they open the registration in May.
    6) If I follow 1-4 above there is nothing further required of me.
    7) On a separate note the town hall said I have not been paying my IBI that I have been on direct debit. I supplied them with the bank statements and they then said they have recalculated the castral value of the house going back to 2011 and I owe them the difference. Why would they not have taking the true amount in the direct debit every year then? Can they really come now and claim thousands of Euros dating back to 2011? I think I need to dispute this but how?

    Many thanks for your help. I really appreciate your time.
    Thanks
    Michael

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Good morning Michael,

      Addressing your multiple quries:

      1) I need to hire a technical architect to come and inspect the villa. He will be able to let me know if I am missing anything like disability access in order to obtain a cédula de habitabilidad. Once I have got everything needed he will draft a Certificado técnico de habitabilidad that I take to the town hall and they will issue me with a cédula de habitabilidad within a few months that I need to obtain a renting license (ATR). At this point it does not matter what paperwork I have from 1980s purchase because the architect has signed off on that the villa has all the requirements needed.

      There is frankly not much more than I can add to your words. The paperwork will logically all be from the 80s, when you purchased.

      2) I register for the ATR and obtain the license and use the number given in all advertising. Since I have registered this will trigger an inspector to come to the villa to inspect that it meets all requirements and if it does not there might be a fine.

      I am afraid so. The Junta has already made it clear repeatedly that on registering before the ATR this will trigger an inspection at some point. There are conflicting reports on whether this will take a couple of weeks or else months. But it seems like a certainty the inspection will take place.

      3) I cannot advertise the property for more than 15 people so I will have to put max 15 people on all advertising. 20 people is just not allowed in any case in any villa and if I put that I might get a fine. There is no way around this.

      That is what the law says. Maybe at some point they become more lenient. But right now that is the limitation imposed by this Decree, yes.

      3) The villa has to have all things you detailed including a complaints book and I need to get the passport copy of everyone above 16 and get them to sign the registration form and send it to the police.

      Over and above 16. For the avoidance of doubt that also includes 16 year old passports. All yourlodgers will have to sign persinally the registration form (inclusing those over and above 16). This is a standard form and in my article I posta link to the model that must be used. You need to send it to the Guardia Civil. But before doing so you must contact them and register in their system so they add you to it. This is in compliance with a national security regulation from 2003 that binds all hotels and lodgements in general in Spain.

      4) I get an accountant to file yearly with the Spanish tax authorities and pay the tax. If the owner of the villa is an off shore company I can still deduct all employees wages, utility bills etc after Jan 17 and pay tax on the net profit because Isle of Man has come off the blacklist then.

      You would need to verify this point. All the allowances I mention in my taxation articles apply as a physical person not as a legal person which is ruled by a different tax law. In my articles I do not examine the allowances to which legal personas are entitled to.

      5) If I rent the property out before 12th May and remove my advertising from the web before then there is no way I can get a fine as the ATR registration was not open. I am therefore assuming they are not checking villas at the moment to try and catch people out before they open the registration in May.

      Correct, they are not and cannot before May.

      6) If I follow 1-4 above there is nothing further required of me.

      Just to conply with what I hace laid above in my article, i.e. first aid kit, A/C, tourist brochures etc

      7) On a separate note the town hall said I have not been paying my IBI that I have been on direct debit. I supplied them with the bank statements and they then said they have recalculated the castral value of the house going back to 2011 and I owe them the difference. Why would they not have taking the true amount in the direct debit every year then? Can they really come now and claim thousands of Euros dating back to 2011? I think I need to dispute this but how?

      This is normal. I advise all myc clients to set as a dircet debit IBI tax. However if a dispute arises (i.e. not enough money was in the account when it was billed) then the direct debit is automatically cancelled. The Tax Office has a statutory limitation of 4 years to claim back taxes. After that they become time-barred. Are you sure you paid your IBI tax over the last four years? They are the ones that must calculate the updated cadastral value and tax you accordingly. Seems rather odd to me.

      You are welcome Michael.

      Regards

  • Many thanks for your reply. On the last point yes I am sure. I spoke to the town hall and they said they doubled the castral value back in 2011 but it was not correctly debited from my direct debit until 2015 which is right and I can see my yearly payment doubling in 2015. They now want the difference for 2011,2012,2013,2014. In years 2015 and 2016 they have debited the correct amount. Am I right in firstly assuming they can only go back 4 years so that’s 2012 onwards and secondly can they really ask for this money now when it was their mistake? Can I write and appeal? Thanks

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Not yourself, no. You need to hire a lawyer to appeal it. This is not something taxpayers can do on their own (successfully that is).

      As explained, the statutory limitation is four years. They cannot go further back than this.

      Regards

  • Got it. Lastly if you know of a good technical architect in the Mijas Costa area can you please let me know because I need to find one. Thanks

  • Good morning Raymundo,
    Once again thanks for all your posts; you really a source of reliable information for us “guiris” – I guess lots of people are looking forward to seeing your offices here on the Costas (why just have one?)…One of your USP’s is your perfect command of English. Most lawyers here can speak English but that’s it – anything else is lost in translation!! especially written stuff :(.

    I’ve a question,
    I’m going to apply for my ATR number soon but have a so called iilegal flat in Marbella. How on earth will they know that it’s illegal (ie no LFO)?; If i look at my “nota simple” it doesn’t make any mention of it?? …. I don’t think they ask for a copy of the 1st occupation licence? –

    What do you think?……

    Thanks a lot, rojoybago

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Rojoybago,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      The Planning department will know. Not all problems are reflected in a nota simple.

      If you cannot attain a LFO you will not be able to register before the ATR. It is one of the Decree’s requirements; in fact, it ranks in first place..

      Regards

  • Dear Raymundo, Thanks a lot for all the answers in this urgent topic!

    Above, you have written:

    “Landlords that own three or more properties, personally or through corporate structures, each located within a radius of 1 km from the reception office in the same unit (i.e. building, urbanization, condominium) will be excluded from this new decree (this is very bad news). They will be subject to the much harsher Decree 194/2010 (Apartamentos Turísticos) which basically equates these properties to a hotel. This has very serious restrictions on use i.e. landlords cannot use the property themselves for more than two months a year, they must cede the management of the units to a professional company for a minimum period of ten years etc.”

    In my case, I own myself two properties, even if they both are on the very same title deeds. It is two separate apartements!
    I do all the lettings by myself and I manage the rental also for one more property in the very same urbanisation. This last property in not owned by mee, it is owend by friends!

    So I interprets the law text, so it is just if you OWN the properties!
    Which means that I will not go under the Decree 194/2010 (Apartamentos Turísticos)!

    But I am not 100% sure?
    Best Regards
    Ulf

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Ulf,

      It is unclear. It can be argued both ways. It is not just the ownership, it is the unity of management. The law says that if three or more units are managed by the same it is excluded from the above decree and ruled by Decree 194/2010. So no, it is not just the ownership.

      In any case I advise you to stick with the above decree which is more favourable to you.

      Regards

    • Hi Raymundo,

      Came across your blog on this new law in Andalucía iro new regulation of the holiday rental market. Firstly thanks a lot for your interaction on this. Very helpful and worthwhile !

      I refer specifically to your chat with Jane Coles above iro the form to be completed to Guardia Civil and/or Policia Nacional. Got the form now thanks. Next challenge, how does one get this via email/ internet to one or other of the above ?

      After trying to use my Spanish digital signature to register online, I mailed Administrador de Hospederías at admin-hospederias@guardiacivil.es and got the reply below. If I try and do this on the police web site there is not even an option to register there just a user login page.

      any ideas ?
      thanks from Jon McKenna ( resident Johannesburg, South Africa but owner of property in La Quinta since 2008)

      Buenos días
      Este servicio no está incluido en la Sede Electrónica no siendo posible su registro telemático en Guardia Civil.
      No obstante la dirección https://webpol.policia.es/e-hotel/usuario/redirect.action es de Policía Nacional, y ellos tiene sus propios recursos.
      Si su establecimiento está en demarcación de P.Nacional contacte con ellos.
      Atentamente

      • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

        Hi John,

        I believe can’t register online, you must go physically to one of their HQs and sort it out the first time.

        You can choose from either the Guardia Civil or Police as per my article. Once you are registered with them you can send them this info (the Registration form) by email.

        The reply you got is telling you to contact the Police and register with them so you can forward them the Registration forms.

        You are welcome.

        Regards

  • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

    Afternoon Peter Gillam,

    That is not for me to say. Only an architect (or technical architect) can advise on whether your property is compliant or not with current dissability access regulations at both national and regional level.

    Regards

  • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

    Morning Ossie Correa,

    The ATRs registration form is a seven page document as I mention above, yes.

    Regards

  • Morning Raymundo,

    I have a question regarding the disability access requirement. We are just about to get air-conditioning installed in order to comply with the new decree but am now questioning whether we will ever be compliant.
    Our house was built before the LFO so understand from what I’ve read here (amazing the amount of time you have put in to answering all our questions) that we will need to obtain a cédula de habitabilidad from our town hall. Our house is up a small flight of steps and is spread (like most houses) over two floors, there is no way we could be classed as accessible. So does this mean we will never be issued with the all important cédula de habitabilidad??
    In which case we will give up on the expensive purchase of air-conditioning which we personally are not bothered about.
    Many thanks.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Afternoon Jazzy,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      That is not really for me to say. It would be a technical architect who can confirm on whether you qualify or not for what is known as a cedula de ocupacion (LFO) which includsz the study of disability access compliance.

      If you are in the region of Malaga I can provide you with contact details of a company that can request this document and advise you on the disability access.

      Regards

      • Thank you Raymundo
        We live in Benahavis, so If you could pass on the details of the company who could advise me on disability access compliance that would be very useful and kind.

  • Hello Raymundo and thank you for your enormous effort for those foreigners who are lucky enough to own a small piece of Spain and unlucky enough to get trapped by this new legislation.
    If I’ve understood you correctly, there are only two ways of getting the license to rent out one’s apartment. One is to do it on the internet, and for that you need a Spanish digital signature. The other option – for me the only one, as I do not have that signature – is to turn up in person at the local junta, in my case in Malaga. I have tried to call them several times to ask if this is possible before the 12th of May, and they promise to put me on to somebody who speaks English – and then the connection is lost. Do you know the answer? I am only in Spain for a few days, so this is rather urgent. One other thing: We actually have proof that a cedula was applied for for the building in 1974; is this sufficient? And lastly, our building is accessible for handicappede, but they would find it difficult to make use of the bathroom. Is this a problem in relation to obtaining the license and retning out?
    Thank you very much for considering my questions.
    Best wishes
    Kirsten

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Afternoon Kirsten,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I am afraid it is not possible to register before the 11th of May 2016 as I highlight in my article above. As from that date onwards you won’t have a problem with registration.

      Licence of First Occupation did not exist back in the 70s, sorry. If your building is from that decade you must attain a cedula de ocupacion (another name for what is basically a LFO) from your town hall’s planning department. You will need a technical architect to achieve this. Among other issues he will verify your property is compliant with current disability access laws.

      I don’t think they can turn down your rental application because of your bathroom.

      Hope that clarifies Kirsten. You are welcome.

      Regards

  • Good evening Raymundo,

    I’ve been following this thread with great interest and have found your information clear and interesting. I’m feeling frustrated at not being able to register before May12th and am trying to get ahead with other matters. Just two questions: can I register with the police before submitting my Declaración Responsable? And where does one acquire Hojas de Reclamaciones? Can I do that before registering?
    With thanks in advance,

    Mary

      • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

        Good lord, my name autodeleting iteself; that’s a first-timer. I tell you my name has a life of its own!

        Thank you for your kind words 2rista.

        Addressing your queries:

        1. Yes, you must wait until the 11th of May to register before the ATR.
        2. You may start now contacting the National Police to register with them. No need to wait till May.
        3. A complaints book can be acquired online, for example, from here:

        http://www.hojasdereclamaciones.com/

        Hope that helps 2rista. You are welcome.

        Regards

  • Good morning Raymundo and what I have seen so far you are doing an excellent job in de-mystifying the new rental legislation.
    I have just joined your group and would like your answer to the following.
    I have a few rentals for this summer arranged through an agency in Spain and obviously booked before the deadline. I don’t plan to register after 11th May as I no longer wish to take anymore holiday lets. Can I honour these rentals as they were arranged before 11th May or should I tell the Agency to cancel the bookings and to re-let elsewhere?
    You have probably answered this in previous posts but as I am a new member to your group I would appreciate if you could clear this up for me?
    Regards,
    Brian

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Figaro,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      You can still honour them, yes.

      The law expressly says that prior commitments/bookings will be respected.

      Regards

  • Hi Raymudo, Thank you for this useful information. I read in El Mundo that “De esta manera quedan fuera de la regulación específica para usos turísticos, los alquileres de apartamentos en la playa, que seguirán sujetos a la Ley de Arrendamiento Urbano como hasta la fecha debido a que la inmensa mayoría de estas viviendas no están disponibles para su alquiler durante todo el año.” I assumed therefore that I wouldn’t have to register my house on the coast where I live some months of the year but rent out during the summer. What is the situation in this case? Sarah,

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Morning Sarah,

      I don´t really understand your question. The vast majority of private holiday rentals will be located on the coast, close to the beach. It would seem you are implying they are exempt from the above regulation? I am probably misunderstanding you.

      The only four exceptions to this regulation are clearly laid out in my article above: rural propeties (subject to their own decree), rentals that exceed two months with the same tenant (subject to the LAU or Spain’s Tenancy Act), apartamentos turisticos (subject likewise to their own decree) and properties lent to friends or family without exchange of money (doesn’t need any regulation).

      If your property is not one of the above four types, you must register if you plan to rent out on a short-term basis following a bookings/reservation system.

      The article you are referring to was published before this law was passed. I analyse the law, the facts. I cannot comment on newspaper articles, sorry.

      The article probably refers to the ‘alquileres o arrendamientos de temporada’ which are regulated by the LAU. I suggest you read my article on the matter:

      https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/05/13/urban-rental-law-spain-tenancy-agreements-ley-de-arrendamientos-urbanos-lau/

      I trust that clarifies the matter.

      You are welcome Sarah.

      Regards

      • Hello Raymundo

        Regarding the question of exeptions to the regulation, I’d like to refer to what I posted (on May 18) further up in reply to your reply to me of April 20, but which you probably haven’t seen:

        “Hello, Raymundo

        Thank you for all the great information on this site.

        I am now in the position to repay your kindness to some small extent – or maybe to sow further confusion into the minds of the readers.

        In a meeting yesterdauy in Nerja where some “delegate” from the andalucian “junta” participated, a participant who has reported to me gor the following impression:

        1) The law only applies only to those who rent out through agents or on internet-pages where bookings can be made.

        2) In Nerja -as it is supposed to be the case already in Malaga – the municipality will supply apartments and houses with sufficient documentation on the basis of a declaration from a specialist made on a specific formula that the municipality will set up

        3) Old cedulas de habitabilidad for whole apartment-blocks will not be accepted, because the documentation needs to relate to the individual apartment.

        Do you have any comments? I am particularly surprised by the bit about the scope of the law.. Also I thought that an LFO would be issued for the whole apartment block as well.”

        As far as the question of apartments not being rented out on the internet etc. is concerned, I’d like to add that I’ve had the report of what was said at the meeting from a realestate agent who is perfectly aware that I’ve come to read the legislation differently, so I’m sure that he listened carefully.

        Best regards
        J

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          Hi J,

          Apologies for my belated reply.

          You are right, I hadn’t seen your previous post. I tend to get a bit lost when my threads reach hundreds of queries like this one.

          Regarding your first query, let me just say I refuse to comment on hearsay. In my articles I analyse the law, the facts.

          The Decree has admittedly a few grey areas which are open to interpretation. I say so as much in my article. Only time will tell exactly how these unfold and how they must be construed.

          My understanding of the Decree is that if you rent out to tourists on a short-term basis you must comply with this Decree. The law states that if you use a website to do bookings this will be presumed or taken for granted.

          The law establishes clearly only four exceptions to its application which I have highlighted a number of times already including the query right before yours.

          I honestly think you are chancing it if you rent out to tourists and only because you are not using a website you may think you are off the hook and there is no need for you to comply with its terms. The Decree clearly says that if you do not charge money you do not need to comply. So it can be surmised that if you effectively charge for a short-term rental you must comply with its terms. Also take note the Decree expressly rules that rentals with the same tennat exceeding two months fall out of its scope (and fall under the remit of the LAU). You can read a detailed article of mine on the matter here:

          https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/05/13/urban-rental-law-spain-tenancy-agreements-ley-de-arrendamientos-urbanos-lau/

          As for Nerja, I cannot comment. Each town hall will see what it does fit to comply with their part.

          As for LFO, I get where they are coming from. In blocks or community of owners the town halls gave LFOs for whole blocks, not individually. It is logical the Administration requires and individualised LFO from landlords. More paperwork and red tape, granted, but on the bright side it adds more legal security.

          Hope that helps.

          Regards

  • Hi Raymundo

    Excellent article! I’m sorry if I’ve missed this, (I’ve read through the article and the comments).

    Please can you confirm: I rent long term, a city apartment (from a landlord) – it has a large spare room that I want to rent out to tourists using air b and b etc. Does this new law apply to me as living in the apartment and letting out just ONE room?

    with thanks in advance, regards Spencer

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Spencer,

      Yes, it applies to you.

      The relation you and your own landlord have is obviously excluded as you are a long term tenant and fall under the remit of the LAU.

      However, on renting out a single room on a short-term basis using a website to allow bookings, you become a landlord. And consequently fall under the scope of this new Decree.

      This new law expressly contemplates the possibility of renting out single rooms.

      Hope that clarifies Spencer.

      Regards

  • Thank you Raymundo for yet another reply that makes sense. I am very impressed by your efforts here.
    We are going to comply with the regulation, now that the town hall is giving us the opportunity to do so. Your interpretation seems reasonable to me as a lawyer, and regardless of the interpretation, it will mean that we will have the option of renting out on the net or through an agent if we decide to in the future.
    I just know that some people will think that we are crazy to go to that expense and bother if it is not absolutely certain that we need to.register.
    The bright side of this is that the town halls seem to be able to find solutions to the problems arising out of the regulation, solutions that the junta accepts, and that the owners sholuld be able to live with. That was why I mentioned the Nerja approach here.
    Have a nice day.
    Best regards
    Jens

  • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

    You are welcome Jens.

    Also let me just add that a house that already has a rental licence is of a higher value than one that is not as it stands to logic.

    There is no telling what the future may bring. As it turns out in Barcelona and Balears for example they have become very restrictive issuing new rental licences. In fact, in Barcelona there is a moratorium on all new licences which has greatly appreciated existing licences even fueling speculation as they are sought after.

    Regards

  • Very good article Raymundo – Thank You.
    It seems the hoteliers have some very good friends within the Junta as, not only are the requirements a bureaucratic & costly nightmare, but they effectively require, cheap, simple holiday accommodation to have similar standards to a 4/5 star hotel.

    So, how does this scenario work?
    We have a small, 2 bedroom linked villa that, if we are lucky, is rented out for maybe 7-8 weeks a year. The standard of accommodation is clearly stated on our website & those who rent it know it has ceiling fans, but no aircon. We have, since becoming residents, submitted our rental income to the hacienda, along with other earnings, interest, etc, but as a result of the amount we spend each year on our property, we pay no tax. As such, there is no financial gain, so surely we should be exempt from registering, etc on that count alone?

    Alternatively, & this is something I’ve suggested to our Financial ‘Guru’, we also make homemade jams, marmalade’s, relish, etc, which we sell at craft fairs. Maybe we advertise our property as free accommodation whenever a jar or two of our ‘Special Edition’ Jam or Pickle is purchased at a suitably inflated price? So, no rent, so no financial gain, surely? Funnily enough, Financial ‘Guru’; she says go for it & can see no reason why not…………. but I’d be interested in further comment on this one!

    Once again, Great article & would be interested in your feedback.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Whilst I am no financial guru, much less a law guru, my advice to you is that you must register.

      Making a profit or a loss is not contemplated in this Decree and it is certainly not a factor that is taken into account on registering. That is something that must be sorted out between yourself and the Tax Office. I already criticized the futility in demanding from small-time landlords the same hotel requirements as that of pricey lodgings. I think the client profile that seek rental ads in AirBnb is clearly not the same as those who book three or four star hotels. But to each his own.

      The Junta seeks that landlords such as yourself offer potential lodgers ‘blue ribbon’ standards and for that you must register before the ATR and comply with its terms.

      Refusing to register is of course your prerrogative, but then, as highlighted in the article itself, you may face the prospect of a humongous fine as a result (up to €18,000).

      Hope that helps Paul.

      Regards

      • Hi Raymundo,

        Thank you for your very prompt response.

        I would, however, just like to pursue the suggestion that I offer our property free of charge. No rental at all, as a thank you to people who purchase another service, or product from me, such as a suitably priced limited edition item perhaps?. Is this a viable suggestion, or does this law expressly prevent this scenario?

        Apologies for labouring this, but we already lose money renting our property out & to be honest, I can lose money just by staying in bed! To conform with this outrageous ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ law would bankrupt us. We are in Almeria Province &, as such, most of our renters are Spanish citizens who want the cheapest deal they cab get & are happy to have ceiling fans rather than aircon. I genuinely see us having to try to sell the property if that is possible in today’s climate.

        Cheers,
        PaulB

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          If you offer it free of chage you are exempt from this Decree.

          Regards

  • Hi Raymundo

    I recently asked you:

    “Please can you confirm: I rent long term, a city apartment (from a landlord) – it has a large spare room that I want to rent out to tourists using air b and b etc. Does this new law apply to me as living in the apartment and letting out just ONE room?”

    You kindly replied:

    “Yes, it applies to you.

    The relation you and your own landlord have is obviously excluded as you are a long term tenant and fall under the remit of the LAU.

    However, on renting out a single room on a short-term basis using a website to allow bookings, you become a landlord. And consequently fall under the scope of this new Decree.

    This new law expressly contemplates the possibility of renting out single rooms.”

    However, today I have been speaking to a friend who has visited his local CONSEJERÍA DE TURISMO, and they have told him – “as a tenant you cannot rent per room. Only the full property.” He has told me that to be a landlord one has to own the property.

    This is contrary to what I and you have been led to believe.

    If this is correct, then as a renting tenant, I can only rent out the whole apartment, and would not be allowed to live there whilst I do so.

    Is there a way for us to clear up this confusion.

    With thanks in advance

    kind regards, Spencer

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Spencer,

      As written, a tenant can sublet rooms unless his landlord forbids it in the Tenancy agreement. I have a whole article written on the law that allows it (LAU):

      https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/05/13/urban-rental-law-spain-tenancy-agreements-ley-de-arrendamientos-urbanos-lau/

      There is no confusion.

      If you are referring to the Decree above I expressly write in my article the following:

      “Rental Types

      Properties can be let as a whole or else by rooms (like in a Guest House).

      If it’s the whole property that is being rented out, no more than 15 lodgers will be allowed simultaneously at any time (think of a large villa).

      If the property is being rented out by rooms, it is mandatory the landlord lives in the property himself. No more than 6 vacancies can be offered and each individual room cannot exceed four lodgers.”

      If a landlord does not live in the property himself, single rooms cannot be rented out. This wording comes straight out of the Decree. So evidently single rooms can be rented out short-term using AirBnb or whatever providing the landlord lives in the property.

      Regards

  • Hi Raymundo

    Thanks for your reply. The part I am confused with is this:

    As I said I am in a rented apartment with a spare room, that I want to rent out. My landlord lives at a different address/building. So when you say: “single rooms can be rented out short-term using AirBnb or whatever providing the landlord lives in the property.”

    – does ‘Landlord’ implicitly mean my Landlord or can it also mean me, as the person who will issue the invoice to the airbnb guest?

    If it does implicitly mean MY landlord then obviously the decree says that I cannot rent my spare room, as he does not live in my apartment with me. I trust you can now see my confusion.

    With thanks in advance

    Kind regards, Spencer

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Spencer,

      Sublets are legally admitted; however the Decree specifies that it must be the property owner (that is your landlord presumably) that must dwell in the property in order to rent out single rooms.

      In your case, you are barred from renting out a spare room as although your are a landlord (on subletting) you are not the property owner as this Decree requires, sorry.

      “Artículo 5. Tipos.

      1. Las viviendas con fines turísticos podrán ser:

      a) Completas, cuando la vivienda se cede en su totalidad.

      b) Por habitaciones, debiendo la persona propietaria residir en ella. En estos casos, podrán utilizar las denominaciones internacionalmente reconocidas para este tipo de alojamiento.”

      I hope that clarifies.

      Regards

  • Hi Raymundo

    Thanks for the reply and the clarification, that basically puts an end to my plans and lot of other people’s too!

    I really feel for people that make ends meet by renting one room. Yet again the people’s liberty and opportunities are being squeezed. When will the ‘powers at be’ recognise that giving power to the people gives power to the country.

    best, Spencer

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      You are welcome Spencer.

      My stance has always been clear regarding these holidays rental laws; I am against this type of regulation as it restricts and stifles competition artificially raising prices in benefit of a few creating an oligopoly. Which I find unacceptable in a free market economy.

      Your case is a perfect example. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      Regards

  • Hello Raymundo,
    Thank you for all the advice you have posted. It is appreciated.
    We purchased an off plan property directly from a builder in 2003 in the rural area above Frigiliana. We naively used the same solicitor as the builder. The builder did not finish the property and we paid another builder to complete, our solicitor advising us to hold back the last payment to cover this cost, which we have. Our villa was to be part of an urbanization but the builder has left one villa adjacent to us partly built and any others not started.
    As things stand, we have no catastral number and have to rely on the builder to charge us for utilities which is unsatisfactory. Our solicitors tried to get all the required documents in our own names but the local authority in Frigiliana continually refused mainly, we believe, because the urbanization was not completed. Our solicitors declared they could do no more 2 years ago.
    As things stand, our savings are tied up in the house and we believe the villa is ours but we cannot sell it. Equally we cannot let it because we cannot get any of the necessary documents required for rural letting We had originally intended to live at the house but the whole experience left us disillusioned and we are based in the UK.
    Can you suggest anything at all that may be of assistance?

    Best regards
    Paul

    • Hello Raymundo,

      Thank you for all your excellent information.
      I did write to you 17 June but do not seem to be able to locate a response. I would like to take the matter up further and wonder can I contact you directly to discuss it.
      Kind regards
      Mi Casa

      • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

        Morning Paul,

        Thank you for your kind words.

        Your query is unrelated to the article at hand. Normally it would go unanswered because I want to avoid people hijacking threads to ask unrelated queries as it creates much too confusion.

        Your legal situation is very sticky and I see no easy way out.

        Your best bet would be to go down the path of an AFO. More on this in the following article:

        https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/02/29/regularisation-of-illegal-property-by-the-andalusian-regional-government/

        Additionally you could group with other individual houses to attain a LFO. This has worked in the past. More on LFO:

        https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/licence-of-first-occupation-explained/

        The lawyers you used, were they the ones recommended to you by the developers?

        Hope that helps.

        Regards

        • Good morning Raymundo,

          Thank you for your response. I am looking through the articles you have kindly highlighted.

          Yes, the lawyers were those recommended by the developers.

          Best regards

          Paul

          • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

            You are welcome Paul.

            Lawyers acting on behalf of a developer will normally serve his interests only. After all, it is him who pays them.

            In general, It is highly unadvisable to retain the same lawyers used by a developer as at times buyer’s and seller’s (developer) interests are at odds. Legal independence is key to safeguard a buyer’s interests. Lawyers acting for both sides will frequently have a conflict of interests.

            I hope the articles help you out on your matter.

            Regards

  • Hi Raymundo,

    I have followed your very informative article with great interest since and thank you for your clear descriptions and answers.
    I would now like to pose a question if I may.

    We have a rural property which we would like to rent to holiday makers, it has been confirmed that we are rural but it seems that a stumbling block in obtaining a rural licence might be that we are horizontally divided.

    Would this stop us from getting a rural rental licence.

    Thank you in anticipation of your response.

    Kind regards

    Stephen

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      As written in my article, rural property is expressly excluded from the scope of this Decree.

      I have written a specific article on renting out rural property (in Andalusia):

      https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/04/08/decree-202002-andalusias-holiday-rural-rental-decree/

      The above article classifies different types of rural lettings. I don’t know which type yours belongs to, sorry.

      Also I am not aware of the term ‘rural rental licence’. Can you cast some light on it, please? The short-term rental licence I describe in the article above that kicks off this thread refers only to urban (residential) property; not to rural land such as yours.

      When you speak of horizontal division are you referring to the Spanish term ‘division horizontal’. You cannot rent out (legally) any property which lacks a horizontal division if it is indeed required (as not all property requires it), rural or not.

      Hope that clarifies.

      Regards

  • Thank you Raymundo,

    We are a Casa Rural with ‘ Parcela construida sin division horizontal’ noted on the land registry which I guess excludes us from renting.

  • Hi Raymundo,

    Hope you are well.

    We previously communicated on this blog about the new rental law. Thanks for this because I our apartment is now registered with Junta Andalucia !!

    I was not sure whether you have created a “Brexit” blog so apologise in advance if I my post below is in the wring place.

    I am a dual British / South African citizen, currently resident in Johannesburg, S. Africa. I have owned our apartment in La Quinta, Costa del Sol for eight years now. I have a Spanish NIE number, pay AEAT Impuesto, IBI etc etc… I do not yet have a tarjeta de residencia as I have never thought this to be necessary, as I rent out our apartment (as you already know) ie only spend about one month year in Spain,

    I have heard from other sources that the Spanish government is going to implement changes with regard to residency for UK citizens now that UK has voted to leave the EU. ie before the UK actually leaves the EU.

    so my questions are :

    1. Have these changes been implemented yet ? If so what is going to change while Britain is still in the EU for at least another 2 years.

    2. Do you think it would be in my best interests to take out full Spanish residency to protect my interests in Spain ( post Brexit) ?

    3. Do you think that it may be better ( from now on) to use my South African citizenship in my dealings with the Spanish authorities, bearing in mind the complexities that are now bound to arise in negotiations between Britain and Spain ?

    is life not complicated enough !!

    saludos
    Jon McKenna

    Reply

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Morning Jon,

      I’m glad you could register your holiday rental in Andalusia.

      Regarding your queries:

      1. It is too early yet for these changes. They will not take place until a couple of years.
      2. Taking up Spanish residency will be an advantage, yes. Many of these tax allowances which are now available to non-residents will be scrapped.
      3. I do not see the advantage in using a South African nationality.

      Regards

  • Hi

    Can you confirm which rooms require external ventilation? Does this apply to bathrooms and kitchen? if so how does this work for apartments town houses, where often there are no bathroom or kitchen Windows?

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Afternoon Sharon

      Article 6b specifies that all rooms which purpose is to be used as accomodation require external ventilation. It doesn’t specify toilets or kitchens.

      The exception are buildings catalogued as of historic interest.

      Regards

      b) Las habitaciones tendrán ventilación directa al exterior o a patios y algún sistema de oscurecimiento de las ventanas. Este requisito no será exigible cuando la vivienda o el edificio en el que se integra esté catalogado como Bien de Interés Cultural y el nivel de protección impida realizar algún tipo de obra, modificación o intervención que sea necesaria para cumplir con el requisito.

  • Hi Raymundo
    I took my application to the Junta in Malaga in July and was told that I could begin renting my property. I have not yet received a registration number …should I have been sent one by now?
    Anyway my main question concerns Air Con as my house is in the beautiful whitewashed village of Frigiliana and I am reluctant to install AC units. I understand that if I had a put on my application that it was a ‘Casa Rurale’ (instead of Casa vacacional’) I would not have to meet the requirement to install AC. Would I be able to amend my application?
    Your information has been very helpful by the way.

    Many thanks

    John

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Hi John,

      Thank youf or your kind words.

      Regarding your first query, the registration numbers are taking long to be handed over. August was a holiday month for most people in Spain. The Junta has received thousands of applications for this new law since May. So they are probably snowed under work with a huge backlog.

      Regarding your second query, casas rurales do not need AC units, correct.

      However it is not a matter of choice, as the option on registering for one or the other hinges on the land classification of your property. If your property is classified as urban, you must meet the above mentioned requirements of Decree 28/2016. If your property on the other hand is classified as rural, you must comply with the terms laid out by this other article of mine, Decree 20/2002:

      https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/04/08/decree-202002-andalusias-holiday-rural-rental-decree/

      You cannot ‘jump ship’ at your choice.

      I hope that answers your query.

      Regards

  • Hi Raymundo,

    I know it has been a while since the last post on this thread so hope you are still there! Your advice has been brilliant and I have read as much as I can, not sure how you keep your patience with all those questions, including mine.

    The issue that I am not sure has been completely clarified (either because I haven’t seen it answered – sorry – or maybe because it is not possible!), is around the subject of how you can get an LFO if you live in a pre-2000 block of apartments and the Community of Owners is not concerned about it as most of the residents are Spanish and don’t rent out. I live in Torre del Mar which is full of older tower blocks and I’m in one of them, where the 36 apts are almost all Spanish-owned and permanent residents., so my questions are:
    – Do we know yet if the LFO has to be acquired for the whole building or can an individual get one just for them?
    – If for the whole building, does everyone in the community have to agree (and pay!) or can one person apply a veto?
    – Does an inspector then have to visit every apartment?
    – And if one of those apartments is in a poor state of repair does that mean the whole building can’t have an LFO?

    I spoke to my agent and she had no idea and advised that most people in the town who rented were probably either not aware of the ruling or were trying to find ways around it because this first hurdle of getting an LFO for apartment blocks is so unclear. I have also written to my Community but they have not replied. So do you know if this aspect has been clarified at all or have there been any experiences that others have gone through successfully in this situation? It all seems very not-thought-through at the moment…..

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Morning Angus,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I´m still replying to articles posted by me over a decade ago, so an article like this one from 2016 is ‘new-ish’.

      Regarding your plight, this is precisely why I introduced my article above writing that this new regulation is not thought with consumer’s bets interests in mind but rather those of the hotel industry. In your case your Community of Owners would need to apply collectively for a copy of a LFO. Barring that you need to contact your town hall for a solution i.e. alternative document (cedula de ocupacion). There is no straightforward solution to your matter as it’s an old property that was likely built before LFO were mandatory.

      In practice, most people in your situation would either not register to avoid the red tape and added expenses (in which case you are doing so illegally facing the prospect of fines) or else throw the towel which would play into the hands of the hotel industry.

      Regards

      • Thank you for your swift reply, Raymundo, and as I feared the situation is not good as I cannot believe that my Community of Owners would want to collectively apply for an LFO so it looks like I will need to liaise directly with the Town Hall as you suggest and see if there are any options they would be happy with. If there aren’t, I may have to very reluctantly sell up.

        Meanwhile there are big ‘for rent’ signs on the balconies of almost every old tower block here, most of them with no air-conditioning, so it is clear that the new law is being flouted all over the place!

        Your point about the hotel industry is well made, this week’s papers reporting that “numbers from outside Spain staying in hotels in 2016 increased by 11.5 per cent”. This might be great for the hotel bosses whose lobbying has paid off, but if this ham-fisted law is applied to the letter and this prevents people like me from renting out, the authorities may stop celebrating when they realise that there is a corresponding (or higher) fall in numbers renting and overall tourism spend is decreasing. We shall see…..

        • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

          Morning Angus,

          Indeed, I am well aware the law is being flouted.

          But it is worse than you write in my opinion. Not only will the numbers fall on renting out property but as a result many British (and other nationals) will sell up and move abroad. It is with good reason I introduced my article with the news that this law, along with other unfortunate ones I list, are driving Brits away from Spain. Sure the number of tourists will remain high, but I am talking of foreigners who buy property and decide to settle down in Spain. It is these that are dwindling.

          Spanish Authorities should sit down and think long and hard on the adverse effects these laws are having on our highest foreign contingent: British. As I write in my article, if Spain’s economy were diversified, the loss of foreigners would not be a big deal. But as it happens, Spain is overeliant in its Tourism and and construction industry.

          Only last week Spanish newspaper El Sur reported a sharp drop in British citizens in Malaga province year-on-year (5,000 to be exact, the real figure could in fact be much higher as British normally do not register themselves in the local census).

          http://www.surinenglish.com/local/201701/27/british-costa-exodus-continues-20170127100604-v.html

          For me this news is extremely concerning as the local economy stagnates as a result. Brexit, a low pound, global political instability do not help either of course. But Spanish Authorities (both at a national and regional level) would do well in not adding more fuel to the fire and should (strongly) incentivate (i.e. lowering taxes, cutting red tape) that British and other nationals buy property in Spain and establish themselves here.

          A year later from publishing my article we can see that the outcome I predicted in my article’s introduction is sadly becoming a reality. I wish I were wrong but again I stress this law (and others) were not passed with consumer’s best interests in mind. That is why I end the article with my phrase:

          Politics: the art of creating new problems where none existed.

          Regards

          • Hi Raymundo,

            Your phrase about politics is spot on, I like it. I have another phrase I used to use in the office with my team: “Keep it simple, make it work”. It is a shame these new regulations were not tested against that mantra; the world would be a better place if officialdom did not try to over-complicate things whilst simultaneously failing to understand the impact of their initiatives. Yes, they needed to crack the nut, but they have certainly used a sledgehammer to do so.

            You are also completely right about Brits already leaving Spain for various reasons, and this license situation won’t help. I really love living down here, I couldn’t be happier, but my apartment and life down here was to be funded by rental income. If I can’t do that, then I may have to join the exodus. That means I won’t be here spending my money in all the local shops – perhaps I will be spending it in Portugal instead. Such a shame!

  • Hi Raymundo, can you please either direct me to an article or give me the main points of the law covering an owner with 3 or more properties. We currently have two which comply with the new decree but we are thinking of buying a third that is within a km of the other two. We live nearby and manage them ourselves.

    • Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt says:

      Morning Kathy,

      Following what you write, three or more properties within one km radius from the main office would fall under the remit of Decree 194/2010 (apartamentos turisticos). You can find the wording (and requirements) of this law in Spanish here (only for the region of Andalusia):

      http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/boja/2010/90/3

      I take it you are not asking me to give you a ‘brief’ rundown of the points, are you?

      Regards

  • Hello Raymundo

    I am not sure whether this Article is still current, but I am trying to establish whether there is a period during which we can provide B&B without the Licence. I seem to remember that lets up to three months are exempt but U cannot find that reference now, although I understand the Junta has moved the goal posts several times during the process.

    John

Comments are closed.