Andalusia starts fining holiday home landlords

 

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
31st of October 2017

In my article on Decree 28/2016, which details the requirements to register oneself before Andalusia’s Tourism Registry as a holiday home, I made it clear that the most important requirement was to attain a Licence of First Occupation. I also wrote a specific blog post last July warning landlords not to register before the ATR unless they were fully compliant least they risk being fined at least two thousand euros on non-compliance.

A Licence of First Occupation (LFO, for short) is an administrative licence issued by a town hall, where the property is located, and certifies the development is in full compliance with the Building Licence (BL) and all associated Planning laws.

Despite these repeated warnings, hundreds of landlords ploughed ahead and self-registered themselves to take advantage of the summer season or else used non-qualified acquaintances to register them (in exchange of a fee). The idea was that they could register provisionally and rent the properties out and subsequently receive from the ATR their rental number in the following weeks or months despite not being fully compliant. Almost 30,000 properties have been registered so far in Andalusia.

Many landlords registered without using a lawyer, not fully understanding the legal consequences of their own actions and as a result are being landed with €2,001 fines, at the least. Fines in Andalusia range from €2,000 up to €150,000.

All along September and October landlords have been receiving these fines (see blog post photo) in the region of Andalusia from the ATR informing them a case had been brought against them and classified as a serious breach.

Failure to pay these fines will result in the ATR placing a charge against your property. There is only a 10-day deadline to appeal a fine. You need to hire a lawyer to lodge an appeal.

What we can glean from the above is:

  • You should apply for a touristic rental licence in Andalusia and declare and pay your rental income (in Spain) if you do not want to be heavily fined by the Authorities.
  • Do NOT register before Andalusia’s Tourism Registry unless you are fully compliant with the requirements set out in Decree 28/2016.
  • I strongly advise would-be holiday home landlords to register only using the services of a law firm such as ours which fully understands what’s being asked and avoid the client humongous fines and court cases. You should also hire a law firm to deal with the taxation side of things, applying for landlord tax relief which significantly reduces your taxable base (on average by 30 to 40%). More information on this service: Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS).

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, litigation and inheritance. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

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About Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

After completing his dual law degree in Madrid (ICADE) in 2003 Raymundo went on to work for prestigious Spanish and English law firms in Spain before moving to the UK for several years to work for a British multinational. He is a prolific writer of legal & financial articles in English, with well over 140 articles published and widely used in the Spanish real estate sector. Raymundo now runs his own law practice in Marbella, where he advises local and foreign clients on all legal matters with a focus on conveyancing and non-resident taxation. He is regularly quoted by the international press as a reliable source in his field of expertise.