Appropriate Licence for Holiday Rentals?

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    • #52932


      This is my first post so bear with me! Both my father and I are doing some research in preparation to purchase some properties in Southern Spain to generate rental income with a view to spending more time in Spain when our own commitments in the UK is reduced to a reasonable level!

      We are aware of all the hype surrounding property crash, thus we are taking a very long term view on property investment in Spain and therefore believe that the purchases will ‘ride’ out any ‘highs’ and ‘lows’!

      It was interesting to read an article ‘Counting the Costa’ in the Daily Telegraph which appeared on 12.5.07, written by Hugh Ash (here is the link –

      We were concerned to read that it appears you require an additional license from the tourism authorities to allow properties to be rented out for the holiday market

      Quoting from the article a particular paragraph which cause some concern ‘However, the vast majority of flats and villas cannot be offered for holiday rental, because the tourism authorities do not license them. And, even if official permission is sought, it is rarely granted’

      This had left me completely confused as I believe the majority of property purchase in Spain by UK investor had been for rental income, as well as capital growth!! Naturally I don’t believe everything I read in a paper but was written by quite a reputable paper and appeared very ‘factual’, it had cause me to look further afield for answers

      My understanding from research so far is that on purchase and if the Town hall is satisfied, then a First Occupancy License is issued and this is sufficient, or is that not the case?

      Naturally we will raise this with our lawyer once we start the process but would welcome any views especially those who may have fallen foul of this ‘license’

      Many thanks

    • #72811

      I have been studying that matter for a while.
      It depends on of the unit is a touristic apartment or a holiday house according to a national Royal Decree of 1982.
      It also depends on the Autonomous Community your house is situated.

      Touristic apartments have a commun license for the whole complex to be marketed as such and if not granted, the complex cannot be open to public of units can transfered to owners, these are apartments situated onm Touristic ZOnes according to the planning regulations.

      The touristic exploitation of holiday houses ( just simple residential units) need to be communicated to the Government of the Autonomous Communities ( AACC), but not all the AACC in Spain have specific regulations on the equipment characterisitcs of this houses, so there is no requirements to be inspected or checking.

      I cannot see why that info was given by the Daily Telegraph.

    • #72812

      Just one thing more to remark:

      It is a matter that varies depending on the Autonomous COmmunity where your house is situated. So, if Andalucia is still quite unregulated and just an official communication is needed for your lettings to be legal, Mallorca or Asturias have got quite more regulations.

    • #72814

      The Autonomous Communities which have specific regulations for touristic apartments ( apartamentos turísticos) and holiday houses ( viviendas vacacionales) are: Cataluña , Comunidad Valenciana , Islas Baleares , Murcia , País Vasco , y el Principado de Asturias . The rest of the Autonomus Communities just have general rules contained in their respective Tourism Acts.

      A Royal Decree ( by Nacional Parliament) of 1982 (RD 2877/1982 of 15th in October of 1982 ( Nacional Oficial Bulletin of 9th in November) , clarified the differences between touristic apartments and holiday houses, it is still in force:

      According to that RD:

      For touristc apartments, it is legally required the existence of proper furnishing, installations, services and equipemnts for inmediate use and in order to their explotaition an administrative license is needed ( the marketing comany needs to obtain it before the initium of touriistic explotaition). (Supreme Court Decission of 17th of September 1993 ). The group of touristic apartmemts of every touristic development are all marketed by the same company. They must be sold as touristc apartments.

      Holiday houses are unit of residencial houses, intended and sold for personal residencial use but that, of course, by title of ownership rights can be rented out. These are regulated in provision 17 of same RD of 1982 and defined as individual units of apartments, bungalows, villas, houses and similars and , in general, any dwelling which, regardless its furnishing conditions, equipment, installations and services, are offered for renting with touristic or holiday purposes. The only requirement for its opening and running is, according to provision 18 of the 1982RD, the communication to the Touristic Services of the Autonomous Community regarding its destination to touristic traffic. So, just a legalised duplicated of that comunication (it is not a license, just a communication and you are always allowed to rent) , is needed for a legal renting of your apartment. JUst some AUtonomous Communities ask, by force of Administrative Regulations, that these holiday houses need to meet detailed requirements: in Baleares, Murcia, Asturias and Pais Vasco)

      In Andalucia, provision 45 of the General Tourism Act of 15th in December of 1999, specify the conditions for the use of holiday houses ( both rural and urban) just say that they need to be furnished and have the necessary belongings for inmediate use and a reference to future administrative regulations for the specification of minimum requirements to be met by these.
      Anyhow, my best advise is for you to get legal advise at every case.

    • #72817

      I have an apartment near nerja, got worried by some of these posts and emailed my lawyer:

      we received your email from the 29/11, and we have been checking and we have not found anything at all. If you have any information , let us know and we will check if this is correct or not.

      Normally, we are very updated, but we have not received any new law about this.”

      Maybe ignorance is no defence but i’m keeping the email in case of a horrid “knock on the door” one day.

    • #72922


      Many thanks for your helpful responses and information – certainly gave me some pointers to fully research the subject

      I believe we should be OK, as this law where it applies, is really appliable for ‘apart-hotels’ or where there is a commercial operation behind the rental of apartments, for example a company owns the whole block of flats, and therefore need to apply for a license – this is to ensure appropriate fire, regulation, health and safely regulations are being met.

      As you pointed out, it did apply to some private rentals but in very specific locations

      The area we are looking at between Estopona and Sotogrande, and particularly interested in the Dona Julia development, and as I understand it, there is no requirement for a tourist license etc

      But as you wisely pointed out, we will make sure our lawyers investigate and confirm this is not the case if we decide to purchase

      Once again, many thanks and much appreciated. I’m sure we will be back with more questions as we progress with our seach

      Take care

    • #72937

      Ask your lawyers to check it out.

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