New tourist apartment laws in Barcelona

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    • #51686

      Greetings all.
      Am considering buying an apartment in Barcelona this year.
      The type of property I am interested in is a small apartment in the old city, near the beaches.
      The plan is to rent it out, short term stays, for most of the year but also to use it myself for perhaps 2-3 months a year, and a few years down the track I want to increase my own time there. The people I rent it to would mainly be friends and acquaintances from Europe and elsewhere.
      I have read some brief info at about new legislation which apparently makes it very difficult for new buyers to (legally) rent out their apartments to tourists (ie short-term rentals).
      Those who registered their apartments last year, and eventually get approval, will be ‘legal’ – based on the cursory information I have come over.
      Does anyone out there in cyberspace have more information on this? Will it be a ‘paper tiger’ which everyone disregards in any case? Will it affect property prices?

      Thanks in advance, and may your kitchen taps spout endless streams of cava.


    • #61552

      That webpage has a bit more info, it contains a letter from the representative of an organisation called APARTUR (Associació Empresarial de Apartaments Turístics de Barcelona –, which represents some owners of tourist apartments in Barcelona.

      Still, the questions in my first posting remain, especially considering the time that has passed since this article was written, in Feb 2005.

      Thanks again,


    • #61553

      Hi all!

      Well no one is replying to my query so I’ll have to do it myself. Just found the following article from the Times, dated Feb 17 2006:,,14052-2040567,00.html

      The tip from Christina Beardsley at the end, is:

      “Christina Beardsley, from the property consultancy Modus Vivendi, offers a ray of hope to owners of unregistered apartments in Barcelona. “There’s a niche market for one to three-month lets, as many people want to live here for a while but not pay a nightly rate. It means less damage to your apartment and you’re not affected by the licence law,” she says.
      “You get less money — about £700 a month compared with £2,100 for nightly lets — but it’s still enough to cover the mortgage,” she adds.”

      End quote.

      Suppose that could be a good way of avoiding problems with the new law.

      Whaddya reckon?


    • #61579

      Not my speciality but I’ll try to give some guidelines

      There is a basic and fundamental difference between the ordinary property rent, ruled under the General Law of Urban Renting and this professional business of tourism apartments rented on a daily basis.

      The first activity is a private issue, you can freely rent your house in a long term (of course always fulfilling the Law mentioned above) or in a seasonal term. Neither the Generalitat nor the Town Hall cannot interfere here.

      But when we are talking about tourism apartments we are talking about a professional business, the housing or hotel business… and this is strongly regulated all over Spain not only in Catalonia as Tourism is one of the main industries here (we do receive nearly 45 million foreign visitors a year) This activities must be registered as if you provide this service (it does not matter if you only own one dwelling to rent…) you rent on a daily/weekly basis, you advertise it, you are considered a businessman.

      Regional and local authorities have full competences to regulate this activities.

      Don’t know if in the UK it’s the same but I guess the ‘bed & breakfast’ service is surely also regulated there.

      We do have here in Asturias a lot of Tourism apartments facilities (mostly in rural areas, the so called green-tourism) they are also strongly regulated by regional and local authorities. They have to fulfill strong quality standards and there is always a maximum ‘facilities per area rate’ just to avoid the undesirable over-exploitation.

      My advice… It’s safer/easier to have a long term tenant (if the right guaranties are given) than running your dwelling as a professional business… less controls, less taxes, less maintenance expenses.

      But anyway, if you are renting your house to friends acquaintances and relatives no problems should arise…


    • #61622

      Thanks for that info César.
      You wrote:

      It’s safer/easier to have a long term tenant (if the right guaranties are given) than running your dwelling as a professional business… less controls, less taxes, less maintenance expenses.

      What are the guarantees you mentioned? Are they part of a contract between me (owner) and tenant?
      Is there anything else you could warn me about for this type of rental, any surprises, ‘strange’ laws etc? Is the contact something I can put together myself or do I have to use a standard contract?
      I don’t want to cheat anyone or charge excessive rent, I just don’t want to be cheated myself. You probably understand.



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