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Owners of property in Marbella—and indeed all of Andalucía—who let out their homes as tourist accommodation have been given three months to officially register their properties or face fines of up to €150,000.

Holiday home MarbellaA new law regulating the rentals of vacation apartments has just been introduced by the Junta de Andalucía regional government with the aim of making owners adhere to minimum quality standards should they wish to let out their property on a short term basis.

Owners will have to register with the Registro de Turismo de Andalucía by May and then have one year to ensure their properties comply with the regulations. Failure to adhere to the new rules will potentially attract fines of between €18,000 and €150,000.

Andalucía’s new tourist accommodation laws

The Junta itself estimates this will affect 80,000 unregistered properties offering a total of 400,000 beds within the region. Tourism accommodation is defined as property on urban land (as opposed to rural) that is let for tourism purposes through travel agents, intermediary companies or using methods that involve a reservation system. This includes holiday letting portals on the internet. The decree allows people to let individual rooms (this is not allowed in some other regions of Spain) and homes in their entirety, with accommodation for up to 15 people in the latter case and six people in the former.

The Junta claims the initiative is geared towards ensuring quality, preventing tax fraud and putting an end to ‘unfair competition’. The powerful hoteliers’ lobby has for years complained that private property owners have been able to undercut their prices as they didn’t need to meet the same standards as hotels. However, critics say the new laws are anti-competitive, reduce customer choice, pander to vested interests and add unnecessary bureaucracy to a vital sector of the economy.

According to the new regulation, properties will need to have direct external ventilation, fixed air conditioning and heating in every room (depending on the time of year holiday lets are made), the provision of linen, first aid kits and instructions on how to use kitchen equipment, as well as information on local restaurants and facilities. On top of this tourists’ personal details will have to be collated including names and identity document numbers.

Exceptions to holiday letting regulations

Exceptions to the new rules are made for holiday homes where no rent is paid (for example when letting friends and family use your second home free of charge). Properties that are let to the same tenant for more than two months (long term) and those classed as ‘rural’ are not required to be registered as they are already subject to different regulatory regimes.

Complexes of three or more properties owned by the same person within the same building or group of buildings are covered by a different more stringent regime (Decreto 194/2010).

Hansa Realty has an experienced professional rentals division that can help owners maximise their income from long term lets, while fulfilling their legal obligations. Please contact us for more advice.

Source: The full decree (in Spanish) can be viewed here.


Published in Costa del Sol Property News, Spain Info |