There are changes afoot for holiday property owners in Andalucía in the New Year. Starting at the beginning of 2015, the Junta de Andalucía is introducing new legislation that aims to regulate the holiday rental market in Andalucía, just as has happened in other parts of the country.
This new move will please many Hotel owners who have been campaigning for just such a law. Many have felt that privately owned holiday property has provided unfair competition because private individual tourist accommodation is not required to meet the same standards that hotels do, and they do not have to pay the same taxes either. Hotel groups are convinced that their incomes are adversely affected by the thousands of holiday villas and apartments throughout Andalucía and want to see the same rigorous standards and taxes applied to private landlords.
The private rentals market is a huge business here in Spain. According to HomeAway, one of the foremost online holiday rental websites, the private rentals market has earned around two billion euros in Andalucía alone over a three-year period and the local economy benefits hugely from tourists spending their holiday cash in restaurants, cafes and bars and shops.
The National Statistics Institute of Spain has released data that demonstrates that in 2013 almost 78,500 apartments (696,000 beds) were available for short-term rent to tourists in Andalucía, which is a growth of 5.7% on the previous year. It's a buoyant and growing sector, so what effect will these changes have?
The changes mean that those private holiday home owners who own properties that they offer for rent on one or more occasions during the same year – and where that exceeds 30 days - need to register the property and apply for a license from the Junta. If their property is rented for more than 30 days this will be counted as a long-term rental and this will be covered by the LAU (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos).
- There are a number of exclusions that are worth acknowledging
- Where property is rented, but not for money
- Long-term rentals where properties are rented out for 3 months or more
- Rural homes that are covered by the decree Viviendas Rurales
- Where three or more flats or houses are owned by one person and are located in the same block or building
Fines of between 18,000 and 150,000 Euros will be levied against owners of holiday rental properties who do not comply with the legislation and it is hoped that the quality of private holiday accommodation will be improved. Private rental holiday property owners will now have to declare their income which will mean that the Junta de Andalucía will obviously find it easier to recoup taxes from rental income. Residents will be required to make annual payments on any taxes due to the Junta and non-residents will make quarterly payments.
Besides registering their property and income with the Junta, private rental holiday property owners will face government inspections of property and a requirement for new standards of comfort that they are obliged to meet. These will include minimum standard of comfort in furnishings, heating, air-conditioning and internet connectivity.
Basic Guidelines of the Draft Legislation
The basic guidelines of the draft legislation due to come into force in early 2015 are as follows.
- Individuals offering tourist accommodation may offer such accommodation on a room-by-room basis and will be recorded as Vivienda Turística por habitaciones
- Accommodation rented by the room may be called Bed and Breakfast where it is in an urban area
- You may only accommodate a maximum of 15 guests
- There must be at least an offer of a cleaning service for guests between each changeover
- Your property must have air conditioning. It must also have heating – and maintain an ambient temperature of 19 degrees - where the property is let to tourists between October and April.
- You must have a free internet service installed in the property
- There must be a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit on the premises
- You must provide user manuals and instructions for all appliances found on the property and demonstrate their use.
- Guests must be provided with all keys, cards and passes that are required for use with the property and its facilities
- Guests are free to deliver feedback and complain in writing where this is appropriate.
- There should be provision of important information regarding location of medical facilities, tourist attractions, local shops, transport services, parking and airport information.
- There should also be provision, on arrival, for guests to be given a document that includes details of the owner, the property manager (where these differ), the inscription number of the Andalucían Tourist Register, the number of guests, the check in and check out dates and the total price payable.
- The owner is required to maintain a record of receipts and proof of payments for each guest
- This record should be made available on request to the Junta de Andalucía or other government officials
- The per-night prices that are advertised must take account of water, electricity, heating, fridge, cleaning, and bed and bath linen. These should not be charged as extras.
- A confirmation of booking must be sent to every guest that details the total price of their stay, and outlines any extra charges that may apply (including the key deposit).
- The owner may request a deposit amounting up to 30% of the total due, and may ask for a key deposit when the key is collected on the first day.
- The cancellation policy should be made clear to guests. Where guests cancel within 10 days of their arrival date they are entitled to cover 50% of the total cost of their holiday. Where they cancel with more than ten days, the owner may only retain the deposit.
Although it is currently unclear how the registration of property and the license application will work, it is understood that the Junta de Andalucía will inspect the property during the owner's application process and that approval is dependent on the inspection satisfactorily meeting the above guidelines.
You can read a copy of the draft legislation here http://www.foe.es/upload/estudios_informes/25701borrador%20viviendas%20uso%20turistico.pdf
The draft is in Spanish, but can be run through Google Translate.
UPDATE 5th February 2016 - We have just learnt that the governing council of the Junta de Andalucia finally approved this law/decree on the 2nd February 2016. They have also stated that anyone renting their property as a holiday rental will now need to register the property with the Tourism Register of Andalucia by May 2016. Those who do not run the risk of being heavily fined. For more information please click here