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New Andalucia Property Rental Law Comes Into Force In May 2016 Spain News

Finally, after three years of speculation, Andalucia has announced its new regulation of tourist accommodation in its Official Bulletin of the Andalucian Government (BOJA). The new regulations require property owners to register their holiday homes, meet a number of stringent requirements and hold a license. Inspections will be undertaken, and those who do not comply will be subject to large fines. Similar regulation was implemented in Catalonia in 2014

Under the terms of the Decree, and Law 13/2011, of Tourism in Andalucia, landlords must register their properties from the 11th of May 2016. The registry will not be operative before the 11th of May, meaning landlords have a three-month deadline in order to gather together all of their paperwork. The Junta de Andalucía has signalled its intention to hold public awareness campaigns in order to clarify the new law. The decree comes into force just as the tourism season starts and will regulate many thousands of transactions between owners and tenants.

The Private Rentals Market

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 Andalucia 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 Andalucia, 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).

Exclusions

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 2 months or more by the same tenant
  • 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 up to 180,000 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.

Other Changes

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 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 unless it is a property that is classified as one of 'cultural interest' or where building works or modifications are prohibited for some reason.
  • 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.
  • If the rental is cancelled by either party for substantiated reason or force majeure, no compensation will be due.

How to Register Your Home with the Registry of Tourism of Andalucia

1. Submit a statement to the Ministry responsible for tourism, confirming the property is in accordance with all the requirements of the decree. Once you have done this, you can rent the property out with immediate effect.

The statement must include:

  • Property details with cadastral reference.
  • Maximum capacity as stated by the license of occupation.
  • Information about the property owner (individual or company) with contact information.

2. The registration number of the property assigned by the Registry of Tourism of Andalucia – which should also be included in all promotional materials or advertising of the property.

You can download and fill in the form supplied by the ATR called 'Declaración Responsable para el acceso o ejercicio de la actividad' and hand it over at one of the 'Delegaciones Territoriales de Turismo' once completed. Registration is free.

You can view a list of Delegaciones Territoriales de Turismo here

If your command of Spanish is low, you should hire a lawyer to do this on your behalf in exchange for a reasonable fee.

Deadlines to Remember

11th May 2016 for registering a property in the Registry of Tourism of Andalucia.

11th May 2017 – to comply with the requirements of fixed air conditioning and heating units in the property.