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).
There are a number of exclusions that are worth acknowledging
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.
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.
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:
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.