Laws on Renting Out Property in Spain

Laws on renting out property in Spain suffered heavy modifications from right wing Partido Popular, following vacational accommodation lobby.
Article Published: 22 Aug, 2013, Updated: 22 Nov, 2022 under Residential Lettings

One important aspect of the new law on Renting Out Property in Spain:  Law 4/2013 (Measures to Increase Flexibility and Develop the Rental Market) introduced earlier this year, and commented upon in an article on new Spanish rental laws,  has been the exclusion of its application on the holiday rental market. Introduced as an amendment by the Partido Popular, the objective of the amendment is to curtail the level of holiday lets by private individuals, considering it to be unfair competition to hotels and other professionally run establishments.

The hotel industry have lobbied the government considerably on the basis that they consider it to be unfair competition since these private short-term holiday lets do not have to comply with the same regulations, and consequent business costs that their own members face.

Regional Tourism Regulations

Up until 2010 holiday lettings came under the same legislation as lettings in general and were regulated by the Ley Arrendamientos Urbanos (Urban Leasing Act) though this was derogated as a result of the introduction of the European Directive on Services and as a result legal limbo followed. However,  this has now been changed by the new law, Ley 4/2013, which excludes from it's application private holiday lettings and instead makes them subject to the laws adopted by the regional autonomous communities to regulate tourism accommodation in their areas.

As a result, whereas formerly it would have been enough to have a legally built property with the construction and habitability licenses in place, now, depending on the regional laws, the accommodation may well be subject to any number of regulations such as health and safety, disabled access etc by way of a requirement to apply for a tourism accommodation licence. Here is an example of this type of legislation enacted to regulate tourist rental licences in Spain in this particular case, in Andalucia.

More Stringent Requirements with laws on renting out property in Spain

Accordingly it is necessary for anyone considering letting-out their property for holiday lets (as opposed to long-term lets) that they follow the local tourism regulations with regard to registering their property for such purposes. These vary according to the regional laws applicable, but as an example, in Cataluña, any property owner who wishes to rent-out the property for the purpose of holiday lets must:

  • Inform the town hall of their intention to let out the property to holiday makers,
  • Registration of the property on the relevant tourism registry,
  • Retain the services of a company for the purposes of property maintenance,
  • Make the property available for public inspection,
  • Provision of complaints forms,
  • Maintain an updated list of occupants to provide the police with as necessary.

Failure to comply with these requirements can lead (of course) to the imposition of financial penalties. In addition anyone considering letting their property would need to obtain a certificate of energy consumption, further driving-up the costs of this commercial enterprise. If you are considering letting your property to holiday makers you should get advice from lawyers with experience assisting English-speakers making an application for a tourist rental licence in Spain.

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