The legal regulations for B&B’s and Holiday Homes in Spain

While many people who visit Spain would love to stay, it can be difficult to find employment, like they would in their country of origin, as a result of language difficulties and a stagnant local jobs market. As a result, many take the opportunity to set-up a business, often for the first time, and taking over or establishing a B & B or holiday cottage has been a popular choice over the years.

While managing a B & B in another country represents a challenge on a number of fronts – (running your own business and dealing with suppliers and guests in a different language to name just a few), here we provide information on the various legal standards that a property must meet in order to comply with the regulations.

The following regulations are contained in legislation:  Ley 7/2014, ‘The development and modernisation of tourism in Extremadura’, and Decreto 65/2015, ‘Classification of Rural Holiday Accomodation in the Autonomous Region of Extremedura’. While specifically these regulations are in force in Extremadura, there will be many aspects that are similar to legislation in force in other regions of Spain.

The Regulations

In Spain there are five categories of B & B, identified by a number of stars, depending on the attainment of a series of requirements:

  1. B & B’s (Casas Rurales)  may have a maximum of nine bedrooms
  1. The quality of the fixtures, fittings and facilities, as with the services that are offered, ought to be in accordance with the following requirements:
  • 4-star and 5-star establishments ought to be built with materials of the highest quality and have fittings, furnishings and decoration as well as services that correspond to the comfort and quality of the building.
  • Establishments with two- or three-stars should be located in buildings that offer good levels of comfort and quality in terms not just of the construction materials used, fixtures and fittings but of the services offered.
  • One star B & B’s should offer to clients a minimum level of convenience and comfort. The rooms,  furniture and fittings can be simple, offering nonetheless guaranteed comfort.
  1. B & B’s must comply with the following regulations:
  • The bedrooms must be identifiable by a number fixed on the exterior of their entrance doors, though they may be identified in other ways
  • The bathrooms will be equipped with hot and cold running water and will offer more or less installations depending on the number of stars.
  • The dining room, exclusively available to the guests, must be furnished with the necessary equipment appropriate and proportionate to the maximum capacity of the establishment.
  • The furniture, fittings and bedclothes shall be appropriate, in quality and quantity, to the capacity of the establishment and shall be provided to the guests in the appropriately clean condition for use.
  1. Size of the rooms
  • The size of the rooms shall be 7m2, 10m2, 15m2 and 20m2, depending on whether they correspond to single, double, triple or quadruple rooms respectively, excluding the space apportioned to bathrooms or terraces
  • In those cases where double rooms have a living-room, this should be at least 8m2
  • Should the bedroom have bunk-beds, there should be no more than 2 beds per 8m2 .
  1. Accessability

B & B’s that are newly constructed and that consist of nine bedrooms, must have at least one room that is adapted for use by persons with reduced mobility

  1. Cleanliness
  • Holiday accommodation, including furniture, fixtures, fittings and linen shall be at the appropriate levels of cleanliness when provided to guests.
  • Apart from the kitchen and kitchen accessories, the cleaning of the establishment shall be the responsibility of the owner. The frequency of cleaning shall be daily in four- and five-star establishments, and twice a week in all other establishments, save where the parties agree to waive this requirement under the terms and conditions of the accommodation.
  1. Type of Establishment

Rural holiday accommodation can be classified as either of the following types:

  • Holiday Homes with Shared Lodging: where the owner of the establishment shares occupancy with the guests, reserving a particular area of the property for guests
  • Holiday Homes where Lodging not shared: whereby the establishment is reserved exclusively for the use of guests and the accommodation is offered with the fixtures and fittings, facilities and services in such a way that the guests may use them by themselves, as in a Holiday Cottage.
  1. Types of Booking

The owners of rural holiday accommodation and guests may arrange bookings in either of the following categories:Booking per room

  • Integrated booking: When the entire property is made available to the guests ie where the bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathrooms are for the exclusive use of said guests. Houses – apartments and cottages with a kitchen are always considered to be integrated bookings.
  • Each establishment should identify which, if any, booking category that it has opted for, in the documentation that includes the terms and conditions under which the accommodation is provided.
  1. Rules applicable to Accommodation offered ‘as a B & B’

Rural holiday accommodation offered under this basis, as well as complying with the general rules applicable and referred to in earlier paragraphs, should adhere to the following regulations:

  • Access to the guest rooms must be via a common. Under no circumstances should the rooms be directly accessible from the dining-room/living-room or kitchen
  • The rooms must be capable of being locked from the interior
  • Cleaning of the guest-room and bathroom shall take place daily and the changing of linen as required according to changes in guests, and never less than every three days when occupied
  • All of the guest rooms will have an integrated bathroom
  • When the owner of the guest house lives in the property, the dining room shall be for the use exclusively of the guests
  1. Rules applicable to Accommodation offered ‘as a holiday home’

The following must be provided:

  • A kitchen for the exclusive use of guests, equipped with cupboards for groceries and utensils
  • Furniture, dinnerware, cutlery, glassware and other essentials will be appropriate in both quantity and quality, to the category of establishment and it’s maximum capacity
  • An inventory list of all furniture and equipment provided
  • Change of bedroom and bathroom linen at least every three days
  • Iron
  • A bathroom for every four persons or fraction thereof staying in the accommodation

The above regulations are those that a rural holiday home or B & B must comply with. There are additional important conditions that those who wish to administer a hostelry  business in Extremadura that determine the types of services and quality levels. We shall look at these in a future article.

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