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.

Client Testimonials

Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:

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    David W Baker, Malaga
    Tuesday, November 06, 2018
    We were extremely satisfied with Alvaro: He explained the law to us and gave us a solution to our problem. He could not have been more helpful and we will definitely use him again.
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    Thom Koller, London
    Monday, November 05, 2018
    Francisca provided a perfect service!

    She is professional, dedicated and took care to understand the needs of my situation. Her service offers exceptional value for money and gives complete peace o...f mind.
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    Michael O'Sullivan, Ibiza
    Thursday, November 01, 2018
    Understanding Spanish law regarding buying and selling properties is a minefield for English speakers. Cristina provided the legal expertise, the translation of legal documents, explanations for all i...ssues, and solutions for our challenges.

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    I think you have a perfect solution for supporting people abroad. I was lucky to find you on the internet. Perhaps you could promote your services to all estate agents abroad, so more people can get access to your service when buying or selling abroad.
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    Colin Wilson, Australia
    Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Overall it was great. Rosa always answered all questions asked and provided clear, concise and well explained answers.

    When there was a delay in responding she did offer an apology which was appre...ciated. Rosa always instilled a sense of confidence that she knew exactly what was going on, what I was asking, and what the applicable law was.

    When not a Spanish local and dealing with her remotely, this provided great comfort in a sensitive matter.
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    Campbell Reynolds, Spain
    Monday, October 22, 2018
    We were very satisfied with the service provided by our lawyer Sabela.

    She was very accomodating, quick response to everything while thinking outside the box for solutions. Also, her English was or less fluent.
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    David Edwards, England
    Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    Very Satisfied with the service provided by Oliver. He was quick, efficient and value for money. Would definitely recommend to friends.
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    Andrew Morecroft, Lubrin
    Monday, October 15, 2018
    Juan was extremely helpful during every part of the purchase. As I was buying an older property there were slight complications but Juan explained every issue and managed to work through the difficult...ies with supreme efficiency.

    Also there was a ridiculous situation with my Spanish bank account where I could not access the money even though it was in the account. Thankfully I had given Juan power of attorney and he managed to sort-out the problem.

    He went above and beyond the call of duty and I am very grateful for all his help. I would strongly recommend him to anyone looking to buy in the Almeria region.
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    Saturday, October 13, 2018
    Jose-Antonio was extremely helpful and prompt and also it was helpful that he could be contacted via social media like Whatsapp
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    Michele Jansen van Vuuren, Benajarafe
    Saturday, October 13, 2018
    Alvaro was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more. Very quick to respond to my query.

    Only issue was that some of the documents I needed to provide were not mentioned. However, would defini...tely recommend his services to friends.
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    John Fraser Dunfield, San Francisco
    Friday, October 12, 2018
    Good understanding. Applied sufficient pressure as needed to get the issue resolved. Reasonable charge for service provided. Would definitely recommend this service to friends.
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    Rosemarie Byrne and John Cooper, Dublin Ireland
    Tuesday, October 09, 2018
    We found Francisca extremely helpful with a great amount of knowledge about buying a house and re-locating to Spain.
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    Jane Evanson, London, UK
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    Francisco was very helpful and professional. I was very happy with the advice and service.
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    Alvaro was very professional, Knowledgeable of the subject at hand, did not over-charge - in fact cut costs in the best way for me. Very efficient in the entire process. Thank you.
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    Martha Kimes, Scottsdale, Arizona USA
    Tuesday, October 02, 2018
    Francisco was incredibly responsive (and quickly).

    Unlike American attorneys (and I know, because I am one), he didn't even bill me for a few follow-up emails/calls that he made on my behalf which... he easily could have done.

    I was supremely happy with his legal services.
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    David Roots, England
    Monday, October 01, 2018
    We were very satisfied with the service we received. Rosa dealt with the matter in hand promptly and efficiently.
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    David Knors, Barcelona
    Wednesday, September 26, 2018
    Oscar was very kind, professional and fair. He was able to help me with my problem and he was very determined that he would.

    Oscar is very competent, polite and showed a lot of effort to solve my ...problem. I strongly recommend him.
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    Tuesday, September 25, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service. Francisco is bilingual English-Spanish and was always quick to respond and was very professional at all times.
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    Mohamed kheder, Dublin, Ireland
    Monday, September 24, 2018
    Every thing was great ... Rosa was really helpful and understanding. And I see the value for money was good enough.. of course I would recommend it to any of my friends.

    And I would like to have th...e chance to thank Rosa and the whole company for everything.
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    Tuesday, September 18, 2018
    Excellent service, delivered exactly as promised, and at half the cost a different translator had requested for the same project!
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    Darren & Gemma Nesbitt, Valencia
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
    Inmaculada has been of excellent service to us, as a family and in helping to set up a business in Spain. She has now undertaking several project for us and has delivered high quality on all of them. ...Perfect service!
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    Patsy Valentin, Granada
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
    Extremely accommodating and highly professional and very pro active. Excellent result and service. Highly recommended.
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    Jovie, Malaga
    Wednesday, September 05, 2018
    My lawyer Alvaro was extremely helpful and very efficient. I would definitely recommend his services to friends.
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    Albert Roldan, France
    Tuesday, September 04, 2018
    Alfonso was extremely helpful, particularly since we requested a quick turnaround for the 18 documents needing to be translated from English and French to Spanish.

    He was fluent in our phone conver...sations and email correspondence, he never misunderstood what our requirements were. He was was clear in explaining how this process works and what the price included.

    I would highly recommend him to anyone needing these services.
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    David Grundy, UK
    Friday, August 24, 2018
    Jose was very polite and we received an excellent service from him. Nothing was to much trouble and his communication was 2nd to none. Highly recommended!
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    Mario Klappholz, Miami, Florida
    Thursday, August 16, 2018
    Inma was very helpful, always happy to assist. I particularly appreciated her professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend her services to friends.
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    Daniel Spitzhorn, Spain
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Miguel in Oviedo helped us during the process of buying a flat in Asturias. He was just brilliant!
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    Tracey Iliffe Bradley, UK
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Rosa dealt with everything efficiently and promptly and went beyond our expectations by helping us to open a Spanish bank account and deal with other minutiae.
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    Erslaan Ahmed, Bangladesh
    Friday, August 10, 2018
    Gave very good advice and provided an excellent solution. Inma is very professional in her work. I would recommend her services to friends.
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    John Ryan, Derby, England
    Wednesday, August 08, 2018
    A perfect relationship between client and professional. Nothing was too much trouble.

    Went over and above his job and more. I would only use his services if I need legal services. I were very lucky... to find Jose first time round.

    Thank you jose
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    Robert Brownlee, Almeria, Spain
    Wednesday, August 08, 2018
    Everything was as it should be: excellent. Had to pay by bank transfer and maybe would have liked another means of paying.

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