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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    Caroline R, Barcelona
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018
    Miguel has been great!

    His English is excellent, he explains everything clearly, emails when he says he will, and is very efficient in the service he provides.

    I'd definitely recommend him to ...friends.
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    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Jose Antonio was very professional and has assisted me in every step of the purchase of my flat in Alicante.

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    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Rosa never stopped working very hard, she went way above what she needed to do...she never gave up on me and always did more than I thought anyone would.

    I am so blessed I got Rosa to help me I co...uldn't have gotten a better lawyer she's the best.

    Thank you Rosa from the bottom of my heart you are a wonderful person, I am so grateful to you.
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    Francisco was professional and efficient. Very good value for money.
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    Julie Smith, Torrellano
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    I can't compliment my solicitor enough.

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    Excellent value for money, totally approachable and very professional and understanding. I highly recommend him and will continue to retain his services for other matters in the future.
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    Friday, April 20, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service provided. Miguel was approachable and prompt in replying.
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    Vicky S, UK
    Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    Alvaro answered my emails and all my questions efficiently and helped me were I did not understand through the whole process of moving the tenant and selling the property and arranging and introducing... an estate agent.

    He has exceeded my expectations after being let down by previous lawyers in Spain when its been a very traumatic time for me.
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    Friday, April 13, 2018
    We had excellent service from Esther at Advocate Abroad when buying a property in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

    Esther speaks both Spanish and English, and is very friendly, professional and genuine. ...She took care of the whole purchasing process and explained all the steps for us, including giving advice on Spanish bank account, NIE numbers etc.

    We are very pleased with all the help we have received and can highly recommend Esther. Thank you so much!
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    Friday, April 13, 2018
    Alvaro gives me confidence that he understands the issue and gives me practical solutions. He works rapidly and efficiently. I would strongly recommend his services.
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    ESP, London
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    Cristina was extremely helpful, she couldn't have done more. Her English is sufficient and I would definitely recommend her to friend.
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    Rosa was excellent. Very efficient and professional.

    Responsive and always available. Extremely helpful - we did not understand the process and she guided us through.

    We would not hesitate to ...recommend her.
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    Alvaro was extremely helpful and the simple process I needed managed was dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would certainly recommend him to friends.
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    Alvaro was very professional, helpful and friendly. Understood things quickly. Explained things well in English. Very easy to contact at any time.
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    A. Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Thursday, March 15, 2018
    Miguel provided a great service and fully explained to me about the procedures with tax & business registration. My emails and questions where always answered straight away with an immediate response ...or solution.

    Very helpful and very friendly I would definitely recommend to anyone considering using Advocate Abroad
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    Monday, March 12, 2018
    Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement. Efficient, understanding and professional.
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    A.Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Rosa was exceptional at helping me setting up my business abroad.

    This was a big move for me and Rosa fully explained everything to me in detail so I had a full and clear understanding of the lega...l side of things as well as always promptly responding to any emails or questions I had.

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    Great service could not be happier.
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    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Oliver was very professional. He explained things very clearly and honestly at all times and in the end we got the best result possible in my particular case.

    Many thanks to him for his high level ...of service.
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    Wednesday, March 07, 2018
    For being in another country and all our back and forth communicating over emails .. I thought Rosa did a brilliant job. Thankfully she was able to help where no one else was willing ..
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    First class service. Rosa's professionalism, advice and patience were all exemplary! Keep up the good work. Will certainly recommend the service to friends!
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    Monday, March 05, 2018
    Erardo was fantastic and helped immensely during a very difficult situation.

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    M Pearce, Marbella
    Monday, March 05, 2018
    Miguel was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more:

    Always kept us updated on the progress of our purchase
    Always responded to emails in a professional and timely manner
    Always explained to... our understanding all aspects of the legalities about the purchase
    Very approachable,courteous and professional

    So much better to deal with than UK property lawyers!

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    Wednesday, February 28, 2018
    The service I received from nada was very helpful.

    The tasks were completed to the highest standard and would definitely use her services again in the future. All correspondence was received in a ...very timely manner. Highly recommended.
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    Holly, Lanzarote
    Friday, February 23, 2018
    The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
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    Julia Alcock, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria
    Thursday, February 22, 2018
    Esther was very friendly and approachable. She was professional and answered any questions I asked. We would definitely use her again in the future.
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    Tamara Malcolm, Mallorca
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
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    Nick Nicolaou, Oviedo
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Very Satisfied with Miguel's work. He was very helpful and we would definitely use his services again in the future.
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    Gavin Jones, UK
    Monday, February 19, 2018
    It was a real pleasure to have Miguel working on my behalf to file my non-resident taxes. He was extremely helpful, gave reassuring advice and I had a high level of confidence in the transactions.

    ...Miguel is now acting as my fiscal representative in Spain and I plan to continue to use his firm's services for all my tax requirements.
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    Sunday, February 18, 2018
    Very friendly and knowledgeable and professional.

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    Friday, February 16, 2018
    Rosa was very professional at all times when dealing with me. Her English was second to none and she always kept me informed of progress via email promptly.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use Rosa in the ...future for any legal issues I have.
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    Thursday, February 15, 2018
    Anna was very knowledgeable and had prior experience dealing with English clients. She spent a lot of time explaining information and I was never rushed.

    I have continued to use Anna since my firs...t meeting as I trust her judgement and know that she will look after my best interests.

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