PROPERTY: New rental rules

I RECENTLY joined an informative seminar at the Estepona offices of leading local lawyers, Perez de Vargas.

The main topic was the new regulations regarding properties used as holiday rentals in Andalucía, prompted by the latest legislation on the topic, as outlined in the official statement below:

“The Junta de Andalucía has regulated the temporary assignment of use of housing for touristic purposes, by means of the approval of Decree 28/2016 of February 2, as published in the Official Bulletin of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA) that entered into force on May 11th.”

What does all of this this mean for property owners? The team of lawyers and other specialists at Perez de Vargas explained the ramifications of the most recent change in the law. First and foremost, it removes any ambiguity over the status of short-term rental agreements that existed in Law 29/1994 of November 24th on Urban Leases, and updated Law 4/2013 of June 4th regarding degrees of flexibility in the promotion of housing for rental purposes.

Decree 28/2016 concerns the regulation of furnished tourist accommodation that is marketed and promoted for the purposes of attracting holidaymakers with the aim of making a profit. It applies to apartments, penthouses and standalone properties that meet the following requirements:

– The property is rented out for the purpose of generating income
– The rental period is less than two months, i.e. qualifies as a holiday let
– The property is residential by nature. Rural properties are excluded from this as they fall under their own set of regulations (art. 48, Law 13/2011, 23rd December, and Decree 20/2002, 29th January, Tourism in Rural Environments and Active Tourism)
– The rental property does not form part of a group of three or more dwellings located in the same or adjacent buildings, as these are considered to be dedicated ‘tourist apartments’ and are also subject to their own regulations (Decree 194/2010 of April 20)

Homeowners who advertise their properties on the Internet with online booking must register the property via an application form that can be downloaded from the Junta de Andalucía’s website. The property may not be offered for rent until it has been duly registered and issued with a VFT number. This number must be displayed on all website advertising – in fact Airbnb has just announced that all properties offered for rent via their website must also have this number in place. This comes into effect in September of this year. Furthermore, owners must take care to modify the details in the Register as necessary.

If an owner is found to have marketed and rented out a property without registering it, the penalties for doing so are on a rising scale of up to €150,000. As only 20,000 properties are currently on the register in Málaga, a province that is said to have around 103,500 such units of accommodation, the Ministry of Tourism will be on the lookout for people who break the rules.

Finally, owners must also pay attention to the new tax regime for declaring income from short-term rentals, in particular model 179, headed’Quarterly informative declaration of property leasing for touristic purposes’, which enters into force on July 1st 2018 (Royal Decree 1070/2017 of December 29th).

We thank the kind staff at Perez de Vargas for their informative advice and look forward to continuing a working relationship that ensures my clients are always made aware of any laws and regulations that can affect them as property owners or buyers.

Adam Neale (Columnist)

About Adam Neale (Columnist)

Adam Neale is the owner of Terra Meridiana, a real estate agency based in Estepona on the Costa del Sol covering areas such as Marbella, Estepona, Sotogrande and Benahavís. Adam has more than a decade of experience in the sales and rental markets and, as Property Insider for the Olive Press, will be providing useful advice for buyers, sellers, tenants and all those interested in living in southern Spain. You can contact Adam by phone at +34 951 318480, pay a visit to his office at 77 Calle Caridad, 29680 Estepona (Málaga) or just visit his website at www.terrameridiana.com

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