27 Dec, 2014 @ 10:00
2 mins read

Laws of the Landlord

IN June 2013, the government changed the rules for its booming holiday rentals market and Spain’s 17 regions were tasked with regulating their own private landlords.

Eighteen months on, Andalucia is set to introduce its own regulations.

There has been much speculation about the motive behind the law change. Was it to ensure owners would declare their income? Yes. Was it to introduce a minimum standard of quality in tourist accommodation in Spain? Yes. Was it due to pressure from the hotel industry? Probably…

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t damage the simple fact that regulating holiday accommodation is a positive step forward in an industry that is predicted massive growth in 2015.

Global studies show many holidaymakers now choose rental accommodation over traditional hotels. In Spain alone, the demand for holiday rentals increased by 20% in 2014.

Regulations have already been introduced in Catalunya and Valencia. Now, one year after Tourism Director Rafael Rodriguez announced that regulations were in motion, Andalucia is set to unveil its own measures.

It will be free to apply for your licence, however you may be subject to a tax from your local town hall.

The Junta de Andalucia used the decree from Catalunya as a template and, in general, the stipulations are standard and achievable.

Some of the points important for owners include:

  • Viviendas de uso turistico (homes for tourist use) may be rented out on on a     room-by-room basis. They would be registered under the category: Vivienda Turística por Habitaciones. This type of accommodation would be given the title ‘Bed and Breakfast’
  • There     is a maximum occupancy of 15 guests per property
  • The accommodation must be fitted with air conditioning in the living area and bedrooms
  • If a property is rented out between October and April, it must be fitted with heating that maintains a temperature of 19 degrees
  • A property must have a free internet/ wifi service
  • If you own or run (as a manager) two properties or more within a 1km radius, your properties must be registered as Apartamentos Turisticos (tourist apartments) and will need to follow a different set of guidelines and regulations
  • Your property must have the Licence of First Occupation to be applicable for registration


Hotel lobby groups are also putting pressure on the Junta to introduce a ‘minimum 5-day stay’ rule, similar to the law in Madrid.

Sevilla-based association Apartsur is supporting homeowners in Andalucia and has been negotiating with the Junta de Andalucia to get some of the less favourable conditions taken out.

Until the final decree is published, we won’t know what’s in and what’s out. The holiday rental market must move with times and embrace change.

Holiday rental regulations should focus on quality, safety and security. They should focus on giving guests the assurance they need to book their holiday with confidence. And they should instill trust in genuine owners and managers.
To find out more information on the holiday rental industry, visit http://www.spain-holiday.com/rentalbuzz 

Jacqueline Fanchini (Reporter)

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  1. Hi I would like to comment on an article in you paper recently about a man from Jatar Granada Province called George. In your article it stated that a fire was started in his house deliberately. That is not true. Can I add the local residents of Jatar have been very generous in putting his house back together. He can’t even say thank you in Spanish. I feel very strongly about this as it puts Jatar in a very bad light. I do not like the idea that this man also brings down British people in the eye of Spanish. This kind of stuff causes nothing but trouble. very embarrassed by all this. We enjoy a very good relationship with our Spanish neighbours and do not like the idea of it being undermined by your article. You need to do a bit more research before you go to print as it can be very damaging.
    Marie Menzies

  2. Fast forward to 2015. A holiday apartment somewhere on the costas. There’s a knock on the door.

    Inspector: Hola. I’m from the tourist department in the ayuntamiento. I notice that you don’t have many air conditioning units hanging from your balcony railings so I suspect that the owner may not have installed air conditioning in the lounge and all of the bedrooms.

    Holidaymaker: It’s OK thanks we don’t need the air conditioning. If we wanted it cool we would have gone to Cleethorpes.

    Inspector: Please can I come in and check that you have free WiFi.

    Holidaymaker: Yes we do have free WiFi but it’s too slow to be of any use. Poor infrastructure on the costas. Anyway it doesn’t matter because we’re on holiday.

    Inspector: Please can I come in to check with my digital thermometer that the temperature is not less than 19.0 degrees celcius? I also need to see that there are no more than 15 of you in there.

    Holidaymaker: Is this a wind-up?

    Inspector: No. New rules to improve the quality of your holiday.

    Holidaymaker. We just wanted a cheap holiday in the sun and to relax. If you want to help you could you stop those dogs barking all day and night. They’re driving us mad and we can’t sleep.

    Inspector: Sorry, we don’t do that. Anyway time to go home now, it’s 1.30pm. Adios.

  3. What a joke. Buy a house in Spain and if the Spanish don’t knock it down or repossess it then sell it at a closed auction to their cronies, because the previous owner/lawyer/local politico didn’t pay the fees/taxes/permisso’s with the money you gave them, and political mismanagement of the economy forces you to return to your native country for work, then the locals get overcome by avarice because you rent out the place for a few months to cover the mortgage of a house you can’t sell but you’ve got to pay the mortgage on anyway even if the bank repossess the place. This is just another of those “laws” to squeeze the foreigners one more time before they give up the will to live and is extremely unlikely to ever be applied to a Spaniard.

  4. Boulder all you say you hear about stories in various press (like you would anywhere, bad stories – try the uk!), but by enlarge you never ever know people it’s happened to. Things are changing in Spain.

    It’s not ‘us’ and ‘them’ either.

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