If you are going to buy or already own an overseas property in the Costa del Sol that is rented out to holidaymakers, you must be aware of new laws that regulate tourist accommodation and holiday lets in the area.
Under the new rules, passed by the regional government of Andalusia in February, owners of holiday rental accommodation that do not comply with the laws could be liable for penalties. Similar regulations have already been enforced in other parts of Spain, including Catalonia and the Canary Islands.
The new law applies to all types of property in residential areas that are rented out on a regular basis to tourists. However, it does not apply to properties located in rural areas, or complexes of three or more units that are owned or managed by the same person and located within the same building or group of buildings. Both of these scenarios are already covered by other legislation.
The law does, however, include the rental of individual rooms that form part of a larger property to different tenants and the letting of an entire property to the same tenant. These situations are subject to a maximum licensed occupancy of 15 people.
The law does not apply to properties let to the same tenant for more than two consecutive months, or if family or friends of the property owner are staying there for free.
As of this month, any property offered as tourist accommodation in the Costa del Sol and wider Andalusia must:
- Be granted a license.
- Have exterior ventilation (for example, a window in every bedroom and sitting room).
- Have air-conditioning – with both cool air in the summer and hot air if it will be rented out in the winter months.
- Be furnished to legal standards.
- Come with cleaning services, complaint forms, a first aid kit and tourist information.
- Include a document that provides tenants with instructions and rules concerning its use.
Every tenancy also requires an individual rental contract, although both parties may freely agree to the terms and conditions. Owners are required, however, to make their terms public in advance. In cases where specific relevant terms, such as check in and check out times, are not specified by the contract, the provisions of the new law will be applied.
The Spain Buying Specialist at PropertyGuides.com, Laura Richards, explains the importance of complying with the new law: “Not abiding by the new rules could mean being hit with a large fine. It’s happened in other parts of Spain, so don’t risk letting it spoil your experience of buying and owning in the Costa del Sol.
“Anyone in any doubt about where they stand or how to tackle the paperwork should consult a Spanish legal expert, such as one of our partner law firms, based in Marbella, who have helped many of our clients.”
Before marketing properties as holiday rentals, owners must provide a declaration of responsibility to the Andalusian government, stating that they are in compliance with the requirements of the new law. This can be done by filling out a form that can be downloaded from the government’s website. Once this is complete, the government will then register the property with a unique number, which must be included on all advertising material.
If you have a holiday home or permanent expat residence in Spain, remember to protect your asset with Overseas Property Insurance.