After three years of anticipation, the region that is home to Spain’s Costa del Sol announced its new regulation for tourist accommodation in its Official Bulletin of the Andalusian Government (BOJA) which will be enacted in May.
The measures to regulate the tourist rental sector in Andalusia are long overdue and follow in the wake of similar regulations implemented in regions such as Catalonia in 2014. Spain has enjoyed three consecutive years of record-breaking tourist numbers, increasing the need for regulation among providers of short-term accommodation to protect both homeowners’ and tourists’ interests.
Here, we provide a summary of the most important and relevant points of the new legislation and the conditions required to register your holiday rental property.
How is ‘Holiday Rental Accommodation’ Classified?
Holiday rental accommodation is considered to be properties located in a residential zone that are regularly offered for touristic purposes by financial transaction. In other words, they are promoted or marketed via tourism channels.
A tourism channel is considered to be travel agencies, intermediary companies or those that provide tourist services and/or channels that include the possibility of making a reservation.
There are the following exclusions from the new regulations:
• Homes that have guests where no financial transaction has taken place.
• Dwellings contracted for more than two months continuously by the same tenant (long-term holiday rentals).
• Homes that are located in rural areas
• A group of properties consisting of three or more dwellings with the same owner, which are located in the same building or in neighbouring urbanisations or buildings within a 1km radius, (these will be classified as Touristic Apartments and will be subject to other legislation.)
What types of properties can be rented for tourism purposes?
• A property in its entirety. The maximum capacity will be limited by the license of occupation, but may not exceed 15 people, with a maximum capacity of 4 people per room.
• A room only. The owner must also reside in the property. You can use an internationally recognised name (eg. Bed & breakfast, etc.). The maximum capacity will be 6 people with a maximum of 4 people per room.
What are the requirements?
• An occupational license that shows your property complies with technical conditions and quality requirements for housing.
• The property must have direct external ventilation or via a patio and having a window shading system (a means of darkening the windows either by blinds or curtains).
• There should be sufficient equipment and furniture for immediate use.
• Air conditioning units must be fitted in all bedrooms and lounge areas that provide cooling (if rented from May to September) and heating (if rented from October to April). Properties are exempt when the building is classified as “of Cultural Interest” and where modifications and/or building work is prohibited.
• There must be a fully stocked medical kit.
• There should be access to information about local amenities, i.e. shops, restaurants, nearby parking, medical services, public transport, etc.
• There should be a Complaints and Claims book available to guests.
• The property should be freshly cleaned prior to the arrival and after the departure of new customers.
• The property should be supplied with adequate bedding, towels and household goods in general, as well as spare sets.
• A contact number must be provided for answering questions or responding to issues regarding the property.
• Adequate information and instructions for electrical appliances should be available to guests.
• Guests must be informed of the property rules in relation to the use of facilities, pets or smoking restrictions.
How to register a home in the Registry of Tourism of Andalusia
• The homeowner must submit a statement to the Ministry responsible for tourism, confirming the property is in accordance with all the requirements of the decree. Once submitted, the property can be rented out with immediate effect. The minimum content of the statement of responsibility will include:
1. Property details including cadastral reference and the maximum capacity as stated by the license of occupation;
2. Information about the property owner, whether an individual or a company, including contact address for notifications.
• The registration number of the property assigned by the Registry of Tourism of Andalusia must be indicated in all promotional materials or advertising of the property.
• The Registry of Tourism of Andalusia must be notified of any changes in circumstances such as changing to long term rentals.
The Decree was published on 11th February 2016. Registration opens 3 months after this date, which supposedly makes 12th May 2016 the deadline for registering a property in the Registry of Tourism of Andalusia.
Homeowners have one year to comply with the requirements of fixed air conditioning and heating units as required in the property.
Who is Legally Accountable to the Administration and Tourists?
The homeowner is considered to be legally accountable to the administration and holidaymakers, unless otherwise stated.
How are Tourist Rentals Processed and Reservations Taken?
• All holidaymakers must receive a document, by way of contract, which specifies the homeowner, the registration number with the Registry of Tourism, the holidaymaker’s details, the start and end dates of their stay, the total price of the stay, and contact number.
• All holidaymakers must present their identification document so that the homeowner can register their data according to the norms of registry of travellers in hotels and similar.
• The arrival and departure times will be by mutual agreement between the homeowner and the renter. Unless otherwise stated, the arrival time will be at 16:00 and departure time at 12:00.
• Upon arrival, the homeowner must provide keys and/or access cards to the entire compound, as well as information about the use of appliances and the rules of the community.
• The advertised price has to be by night (THERE IS NO MINIMUM OF NIGHTS) and it must include the costs of the use of water, light, cleaning and bedding.
• The terms of price, reservation and payment shall be established between the two parties however, they must be stated in detail before the booking is confirmed. Proof of advance payments must be provided, if applicable.
• The homeowner may request an advance payment as a deposit up to a maximum of 30% of the total price unless previously agreed.
• If the renter cancels their reservation up to 10 days beforehand, the homeowner may keep up to 50% of the deposit. If the cancellation is made with less than 10 days to spare, they may keep the entire advance payment.
• If the homeowner cancels the reservation up to 10 days beforehand, they must return the entire advance payment to the renter. If the cancellation is made less than 10 days beforehand, they must compensate the renter with 30% of the price of the contracted stay.
• If the rental is cancelled by either party for substantiated reason or force majeure, no compensation will be due.
All properties that are not registered or have not filed a declaration of responsibility and are being rented out for tourism purposes could be fined up to 180,000 euros. Also, any property that does not meet the requirements of this Decree may also be fined.