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More holiday- rental rules in Spain

The large number of private holiday rentals via websites such as Airbnb and Homeaway is causing stricter regulations. This is what has changed.

Rental in Spain good extra income

Many people who own a (second) home in Spain earn a good living by renting out this home. Originally, they only rented to relatives and acquaintances, but since the rise of the internet and websites such as Airbnb and Homeaway, it has become so easy to make contact with potential tenants that the rental of holiday homes has taken an enormous flight. More and more people are buying an apartment or property in Spain, purely for renting it out as a holiday home. And that has consequences.

Spanish government and hotels lack income

Firstly, the government, official hotels and apartments notice that they are missing out on income because so many potential customers choose a home that they find on the internet. The Spanish government has therefore been working for a number of years to stop illegal holiday rentals in Spain and to demand that every home that is regularly rented out must be registered and pay taxes.

Permanent residents complain about nuisance

A second facet is the nuisance caused by the rental of houses, particularly in cities. If in a street where it used to be pleasant to live, and now half of the properties are rented out for a short term, it is very unpleasant for the people who live there permanently. They have to deal with changing and unknown neighbours who make noise and do not take care of cleaning the stairwell or the street. The prices of the buildings rise and the stores disappear. In cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, but also in Valencia and Alicante, this has already led to protests and official indictments of residents.

More rules and more control

It is therefore not surprising that the Spanish government is looking for more rules to curb the limitless rental. In Madrid, for example, the local government carried out a thorough inspection in 2018 in various neighbourhoods in and around the centre. Since July 2018, a rule has been in force in Madrid in which houses that are rented out more than 90 days per year must have a special permit stating that this house is used for "commercial purposes". In the past months, seven thousand homes have been checked and almost a thousand of them have been let to tourists. Only a small number of the tourist apartments had all the necessary papers and so 710 homes were closed by order of the police and forced to cease their activities.

" Holiday rental prohibited in this building"

Separate entrance for holiday renters

The municipality of Madrid is also in the process of enacting a legislative amendment aimed at requiring that homes that are used for tourist rental for more than three months a year, and that still have the same entrance as those in which they live all year round, must have a separate entrance so that the residents are not bothered by all those people who use the stairwell or the elevator at all times of the day and night. The rules do not apply to people who stay in their homes for most of the year and who rent them out for a few weeks during the holiday period, for example.

Spanish State Secretary for Tourism wants to change rules

Rented homes that are part of a complex with a residents' association can also face stricter rules. The State Secretary for Tourism sat down a few months ago with representations from all Spanish autonomous states to amend the Horizontal Property Law, which includes buildings and urbanisations with multiple residential units.

Clarity for rental properties throughout Spain

Spain wants to arrive at a clear definition of a "home for tourist use" in order to harmonise the rules at national level. These rules must enable an association of owners to be able to check whether the properties in the "Comunidad" (VVE) that are regularly rented to tourists do comply with the rules.

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