Under new regulations, property owners in Andalucía offering short term rentals or ‘holiday lettings,’ must comply with new laws to stay legal and avoid potentially huge fines.
After years of discussion and some controversy, the new Decree 28/2016 was recently passed by the Junta de Andalucía, which is the regional governing body that covers the Costa del Sol. It states that properties marketed to tourists for short-term occupancy must comply with certain standards and be registered with the local council. There are also new rules relating to the contracts between owners and tenants.
The Decree, dated the 2nd February, has been put in place ready for the upcoming holiday season, which is expected to be busier than ever. Non compliance after 1st May means possible inspection and fines ranging from €2,000 to a whopping €150,000 for serious infractions. Properties can be registered from 12th May 2016, on which day the new laws come into effect
The exact details are unsurprisingly ambiguous in places, but in essence, it would seem the rules apply to any property that is being promoted for tourist accommodation, for example if it is is being listed on a real estate or holiday rental websites sites like Tripadvisor or Airbnb.
Most types of properties are subject to the new rules with the notable exception of those located in rural areas or complexes of three or more units owned or managed by a single entity, which are already covered in separate legislation.
The Decree does not apply to lettings longer than 2 months to the same tenant(s) or when a property is ‘borrowed’ without money changing hands. So for example, if you only let friends stay at your property without charge, there is no need to register.
In order to obtain the relevant permissions for holiday letting use, owners have to apply to the local town council authority and ensure their properties meet various requirements and standards. This includes having suitable ventilation in each room, fixed air-conditioning systems, privacy blinds etc. Those who wish to let in the winter will also have to ensure there is suitable heating, have appropriate furnishings for the number of guests and provide cleaning services, complaint forms, first aid kits and written instructions on how to use the property.
Every tenancy agreement must have its own contract privately agreed and signed by both parties, but where certain points have not been explicitly stipulated, then certain default conditions may come into play.
Full details on Decree 28/2016 is available (obviously, in Spanish) on the Junta de Andalucíawebsite.If you are in any doubt whether these regulations affect you, I strongly recommend obtaining legal advice to ensure you stay on the right side of the law, and not risk your investment in what is like to be a lucrative holiday season on the Costa del Sol. In other regions of Spain, there have been reports of the use of automated web crawling technology, cross referencing advertised properties with records of those that are licensed so it may prove difficult for those who wish to remain ‘under the radar.’ And collecting fines is not something the Andalucían authorities generally have a problems with.
Please note, I am not a lawyer but If you need any advice, please get in touch and I’ll try and put you in the right direction.
Photo by Hernán Piñera © Some rights reserved.