Property owners on the Costa del Sol who have holiday rental homes, need to be aware that the Junta de Andalucía plans to pass new laws affecting the holiday rental market from the beginning of 2015. The ultimate aim is to raise the standard of holiday lets for visitors to the region, but it will mean that anyone who owns a holiday rental property—homes advertised as a short term let are also included in this—must register it and declare any earnings gained from it.
There has been some legal ambiguity about holiday rentals since 2012, largely because of various changes to the law regarding residential letting. These changes have left short term rental owners not knowing if their activity is legal or not. It also meant that visitors were at a risk of renting sub-standard accommodation and, because of the absence of control over holiday homes, they had no official point of reference to turn to.
Rafael Rodríguez, Andalucía’s secretary for tourism and commerce, has said that he hopes it will stop the sector operating “in a clandestine way, off the books.” The holiday home rental market plays a significant role in Costa del Sol tourism, so more regulation is good news for everyone because visitors will have a better experience that will encourage them to keep coming back.
Spanish government statistics show that there were 78,500 apartments available for short lets in Andalucía during 2013, which represented a 5.7% increase on the previous year. The two years together account for 696,000 beds and 6.8 million overnight stays. Figures from online rental company HomeAway indicate that the holiday rental market in Andalucía is worth about €2 billion; which includes holiday spending by visitors in shops and restaurants.
Costa del Sol lawyers say that the new law affects properties let for a minimum of one month and maximum of three months a year, which have also been advertised via personal websites, travel agents or tourist-related businesses. Property used by family members for holidays is exempt, as are properties in rural areas specified by Articles 47 and 48 of the Andalusian Tourism law. Owners with multiple properties in the same building or complex must comply with a different set of regulations for ‘apartamentos turisticos’. Not only will owners have to register a property and pay tax on rental income; it will also have to meet set standards of comfort.
Massimo Filippa says: “Make sure you’re on the right side of the new law and it can work well for you and the rental sector as a whole. For any questions, please speak to us at Greenlife Estates. We can recommend good sources of legal advice to give you peace of mind and use the greater professionalism resulting from the new guidelines to increase your rental income.”