Further to similar rules already existing in other regions of Spain, on 2 February 2016 the Andalusian Government approved a new law regulating the property rentals on short term or seasonal basis, basically covering lets for a period of less than two months.
What property the new law applies to?
The new regulation, known as Decreto 28/2016, has introduced the obligation to register on the Andalusian tourism registry any property located in “urban” land which is being marketed as a holiday rental with effect from 11 May 2016. The scope of the new law covers any property advertised on specialised websites such as Airbnb, Homeaway, Tripadvisor, etc.
What do you have to do?
In order to register any property on the Andalusian tourism registry, it is necessary to file in a formal declaration, in Spanish "declaración responsable", that the particular property meets the requirements listed in the new law. The formal declaration should provide the Andalusian tourism registry with the following information and documentation:
- A proof of the ownership and the full address of the property;
- The contact details of the property owners, or the person/company managing the property on their behalf; and
- The cadastral reference of the property.
What are the legal requirements?
In terms of compliance, the Decreto 28/2016 states that the property owners will need to have the licence of first occupation and ensure that their properties meet the following requirements:
- The rooms should have windows, so they can be ventilated, as well as blinds or shutters.
- The property should only be let out fully furnished. This includes the kitchen appliances and the necessary bed linen. There should also be a first aid kit available for the tenants.
- The bedrooms and the living room areas should have air conditioning and/or heating units if the property is let out over the period May-September or October-April, respectively. There is though a 12 months deadline to comply with this requirement so the time limit to make the necessary arrangements in this regard will be 11 May 2017.
- The property owners should provide the tenants with a local map as well as information about the amenities, restaurants, shops and medical services in the area.
- There should be a complaints book available for the tenants and a sign informing them that there is such a book, if they need it.
- The property should be professionally cleaned before and after every booking.
- The tenants should be given the contact number of the property owners or the person who acts on their behalf in the event of any emergency related to the property. They should also be provided with handbooks for the kitchen appliances.
- The tenants should be made aware of the rules governing the complex where the property is located, if any, and the restrictions regarding the use of the property e.g. smoking areas, pet policy, noise limitations, etc.
What is the purpose behind this legislation?
The official justification for Decreto 28/2016 was to set out the minimum standards required to let a property as a holiday rental in Andalusia. However, it is clear that the new law has the additional purpose of preventing the property owners from not declaring their rental income.
In particular, the property owners must keep records of the tenants and the periods of occupancy so the local authorities can easily access that information should the need arise in the future. For that reason, the new law sets out the obligation to sign a tenancy agreement reflecting the details of both parties, the dates of arrival and departure and the total price of the booking.
What happens if you do not comply/register?
In the event of breach of any of the above requirements, or if the property owners fail to registered the property on the Andalusian tourism registry, the Decreto 28/2016 has established different level of penalties with fines fluctuating from €2,000 to €150,000 and the possibility that the property is struck off the Andalusian tourism registry.
If you are considering letting out your Andalusian property as a holiday rental, we strongly recommend you that you comply with Decreto 28/2016. If you need advice in this regard, we can assist you in relation to the registration of your property on the Andalusian tourism registry so you can be reassured that you are acting in accordance with the new law.
What to do next
If you have property in the area and you rent it out even just occasionally, do not fall foul of the new law. Registering and complying will be a lot cheaper than being fined for non-compliance.
For further information on this matter, or for any enquiry regarding Spanish law, please do not hesitate to contact Javier Jurado on 020 7294 7330 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.