Renting in Catalonia: holiday rentals strictly regulated

When you rent out your second residence on a regular basis for periods shorter than one month, you must comply with a number of obligations. Therefore, you will find in this article more info on renting in Catalonia.

I am renting out my second residence: what are viviendas de uso turístico?

There is a vivienda de usu turístico when you:

  • outside your professional activity
  • as private owner
  • on a regular basis (= more than twice a year)
  • rent your entire second residence
  • for periods shorter than 31 days
  • in exchange for a prize

If your rental activity meets the above criteria, you have a vivienda de usu turístico. There is then talk of holiday rentals.

What are the conditions for renting in Catalonia?

First of all, the property should have a certificate of conformity to dispose of (licencia de primera ocupación / cédula de habitabilidad). This certificate confirms that the property meets local housing standards. The conformity certificate also determines the maximum number of residents allowed. You must respect this number when renting out.

In case the property is located in an urbanisation or apartment building, the bylaws of the co-owners' association (VME) do not prohibit holiday rentals.

In addition, a number of practical conditions. Consider furnishing the home adequately, meeting health and safety standards and having an emergency number. A complaint form is also mandatory.

Mainly the certificate of conformity and the VME are the biggest obstacle to renting out legally. It is best to have these points checked before purchasing.

Here are some points of interest about buying in Spain.

My house or flat meets the conditions: now what?

Once your property meets the basic requirements, you must obtain a rental licence (Habitatge d'Ús Turístic) / HUT number to be obtained. The application for a rental licence is done in two steps.

In the first step, you submit the application to the municipality. The procedure, cost and assessment of the application vary from municipality to municipality. In one municipality, this is a mere formality. In another municipality, they assess the application on its merits.

With the second step, your application will be forwarded to the Generalitat of Catalonia and you will receive the HUT number. From receipt of this number, you can start.

I have my licence: are there any other obligations?

Yes. On the one hand, there are tax obligations. Thus, you will have a tourism tax have to charge guests. You may also have to charge 10% VAT. Finally, you will have to declare your rental income in non-resident tax.

On the other hand, there are administrative obligations. For example, you will have to register your guests with the police within 24 hours of their arrival. In addition, you cannot occupy the property yourself. It is therefore only a second residence.

You should also not offer more services than cleaning and assistance with minor repairs. If not, you should register as a company.

Also, it is not allowed to rent out individual rooms. Indeed, this falls under a different type of rental with specific obligations.

Read more about taxes on second residence in Spain.

Renting in Catalonia without a rental licence?

You then risk fines and even a ban. These fines can be as high as EUR 16,000. Know that Catalan authorities track down offenders. They employ inspectors who both look on the spot and search for illegal holiday rentals via the internet. Barcelona in particular is actively cracking down.

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