With the rise of online rental platforms, the tourism sector in Spain is experiencing unfair competition from homeowners who rent out second homes to tourists. Therefore, since 11 May 2016, there has been specific rental legislation for letting in Andalusia to tourists. This article discusses the main obligations.
Important: if you rent in the Costa Blanca region, you can read more about the local regulation in the Comunidad Valenciana.
What is considered tourist rental?
If you regularly rent out properties situated in a residential zone for short periods at a certain price, you fall under the legislation on tourist rentals. There is 'regular' letting if you use promotional channels. Think of online rental platforms, management by an estate agent, travel agencies, etc. If you have your own website to rent out your property, you are also covered by the legislation.
What is not considered tourist rental?
If you make your property available to friends and family free of charge, the tourist rental law does not apply. Even if you rent out your home for more than two months, it is not a tourist rental. So you can simply rent to, for example, winter visitors.
A different regulation also applies when you rent out three or more units in the same building. Finally, the legislation does not apply to dwellings situated in agricultural zones. These dwellings are regulated by a different law.
As long as you rent to friends, relatives or acquaintances, you are safe. From the moment you advertise your second stay online, the tourist rental law applies to you. We explain the obligations below.
Obligations to the property
You must have a valid certificate of conformity to have. This attestation will also determine the maximum capacity of your property. In any case, you can never rent to more than 15 people at the same time in Andalusia. If you rent out part of the property, this maximum is 6 people. In both situations, there should be a maximum of 4 people per room.
There should be a ventilation system and you should be able to cover the windows against light penetration.
The property must be adequately equipped to accommodate the specified number of people. Think kitchen appliances, furniture, cupboards, beds, bedding, etc. There should also be a manual for use of electronic appliances.
There should be fixed air conditioning if you rent from May to September and heating if you rent from October to April.
Presence of a first aid kit is necessary.
Your contact details or the administrator's contact details must be clearly visible.
You should provide tourist information about the region, neighbouring restaurants, shops, car parks, pharmacies, hospitals, transport options. A map of the city and a tourist guide should also be provided.
A complaints book should also be present.
You must offer a clean-up service. The property must be cleaned every time a tenant leaves.
If you only rent out some rooms in your house and not the entire property, you must live there yourself.
Before you start renting in Andalusia, you need to register with the Andalucía tourism authority and declare that your property meets the above requirements. You will then receive a unique number that you must quote in all your communications.
Note: during registration, you do not have to present any documents, e.g. the conformity certificate. However, do keep your file in your home. If inspections take place, you should be able to present the documents.
Firstly, you must draw up an agreement with each tenant that includes your registration number and phone number. In addition, you should keep a copy of the tenants' identity cards. You need to keep these records, i.e. lease agreement + tenant identity details, for at least one year.
You must also keep a guest book in which you must keep some mandatory guest details. You must share these guest details with the local police within 24 hours of check-in (can be done online). You must keep guest records for three years after check-in.
Finally, you should have a price list available in the property. Prices always include water, electricity, air conditioning and cleaning on arrival. The legal deposit is 30% of the rental amount, unless otherwise stipulated in the terms and conditions. If the tenant cancels 10 days before check-in, you may keep half of the deposit. However, if the tenant cancels within 10 days before check-in, you may keep the entire deposit.
Despite all these obligations, you do not have to register as a company.
You are of course obliged to pay taxes on your rental income.
Penalties depend on the type of infringement. Know that fines for minor infringements can be as high as 2,000 euros, such as not keeping track of rental contracts. Serious breaches can be punished with fines of 2,000 euros to 18,000 euros, such as not having a complaints book. You can also get a 6-month rental ban. Then there are fines of up to €150,000 for very serious infringements and a letting ban of up to 3 years.
From the moment you start renting on a regular basis, you are required to keep entire records for your rental activities. You can only avoid this if you rent without using promotional channels and thus basically rent to friends, family and acquaintances.