Those of you who rent your property as Holiday lets on the Costa del Sol will know of the change of Law since Feb’ 2016 when it became law to have a licence to rent out your property.
Since then,while over 25,000 owners have complied with the law, many more have not. From October 1st 2018 the Junta De Andalucia has ramped the monitoring of this law and now sites such as Airbnb, Booking,com and others have removed unlicenced properties, as advertising these illegal properties puts them at risk of hefty fines.
In the weeks leading up to October 1st, the rental giants have been warning unregistered owners that no licence meant their property would be removed. True to their word, the unlicenced properties were deleted and now the sites only show fully registered properties.
For the holiday maker it means that they can be sure that they have recourse if the property they rent is not as advertised.
Owners of registered properties state in their application that they have air conditioning, the property is fully equipped and functioning and suitable for purpose.
Holiday makers who arrive to find this isn’t the case simply go to the local town hall and file a report and this puts the owners in a situation where they could have their licence revoked and face a fine from €3000 upwards.
Once the licence is issued to an owner, the tax department ( Hacienda) are also notified.
Owners who say that they pay the tax on these properties earnings in their home country are incorrect.
They must still do a tax return in Spain each quarter and prove the tax on the income has been paid here in Spain. It is much easier to do a tax return in Spain on the earnings. Tax relief on money spent on the rental property ( Electricity, community etc) can not be claimed if you do the return in another country. A good reason to file a return quarterly in Spain.
Licences are also detailed to the Police in the area. As with hotels and guest houses, it is now the same for private holiday rentals. All visitors over the age of 16 must have their passports registered with the police through the Hospiderias website within 24 hours of arrival.
Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
While the actual registration of Passports is easy… registering the property with the Police in the first place is currently a very tricky business. Each municipality has its own method of registering and it must be done in person.
Papers, including the Rental licence and deeds of the property, must be presented in your local police station. You will receive notification for the owner or the representative of the owner to call back in and sign for the access codes to the Hospiderias site. Currently this is taking up to 3 months, due to the huge amount of applications by owners who left it until the last minute. This time delay between application and issuing of the codes is causing issues for non resident owners who are only in Spain for a week or two at a time , so the need for an authorised representative is essential. It will settle as the thousands of applications are processed, but right now it is difficult to say the least.
We are hearing all sorts of excuses from owners not to register their property.
Let me clear up a few myths.
If you ‘only rent to friends’ …. You need a licence. If you ‘ only rent a few weeks of the year’ …. You need a licence. If you ‘ don’t earn enough to need one’ ….. You still need a licence.
Full time residents who live near rental properties can suffer from holiday makers making noise and breaking community rules. The increase of complaints received by the police regarding these properties has resulted in unregistered rental properties being discovered by the police and this leaves the owners in hot water. While absent owners may claim they are unaware of the law, the locals are not.
Being kept awake at night in your own home, as holiday makers disrupt the peace and quiet in a residential area, is now unacceptable. While a little noise is to be expected in hotels and bar areas, it is no longer something that will be tolerated in private urbanisations.
The Spanish government is looking at giving full term residents the right to block holiday rentals from being allowed in their urbanisations. If you do rent and have not been attending your AGM, now is a good time to start.
This law is not about killing the tourist industry.
It is about many things.
Yes, is about tax. If you are earning from your rentals, tax must be paid and returns filed.
Yes, it is about control. If all the local properties are just for holiday lets, long term rents go up and places like Barcelona are now in crisis.
It is about standards. Landlords who rent substandard properties must face the consequences.
Yes it is about security. Recent terrorist attackers used AirBnB properties so as the could ‘vanish’ Hence, passport registration.
It is about respect for residents who should not have to suffer in their own homes while absent landlords cash in and noisy holiday makers cause chaos without recourse.The bottom line is, Holiday Rental Properties need a licence.
For more information on how to register your rental property with Junta De Andalucia or the Police like and follow our FACEBOOK page or join our mailing list on www.LCPSpain.com
If you have a question specific to your property, licences or tax returns call us (in English) on +34 648088100