ON February 2 this year, after years of debate, the Junta finally passed its decree regulating properties that are rented as tourist accommodation across the region.
Decree 28,2016, which comes into force this month, just in time for the tourism season, aims to regulate the thousands of transactions between owners and tenants who rent properties for their holidays every year.
The basic presumption to determine whether a property is being rented for tourist accommodation under the terms of the law is when it is marketed through typical tourism promotion channels, such as travel agencies, tour operators, or for short-term holiday rentals on websites like our own.
The new law applies to all kinds of dwellings in residential areas that are rented on a regular basis to tourists.
But it does not cover those located in rural areas, nor complexes of three or more units that are owned or managed by the same person and located within the same building or group of buildings, both of which are already covered under other legislation.
The rental of individual rooms that form part of larger property to different tenants and the letting of an entire property to the same tenant both fall under the terms of the law, subject to a maximum licensed occupancy of 15 people in both cases.
Tourist accommodation agreements are also, as defined by the law, for short-term duration and pecuniary gain, so the new regulations are not applicable if the rental is for a period of more than two months with the same tenant or when the property is ‘rented’ without any money changing hands (i.e. you let your friends stay while you’re away).
The property in question must have a licence of occupation and meet a long list of requirements that ensures any dwelling rented to tourists has: exterior ventilation (a window in every bedroom and sitting room) and air-conditioning (with both cool air in the summer and hot to maintain minimum temperatures, if you intend to rent during the winter months), is furnished to legal standards, and comes with cleaning services, complaint forms, a first-aid kit, tourist information and a document that provides tenants with instructions and rules.
An individual rental contract will be required for every tenancy, although the terms and conditions may be freely agreed to by both parties.
Owners will be required, however, to make public their terms in advance. In cases where specific relevant terms, such as check-in and out times are not specified by the contract, the provisions of the new law will be applied.
Prior to marketing properties for rent as tourist accommodation, owners are required to provide a declaration of responsibility (declaración responsable) to the Junta, declaring they are in compliance with the requirements of the new law.
This can be done by filling in a (seven-page!) form that can be downloaded from the Junta’s website here in Spanish with the owner’s details and the catastral reference of the property.
Once this has been done, the Junta will register the property with a unique number, which must be included on all advertising materials.
After May, if a property is rented for tourist accommodation without the owner previously having filed a declaration of responsibility, this will be considered against the law and punishable with fines of between €2,000 and €18,000.