Applying for your holiday rental licence in Spain

Updated 8/02/2016: The world of holiday rentals is changing and growing at a super fast rate. A sector which has been pretty much unregulated since its inception, is now subject to close scrutiny and regulation. With some regions handling their legislation roll out in a far more effective way than others.

Here in Spain, the law governing short-term tourist rentals changed back in June 2013. Up until then, it fell under the LAU – Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (Spanish Tenancy Act). At the time the industry was in an a-legal state, with short-term tourist rentals being an untamed and fragmented sector.

In June 2013, Spain’s central government tasked each individual autonomous community to regulate their region. They were given a set of guidelines to follow, but tasked to roll out a legislation, which would meet with the needs of the individual communities. It’s understandable that different regions offer varying types of tourism and therefore couldn’t be subject to one single decree; but in some respects the plan was a recipe for disaster.

We are now in a situation where just over half (nine in total) of the Spanish autonomous communities have introduced regulations; most with very differing requisites and we’re still waiting on two of the most important tourist regions to introduce proper regulations – Andalusia and the Balearic Islands.

Here’s the latest news on holiday rentals licences in Spain. Our region-by-region guide will be updated, as we receive news.

Andalucía

Owners can register their holiday rental in Andalucía from 11th May 2016, after which you will have three months to register the property, before the Junta de Andalucía will start to issue fines to unregistered properties. which are still still advertising on holiday rental listing sites.

An updated draft decree was published at the beginning of February 2016 June 2014. If stipulations are not changed too drastically, for the most part the content and criteria in the draft decree is fair.

Read our complete guide to registering your holiday rental in Andalucía.

Aragon

Situated next to Spain’s most popular tourist region of Catalonia, Aragon has a decree in place that regulates Viviendas Turisticas (holiday homes) in the region. You will need to apply for your licence with a Declaración Responsable (Declaration of Responsibility) and then include the registration number in all advertising you do for short-term holiday rentals of your property.

As with Andalusia, if you own or manage two or more properties in the same building, you must register the properties as Apartamentos Turisticos, not Viviendas Turisticas.

Here you can read the decree that regulates holiday rentals in Aragon.

Here you can fill out your Declaración Responsable for Viviendas de Uso Turístico in Aragon and apply online here if you have an electronic signature.

Asturias

In Asturias you may apply for a licence if you have a villa, chalet, townhouse or casa rural (country home), but it’s not permitted to rent out an apartment located in a multi-family apartment block. And you may not offer single room accommodation.

A holiday home is classified as a Vivienda Vacacional, or if it’s a rural property, then it should be registered as a Casa de Aldea. You can register for your holiday rental licence in Asturias online, or by visiting your regional Department of Tourism.

Here you can read the decree that regulates holiday rentals in Asturias.

Here you will find a downloadable Declaración Responsable for Viviendas Turisticas in Asturias and you can also apply online here if you have an electronic signature.

Balearic Islands

The law in the Balearic Islands is a complicated one. Similarly to Asturias, you may rent your townhouse, chalet or villa as tourist accommodation, but you may not offer an apartment. We understand that in the last 24 months the issue of licences for single occupancy buildings has also been frozen.

Many locals and even the opposing government say that together with increased flight prices to the Balearic Islands, this has had a negative effect on tourism figures. As the majority of tourists who visit the islands are looking to rent an apartment in the popular beach resorts.

We understand that the regional government are currently preparing a new tourism decree for the Balearic Islands, in which will be included further stipulations (we won’t say restrictions) on holiday rentals on the islands.

To register your property in the Balearic Islands, you will need to fill out a DRIAT Form and take it to your local island Tourism department. You can apply online with an electronic signature.

If you want to find out more about the situation in the Balearic Islands, we recommend you get in touch with the local association supporting the local holiday rentals sector, Aptur Baleares.

Basque Country (Pais Vasco)

The process is underway to regulate all short-term rental accommodation in the Basque Country. Currently you need to offer your property through an agent who manages two or more properties. You are not allowed to rent and manage your own individual holiday rental.

All holiday rental properties must register in the Registro de Empresas Turisticas (Official Register for Tourism Businesses in Pais Vasco).

The Basque government is currently updating its Tourism Act and holding discussions with the regional association, AVC, to include better regulations that will support the holiday rental sector as a whole in Pais Vasco.

If you are already renting your property out through an agent, you should confirm that your property has been registered by them.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, one of the most popular tourist regions in the world, an all-year-round destination, published its decree regulating holiday rentals in May 2015. The sector had been a-legal since 1996, when holiday rentals were omitted from the tourist accommodation decree. Unfortunately the new decree is not good news for many owners and agents.

The campaign to regulate holiday rentals in the Canary Islands started in May 2014, when a group of owners got together and formed the association, ASCAV. They took 20,000 signatures collated on Change.org to the president of the Canary Islands and asked him reconsider the situation and regulate holiday rentals, which had been operating and attracting tourists to the region for many years.

ASCAV fought valiantly for the rights of holiday home owners and the holiday rental sector and the draft decree, which was published at the beginning of 2015, was heading in the right direction. Unfortunately, the Canary Islands battle hasn’t been fought fairly, with the big hotel chains lobbying to keep the holiday rental sector down.

The final decree excluded over 90% of holiday homes and has since been retracted for further discussion.

Where does this leave owners? We highly recommend that you join the association ASCAV, who are not giving up their battle to improve the conditions and criteria for holiday rentals in the Canary Islands.

Cantabria

The regional government of Cantabria published their decree regulating holiday homes (Viviendas Turisticas) early 2014. Holiday homes are now registered under the category of Alojamiento Turistico Extrahotelero (non-hotel tourist accommodation).

Any type of property may apply for a holiday rental licence in Cantabria, but the property must be wheelchair friendly i.e. adapted for guests with disabilities. Your holiday home will be graded with 1-4 keys, based on size, quality and equipment.

To apply for your holiday rental licence in Cantabria, you will need to prepare your Declaración de Responsabilidad and present this, together with a series of documentation about the property.

Here you can read the Decree for Holiday Rentals in Cantabria here.

Here you can find out more about applying for your licence Alojamiento Turistico Extrahotelero in Cantabria. Click on the small icons in the top right, where you can apply online with electronic signature, or download the form to apply at your local tourism department.

Castile-La Mancha

At present there is no decree to regulate holiday rentals in Castile-La Mancha. And no news of one on the way. If you have a property located in a rural area, you may be able to apply as a Vivienda Rural (Rural accommodation). You can apply for your Vivienda Rural licence at the regional tourist department.

Castile and Leon

Castile and Leon is another region that has chosen not to regulate holiday rentals at this time. As with all unregulated regions an owner may rent their property out as a short-term rental under the LAU ((Spanish Tenancy Act), but it must not be advertised on any platform – on or offline, as tourist accommodation.

Catalonia

Catalonia introduced regulations to holiday rentals way back before any other region, in 2011. The Catalan government have been pretty organized and fair in rolling out procedures in applying and registering your holiday rental in Catalonia.

However, in Barcelona City, the sector is now subject to a freeze on the submission of new licences, after increasing pressure from residents and hotel lobbyists, to curb the number of tourists staying in residential zones. The ban on new licences for holiday rentals in Barcelona came in May 2014. The city council want to review current regulations and revise them over a two year period, before allowing further licences to be approved. Meanwhile thousands of illegal holiday apartments still operate in the city.

You may still apply for your holiday rental licence outside in the rest of Catalonia. The procedure is straightforward and free. Although each local council applies a tax, which differs per town, for the registration.

Here you will find extensive information on who and how to apply for your holiday rental licence in Catalonia.

Extremadura

The autonomous community of Extremadura has no regulation in place for holiday rentals. Again you may offer short-term rentals under the LAU, without specifying in any of your advertising that the property offered is tourist accommodation.

Galicia

Galicia published a decree back in 2011, which regulates the use of holiday homes and tourist apartments in the region. In Autumn 2014 the Xunta de Galicia announced they would update the Tourism Law in 2015 and new regulations for holiday rentals will be reflected. As yet, no date has been given for the publication of the new law.

Currently owners are not allowed to offer single room occupancy, you must rent out the whole property and you are not allowed to stay in the property at the same time as the guest; making Airbnb style sharing illegal. You may offer accommodation to a maximum of 10 guests.

Here you can read the decree that regulates holiday rentals in Galicia.

Get in touch with the Tourism Department in A Coruña for details on how to apply for your holiday rental licence in Galicia.

Turismo de Galicia
Carretera Santiago – Noia, Km 3, 15896
Santiago De Compostela, A Coruña, Galicia
Tel: 902 200 432

La Rioja

La Rioja is another region, which is yet to regulate holiday rentals. As with all the unregulated regions, we’ll keep checking back for updates on the situation.

Community of Madrid

The Spanish capital of Madrid approved regulations for holiday rentals back in July 2014. The decree specifies that holiday rentals may offer a minimum stay of five days, which reduces dramatically the rental opportunity in the capital, as the average stay in Madrid is four days; leaving the market wide-open for hotels. In Spring of this year, the CNMC (National Commission for Markets and Competence) appealed against the unfairness of the decree.

Here you can read the decree that regulates holiday rentals in Madrid.

Here you can find details on how to apply for your Viviendas de Uso Turístico in Madrid.

Murcia

As yet, there is no decree to regulate holiday rentals in Murcia. It’s possible with the publication of a new Tourism Law, regulations will be included.

Navarre

In the Autonomous Community of Navarra (Navarre), you can apply for your holiday rental. There are two categories:

  • Apartamento Turistico: in the case of Navarra, apartments, chalets, townhouses or villas, are all categorised as Apartamentos Turisticos
  • Casa Rural: if your home is built in the traditional style of the Navarra region and situated in a rural location you should apply as a Casa Rural.

It’s free to register your property with Tourism, but after your application is processed, you may be subject to a licence fee from your local ayuntamiento (town hall). Your registration number should be included in all advertising.

To apply for your holiday rental licence in Navarra visit the website for the Registro de Turismo Navarra, scroll down to the links under the heading: Documentación obligatoria para apartamentos y viviendas turísticas, pensiones y agroturismo. You will need to fill out the Inscripción en el Registro Turismo and the Declaración Responsable Apartamentos.

You can also contact the central Tourism office in Pamplona for further information and to present your application. If you have a digital signature you can register online.

Valencian Community

The Valencian Community introduced regulations to holiday rentals in 2013. The application is not compulsory for owners with up to four properties; but if you don’t apply for your licence, you must state in all advertising that you are not registered in the official Tourism Register for Valencia (Registro de Empresas, Establecimientos y Profesiones Turística).

It will soon become compulsory for everyone to apply for their licence. We recommend you get in early, before the process slows down through the volume of applications.

Here you can read the decree that regulates holiday rentals in the Community of Valencia.

Here you can fill out the application (Declaración Responsable) for Viviendas de Uso Turístico in the Community of Valencia and apply online here if you have an electronic signature.

If you want further information on licence application for each region, we first recommend you contact your regional Tourism Department. Contact us if you need some help understanding the prerequisites for application in each region.

22 replies
  1. Ian
    Ian says:

    I think you have miss understood the information on B&Bs being covered under this new law in Andalusia.
    There is no mention about this type of business being covered in Section 5 of the draft law. It stipulates that a business can be classified under the international terms . You can share property and it’s facilities (just like you can with AirBnB). Do you know that if you serve food you are into a different ball game. The laws about what IVA (VAT) is charged on comes into play. There is also a small matter of food inspectors calling to ensure you are complying with the standards required.. In general these are European wide, and each country will have some differing standards within the EU regulations.
    The IVA laws are written by the Spanish government. Maybe those interested should read up more on this, maybe this blog should update about those laws too.

    Reply
    • Louise Brace
      Louise Brace says:

      Hi Ian

      Thanks for your comment. In the original draft, the term Bed and Breakfast was used. This changed when the published the decree in the BOJA yesterday. We’ll update our checklist to reflect this. They used the term bed and breakfast to indicate single-room occupation.

      Thanks again, Louise

      Reply
  2. Ian
    Ian says:

    Thanks for that. The internet is buzzing about this and the English versions keep suggestion B&B. I have never read that, prhasp I was too late for the show.
    Can you please correct the information for Galicia?
    The Tourism office for Galicia is

    Turismo de Galicia,
    Carretera Santiago – Noia, Km 3, 15896
    Santiago De Compostela, A Coruña, Galicia.
    Tel 902200432.

    Reply
  3. dawn larder
    dawn larder says:

    Hi Louise
    Could you clarify one point for me in regards to Andalusia. The decree states that the ID information needs to be collected from each guest on arrival. Does this mean it has to be actually physically collected in person on arrival or can this information be done by email? I ask as we haven’t always operated meet and greets and often our guests use a key safe to access the house. i am just wondering if it is a requirement that guests are personally met on arrival in order for documentation to be exchanged???

    many thanks

    Reply
    • Louise Brace
      Louise Brace says:

      Hi Dawn

      You’re the second person to ask me that question today! Tomorrow I will be at a meeting in Málaga, which is being held by the Junta de Andalucía and Apartsur, and where I hope they will clarify this point and more. I’ll let you know.

      Reply
        • Louise Brace
          Louise Brace says:

          Hi Dawn

          A full article will be published today on Rental Tonic, which will include every detail you should need to register your property. If you need help registering, you can get in touch directly.

          The Junta de Andalucía were unable to give us further information on collecting guest IDs. They said the question has to be directed to the local police station. I think it might be worthwhile checking with them, and your ayuntamiento, as to the question of what format and how frequently we need to submit guest information.

          The police must understand that in many cases owners won’t be on hand to take these details, so there must be a possibility to send them electronically via email.

          I am going to personally ask in Marbella on Friday. I’ll update you if I get any further to the correct information. But the Junta said that it’s possible that every municipality will have a slightly different way of dealing. Hooray 🙁

          Louise

          Reply
  4. Sue W
    Sue W says:

    Hello Louise,
    fantastic article. one of the clearest I’ve seen. Thanks.

    In 2015 we purchased a property in Spain which we rent out via a holiday rental agency. We only recently heard of this new legislation. Will you confirm if we definitely have 3 months from 11th May to complete our registration with the Tourist Office?

    I understand that we have 1 year to comply with the building condition requirements We only lack a first aid kit which we intend to take to the property on our next trip. Our property has holiday makers booked in before our arrival – is this still OK or do we need to have the first aid kit in place before their arrival?

    Reply
    • Louise Brace
      Louise Brace says:

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks so much for your kind feedback. There is no fixed ‘three month’ period to register, but if you are advertising your property on online portals or in local media, and you’re caught still advertising without registration after a few months, you will run the risk of being fine. My advice is to register as soon as you can.

      Yes you will have one year to comply with any work that needs to be carried out. If you’re only lacking a first aid kit, I think you’ll be fine. When is your next visit? Is there nobody that can put in the first aid kit for you?

      I hope that helps
      Louise

      Reply
      • Sue W
        Sue W says:

        thanks Louise,
        We started the registration process 2 days ago, and hope to have our code from the Tourism office within 4 weeks. Our rental agency has already removed our advert until a code is received.

        Our property has 1 week already booked by holidaymakers for next month, then we fly out ourselves the following week. It’s easy for us to just buy and take a first aid kit with us, unless you think it is critical we have one in for the pre-booked week. I’m not sure when the inspection will take place.

        regards
        Sue

        Reply
        • Louise Brace
          Louise Brace says:

          Hi Sue

          I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’ll need it for the inspection, but if you get a date quickly, before you are here, you could always organise to get it in the property. Or delay the inspection until you are here!

          Best wishes
          Louise

          Reply
  5. rob
    rob says:

    hi
    I live in valancia community
    I rent a couple of private rooms in my house
    does this apply to private rooms also
    and what about the rules are they the same for a private room as for a apartment

    Reply

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  1. […] complaint against them for untoward behaviour, they may think twice about stepping out of line. New holiday rental regulations in Spain mean a community can complain to the police about a renter’s behaviour and the owner has the […]

  2. […] of Spain, we recommend you read our article, which gives a quick run through of the latest requirements for registering a holiday rental in each region, so you can be sure that you are doing things the right […]

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