Letting your holiday villa in Andalucia, Spain, Costa del Sol, villa marketing, spain holiday property management

Andalucia holiday rentals

The Complete Guide to Registering Your Holiday Rental in Andalucia

In line with many other regions in Spain, the Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian government) finally published the decree to regulate holiday rentals (viviendas con fines turísticos) in Andalucía on 11th February 2016. The law became operative on the 11th May 2016, after which all owners who advertise their holiday home as tourist accommodation must register in the Registro de Turismo de Andalucía. The good news is that registration is free, and the registration process simple.

In February the Junta de Andalucía held a meeting in Málaga, which was attended by over 300 people keen to get clarification on the new guidelines. I attended the meeting to find out exactly how to register your holiday rental in Andalucía.

How to register your holiday rental in Andalucia

If you have an electronic signature (‘firma electrónica’) you can do the whole process online. If not, you should complete the online registration form “Declaración responsable para el acceso o ejercicio de la actividad”,  then you can print it off and present the application form at one of the offices listed below.

The main application details must include the owner’s details, since as an owner you are held completely responsible for your property and the activity as tourist accommodation unless you have given another party Power of Attorney to be your legal representative. If you have a property manager or agency managing your holiday rental, you can nominate them to take care of the registration, be available for the inspection, etc.

Together with the application form, you must make available copies of the following documentation:

  • Paperwork from when you bought the property, including the ‘referencia catastral’ (land registry reference), which you should find on an IBI receipt or sometimes on your title deeds (‘Escritura’)
  • The licence of first occupation (‘Licencia de Primer Ocupación’), or equivalent certificate, such as the ‘Cedula de Habitabilidad’.
  • Property owner details, including an address where notifications can be sent.
  • NIE and passport or Spanish DNI

The registration process is started by submitting the form online, or to the Tourism Office in your locality (see below). An inspection should take place sometime after presenting, but as there is a huge delay in the inspection process, the Junta de Andalucía are granting registration numbers beforehand, as long as your paperwork is in order.

When you submit your application you will be issued with a reference code, which proves you have presented your application. The code starts CTC and can be found at the top of your declaración responsable. You should be able to use this in your advertising to show you are within the process.

If you do not present your ‘Declaración Responsable’ and continue to advertise the property as tourist accommodation, it will be considered an illegal activity.

Where to submit your form

Once you have completed the application form it can be submitted online (if you have a ‘certificado digital, or ‘firma electronica’), or presented at your regional tourism department – the office of Delegaciones Territoriales de Cultura, Turismo y Deporte (click to find your local office).  We are able to do on your behalf – please read more about our holiday rental registration service for Andalucia.

You can also submit your form via the post office (correos).

The Inspection Process

An inspection of your property will be carried out during the application process. Within the Declaración Responsable you can name a representative, who will then be contacted to confirm an inspection date.

Inspections may be carried out during guest occupation. The inspector will ask to see all your paperwork i.e. Licence of First Occupation, Title Deeds, etc. so do have these ready to show them (see details above).

If a property does not meet the structural requirements of the decree, for example if you do not have air-conditioning or heating. Or if you have not got a copy of your Licence of First Occupation, you will be given one year to get the property into the required condition for rental.

Multiple Registration

If you are an owner – individual or company – with three or more properties in your name within the same building or complex, those properties must be registered as Apartamentos Turísticos. This does not apply to agents running three or more properties in the same place, who will be considered as a representative, not an owner.

What properties can be registered as a Vivienda con Fines Turísticos?

All properties that are situated on ‘suelo residencial’ (built on a residential plot/land) can register.

Several clients have asked us about the difference between coastal and inland properties. Today we understand the following rules apply:

  • If your property is situated in the ‘Medio Rural’ i.e. in a natural zone – forest, farmland, river, or countryside, then you should register as a Vivienda Turística Alojamiento Rural
  • If your property is situated on the coast, or within a village or town housing more than 20,000 inhabitants you should apply as a ‘Vivienda con Fines Turísticos’. We recommend you check with your local town hall to confirm this.

Quality categories will be applied with a minimum quality standard of ‘3 Keys’. As the criteria to register has been kept very simple, it’s not clear who or how your property is graded. If this happens during inspection, or based on your registration details. We hope to update on this later.

Viviendas con Fines Turísticos have two options for registering:

  • Casa completa: You rent the whole property out and don’t live there during guest occupation. In this case you may offer a maximum occupation of 15 guests.
  • Por habitación: You may offer single-room occupation, as long as you live there at the time of guest occupation. You would then be registered under the title: Vivienda turística por habitaciones. If you apply for this category you may use international terms, such as guest house or bed and breakfast. In this case you may offer a maximum occupation of 6 guests. And you must also submit a copy of your Certificado de Empadronamiento to prove you are living at the address.

Caution: If you offer any other services apart from accommodation i.e. breakfast, you then become obliged to charge VAT (IVA) and could receive an inspection from the ‘Departamento de Sanidad’, health & safety department. It’s important to check your responsibilities in this case and make sure you are prepared to fulfill them.

The maximum duration of rental by the same party is two months. After which it is considered a long-term rental and is covered under the ‘Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos’ for residential lettings.

Your property must have a licence of first occupation. You won’t need this to register, but if you don’t have one we recommend you apply for it straight away, and be prepared to present this to the Junta, inspector or any other administrative body when asked.

Your guests must abide by the rules and regulations, as set out within the statutes of your community, if you belong to one i.e. noise pollution, violence, etc. If they fail to do so, you will have the right to ask them to leave, giving 24 hours notice.

You are not allowed to decline any guest based on their race, sex, colour, or personal or social circumstances.

Minimum criteria to register a holiday rental in Andalucia

  • If you rent your holiday home out between the months of May-September, the accommodation must be fitted with some form of cooling equipment in the living area and bedrooms i.e. air conditioning.
  • If you rent your holiday home between October and April, it must also be fitted with a heating system, that maintains a temperature of 19 degrees.
  • All bedrooms must have direct ventilation to the exterior and all windows and patio doors must have some way of obscuring light i.e. curtains, shutters, etc.
  • The accommodation must be furnished adequately for the maximum guest occupancy.
  • Adequate bed linen and towels must be supplied based on the maximum occupation, plus one extra set.
  • You must offer a changeover cleaning service in between each guest occupation i.e. before arrival and after departure of each guest. But it’s not necessary to offer mid-stay cleaning.
  • You should have a medical kit available in the accommodation.
  • Guest must be supplied with tourist information, activities, restaurants, shops, details of the nearest parking area, medical facilities, transport, along with a map of the local area, etc. This can be supplied to guests either as a physical book, or digital format.

Managing your holiday rental bookings in Andalucia

  • All guests must be given a basic contract document which includes: Owner or property manager contact details, your license number, number of guests, check in and out dates, total price of the rental and a 24 hour emergency number
  • Every property must provide an official complaints form for guests and the location of this must be indicated in the property.
  • Your will need to get your guests to fill our a Guest ID form, which must be submitted to the Guardia Civil within 24 hours of their arrival. Please read our updated article on how to submit guest information to the police in Andalucía.
  • The check in and check out times are at the discretion of the owner, but if no times have been agreed in the booking terms, the guest should be able to occupy the home from 16.00h on the first day of the contracted period and leave at 12.00h on the final day.
  • Owners must provide instructions (or the user manual) for all electrical domestics and electrical appliances and instruct the guest how to use each appliance when they arrive, at the same time as any telephone, wifi, alarm and access cards, or similar, so they have complete independence during their holiday.
  • Owners should also include a set of rules for the home  i.e. pets, smoking, etc. Along with the regulations of the community or building in which the property is situated.
  • Owners must keep receipts and proof of payments for each guest occupation. All proof of payments and guest contracts (above) must be kept and made available to the Junta de Andalucia or government administration office (e.g. Hacienda) for the period of one year.
  • Your prices should be advertised on a per night basis and include: water, electricity, cooling and heating costs, fridge, cleaning (before arrival) and bed and bath linen.
  • All guests must receive a written booking confirmation, which includes total price of stay, including any extra charges and deposit.
  • Guests must receive a receipt each time they make a payment towards their stay, or ancillary services.
  • You may establish clear booking and payment terms with your clients, but if you have not agreed otherwise, you may ask for a maximum 30% of the rental fee as a deposit to secure a booking, and a refundable breakages deposit on key collection. If the booking is for two nights only, you can ask for the total price in advance.
  • Cancellation policy: If you have not indicated otherwise in your Booking Terms, cancellations made by the client earlier than 10 days before the arrival date, will be subject to losing 50% of the deposit. Cancellations made within 10 days of arrival, the owner is entitled to keep the full payment.

New legislation can always lead to a time of uncertainty, but these changes are hopefully going to bring more professionalism in the sector in general so can only be a good thing for tourism. If you are unsure as to the best course of action to take, then do read our recent opinion blog about the new legislation.

New article on how to register Guest ID information with the police in Andalucía

How to Make a Lucrative and Legal Income From Your Spanish Villa

So you own a Spanish villa that spends a large part of its life sitting empty? I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you how lucrative it could be for you to rent it to holiday makers while you are not using it, or even while you wait for a suitable buyer.

We’ve seen some amazing good news stories from owners who have turned around their fortunes by embracing holiday rentals as a source of income. For example, one of our owners was on the verge of losing his townhouse to the bank, but with a clever niche-marketing strategy he now consistently gets 30+ bookings each year, bringing in an important income of £25,000 to £30,000 every season. Not only did he save his house from being repossessed, he also paid off his debts, and is now looking for another rental property to buy.

Another of our clients who owns a luxury villa in Spain was struggling to find a buyer when the market crashed, but rather than reducing the sales price and selling for less than it cost him to build the villa, he instead decided to rent it out. He managed to achieve £140,000 worth of bookings after commission in his first year which has seriously helped towards his initial building costs and tax bills. That’s not a figure to be sniffed at!

Obviously any income you make from your holiday rental is taxable, just as your earnings from employment would be. And since 2013 the 17 autonomous regions of Spain have been introducing a licence procedure for holiday rentals, which works to ensure the industry is well-run, professional, and offers quality accommodation for tourists, which can only be a good thing!

Registering your holiday rental in AndalucíaAndalucia is the latest region to approve a very simple and free registration system, so that you can get your all-important licence number, which will allow you to use all of the online marketing channels available to you.

The law was approved on 2nd February and the law will come into effect on 12th May 2016, giving owners time to register.

Registering your Spanish villa for holiday rentals is a no-brainer, especially if you advertise your villa online to attract bookings (who doesn’t?). Many owners are too busy to set up and manage their own website and marketing strategies, so just like our clients we mentioned before they work predominantly with specialist rental agencies and listing sites to bring in bookings. But increasingly, these listing sites will only be able to advertise properties that hold a licence number, as we have seen with Airbnb and HomeAway in Catalonia, who faced big fines themselves from the Spanish authorities for continuing to advertise holiday rentals that were not registered.

If you own a holiday rental in another region 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 way.

As sure as Benjamin Franklin was about the certainty of death and taxes, we are even more certain that villas with a licence number are going to have a massively out-perform those properties that are unregistered.

Think about it, you will have a massive advantage over clandestine rentals in terms of customer confidence, quality and legality, so you can easily take a lion’s share of the market from guests who will book your place over the unregulated villa next door – he may be trying to avoid the taxman, but that’s a false economy if he doesn’t have any income anyway!

As we mentioned before, there is no need to panic at all about the new Andalusian decree, unlike some tabloid reports it’s there to protect owners and guests alike and it’s free and simple to register.

We are going to be helping a couple of our villa owners through the paperwork as soon as the register opens to see how it all works, then we will report back with as much help and advice as we can offer to smooth the process for you.

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

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. Read more

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