The original law that related to licences for Holiday lets for properties in Spain (which originally only really related to owners operating as a business previously) has been modified.
Now it is obligatory for all owners letting out properties as Holiday lets with no official agent to apply for a tourist licence in every Region of Spain, though each region operates slightly different. At present, we can only provide this service in the southern Costa Blanca, but hope to expand it over time.
Our partner provider recently received this email:-
“I have an apartment in Playa Flamenca and would like to inquire about what is needed for a tourist licence. I would need to let it out occasionally. The apartment is approximately 12 years old. I use it and also let my family use it. Your name was given to me by a friend. If you would be able to help me that would be most helpful.”
This was our response:-
“When you rent out your property short term it is now compulsory to register your property at the Tourist office, this is called a Tourism licence, and it takes about three months to get the registration number by post in this area.
We can advise the cost of this.
A form is required from your local town hall which confirms that the property is suitable as a holiday rental. You complete this and return it with the appropriate fee to the town hall and they will then confirm if it is or not.
A form must be filed at the tourist office which deals with this (ours is in Alicante City), then the client must register at the police Station to get a username and password to enter the data (name and passport) for every guest they have at the property.
Please note that a Declaration of Second Occupation is required. The Habitation certificate should have been delivered by the builder when a property was purchased, or when you bought the property if a resale (certainly nowadays this always happens). It is valid for 10 years, but sometimes it is issued some years after the house is sold. If a client cannot find it or if it is expired a new one is necessary. We can quote for the cost of the full process, with Town hall taxes and VAT included, and for the tourism licence.
An architect has to visit the house to take pictures and measurements to make the plans. We then send a form to sign and you send it back to us by registered post, because an original signature is required.
Once you have your licence you will also require a plaque which is fitted to the property to confirm its registration.
You will require a form to complete and take to the local Police station to register online so you can register all visitors to the property
Finally, the client needs to pay a tax on their rental income of 19% per annum (but this changes every year). An accountant will deal with this tax directly. You do not need to worry about your friends and family using the property”.
So as you can see, the law is changing and if someone is only renting out their property very occasionally, the cost of doing all this legally is prohibitive. The advantage if your property is getting enough lettings is that you are legal and can advertise to get bookings safely and without risk. The cons are that is expensive to sort, complicated, with a number of steps such as gathering the information, recording with the police, paying taxes, and we can only assist with a couple of these elements (habitation certificates for example and the licence).
We are posting this article so that clients are aware of this information.
It really depends on how many bookings you are getting/likely to get per year. Do not forget that if you are not using your property at all, then there are other options such as long-term rentals or even considering placing the property on the market for sale.
As a final note, I am advised that in some regions, the government have started a programme to check each property for rented properties with the police going door to door to check if the property is being let and there is a licence.
We have also heard that Torrevieja area is proposed to be one of those areas soon.