Costa del Sol Property Registration
If you own a property in the Costa del Sol (or any part of Andalusia for that matter), and are using it to avail of holiday lets, then the Junta de Andalusia now requires you to register the property for this purpose. This is why Costa del Sol Property registration has become an issue.
In 2011 the Spanish government relieved the ‘Ley Arrendamientos Urbano’ (LAU) of responsibility for holiday rental properties. It passed the task of regulating these properties instead to the country’s 17 regional governments or Juntas. It specified that each one could deal with regulating holiday rental properties as each saw fit. Heavily tourist dependent areas such as the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia (which includes Barcelona) implemented regulatory procedures quite quickly.
It has been announced by the Registry of Tourism of Andalusia (RTA) that property owners in the region will now be obliged to register properties which are intended for tourist letting. Owners will have three months to register from May 2016 on the RTA website – http://bit.ly/1YaPmBV. You can find a web translation of the proposals in full at http://bit.ly/1o0BFux with the original PDF available at http://bit.ly/1QTwo0V.
The Andalusia region of southern Spain is quite expansive. It includes the Costa del Sol which has been remarkably popular with Irish & UK property buyers through the years. It also runs across to Cadiz on the Atlantic coastline east of Portugal.
Many Irish property owners in Spain let properties while not in personal use as any income can help pay the bills, particularly over the three months of the summer season. When Spanish sales in Ireland were at their all-time peak in 2006/2007, a high percentage of purchases were made utilising borrowing raised either in Ireland or Spain. In many cases the borrowers have been heavily reliant on rental income to help pay down loans – or at least to lessen the cost burden. The prospect of regulation and the hidden and stated costs that will be involved in meeting regulatory requirements will not be welcomed by such owners on the coast.
The RTA has also stated that if owners intend to let out more than three properties within a 1km radius they will be required to register as ‘Apartamento Turistico’, a category to which more stringent regulations, and presumably more expense, will apply.
The mood among owners is not being helped by the hard line being taken by the Junta de Andalusia on compliance. It has been reported that it may issue fines of up to €150,000 to those found to be flouting registration.
The RTA says it is seeking to create a register of hotels, tourist apartments, camping facilities, cottages & rural accommodation, travel agencies, tour guides, adventure package providers and tourist offices. It will also outline minimum accommodation requirements for tourist accommodation providers.
The official line on the necessity for regulation is to improve accommodation quality, reduce tax fraud and prevent unfair competition. This final point is somewhat controversial as a powerful hotel & tourism lobby is seen as the driving force behind the push to regulate. A deep recession and cheap online websites such as AirB&B have been eroding profitability in the industry.
The worry is that the move will involve costs for smaller operators that are proportionally much more onerous than those borne by larger tourism operators. Regulation will affect a large group of owners as the Junta estimates that there are 80,000 private properties offering up to 400,000 beds as tourist accommodation either on a part-time or full-time basis. The intention is to have tourist rental activity fully regulated by the end of summer of 2016.
So far 11 of the 17 Juntas have published intentions to regulate holiday rentals. If you have a property in Spain and you are not aware of the regulations pertinent to your area you will find a useful guide on Spanish Property Insight – http://bit.ly/1O1E9gQ.
If you are looking for a step by step guide to Costa del Sol Property registration then Louise Brace over at Rental Tonic has provided a nice little post on it – http://rentaltonic.com/complete-guide-registering-holiday-rentals-andalucia.