The number of properties which are rented out as holiday accommodation has grown considerably since the Junta de Andalucía introduced regulations for this type of business a year ago. Over 15,000 properties have now been registered in Malaga province, comprising 60 per cent of all tourist accommodation. However, there is a downside. Hotel owners are complaining about the competition, town halls are considering putting a limit on numbers of rental properties in the same street, people are angry about noise and disturbance and those who had been hoping to live in areas such as the historic centre of Malaga city have seen the amount of available properties reduced and prices rise well out of their reach.
Because of people’s concerns about noise and inconvenience, the Colegio de Administradores de Fincas de Malaga is trying to ensure that communities of owners are able to stop properties in their building being used as holiday accommodation. At present, the Law of Horizontal Property says that they can do that, as long as it is specified in the Community statues. If it isn’t, the statues would have to be modified, and that is something which would need the agreement of all the owners. If somebody wanted to rent their property for holidays, they would certainly veto the move.
Fernando Pastor, the president of the association of Administradores de Fincas in Malaga province, wants all communities of owners to be able to stop properties being used for this purpose by a simple majority, even if it is just one vote.
“In Malaga city it isn’t such a problem,” he says, “but on the coast one-bedroom apartments are being occupied by up to ten young people, coming and going at all hours, making lots of noise, playing music at full volume and disturbing not only the people who live there all the time but also those for whom their property is a holiday home where they come for a rest.”
There is another option to changing the statutes, which is to take the owner of the property to court, but the justice system is slow and cumbersome and many people are reluctant to become involved in a conflictive situation, which is why the move to give the communities of owners more powers is seen as more viable.
But what about properties which are being rented illegally? Fernando Pastor says that about 15,000 are registered as holiday accommodation but it is possible that an equal amount are not and he wants the Junta de Andalucía to keep a tighter control on the situation, although “with only three inspectors in Malaga province that is going to be difficult,” he points out. In fact, the Junta de Andalucía’s Minister for Tourism, Francisco Javier Fernández, said recently that the regional government does intend to clamp down on properties which are being advertised as holiday accommodation on the Internet without a registration number.