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New tourist property law in Andalucía gives town halls power to limit numbers of apartments
Tourism

New tourist property law in Andalucía gives town halls power to limit numbers of apartments

Owners or operators have a year to adapt to new requirements covering minimum size, facilities and equipment

Pilar Martínez / Europa Press

Malaga

Friday, 2 February 2024, 16:43

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Town halls in Andalucía will be able to limit numbers of tourist apartments in buildings and districts from 22 February in cases of reasons of "overriding public interest".

The holiday letting industry in Andalucía now faces a new era as a fresh law has been brought in by the regional government to control a surge in self-catering properties.

The text of the new law was published on Friday 2 February in the official gazette of the Junta de Andalucía, the BOJA, establishing a 20-day period before the law comes into force.

The new regulations are designed to increase professional standards and improve relations with local full-time residents.

Public interest

According to the tougher law, it is up to local councils to zone land use and determine whether a property will be fit for tourism rental accommodation. Town halls can set limits on the maximum number of homes for tourist use per apartment building, area or time of year, always on the grounds of "overriding public interest".

In order to ensure the law is being complied with the Junta will automatically inform town halls when a new property is registered as self-catering tourist accommodation. In this way each local authority can check compatibility with town planning and zoning regulations.

The new law strengthens the legal status of companies operating tourist accommodation with the additional aims of facilitating relations with the authorities and guaranteeing the rights and obligations of users.

The decree sets new limits on the amount allowed in tourist properties, which is set at 15 in the case of the rental of an entire property and six in the case of a flat that is rented by rooms. In both cases, the number of beds per room cannot exceed four, of which two must be in beds that are not bunk beds.

Size limits

A tourist property must have a minimum area of 14 square metres per person. Properties must also have two bathrooms if the number of beds is greater than five and three bathrooms if the number of beds is greater than eight. Bedrooms and living rooms must have direct ventilation to the outside or to ventilated patios, except where it is a historic or listed building.

Properties must be sufficiently furnished and have all the public utilities working as well as a good standard of kitchen equipment. Property owners must also have well-kept bedding, linen, blankets or duvets and pillows.

The law establishes a period of one year for existing tourist properties in Andalucía to adapt to the new requirements.

Owners have also been given a period of six months in which to inform the Junta of the "operating period" of the property, which will be assumed to be a "full year" if no other period is communicated. The same time limit has been given to communicate "the number of beds that correspond to the size of the property and the number of bathrooms available".

There are some 116,000 tourist properties in Andalucía and, of these, more than 55,000 are located in Malaga province.

The regional minister for Tourism, Arturo Bernal, stressed that the law "is the result of dialogue and consensus across the industry. This is the first plus point of a regulation destined to bring order and quality to the entire accommodation sector. It will address all new challenges with greater efficiency and effectiveness".

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