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Malaga declares war on tourist rentals with tough limitation on new properties
Tourism

Malaga declares war on tourist rentals with tough limitation on new properties

The city council is only checking off properties which have a separate entrance to be able to be used as holiday lets

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Monday, 10 June 2024, 17:35

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Malaga is putting the brakes on new tourist homes as it carries out the first measure of a three-phase plan to regulate holiday homes which it hopes to have ready in "less than a few months".

Malaga city mayor Francisco de la Torre said properties that have a separate entrance will be able to be used as holiday lets. This is a first step and already affects 800 applications for holiday rental properties that have been submitted since February when the new Junta decree came into force. The new decree aims to regulate these properties and gives municipalities the power to implement limitations on holiday lets.

Town hall is already checking these new requests comply with the requirement to have an independent access to the home. Those that do not have such an access will not be allowed to be used as holiday rentals. Tourist flats that were operational prior to this regulation will not be affected.

De la Torre pointed out the latest decree of the Junta de Andalucía allows with all the guarantees of the law to apply to tourist housing the condition that is established in the planning to the lodging of accommodations and that the main one is to have this separate entrance to the property. A measure that until now they could not adopt as the 2016 decree did not define housing for tourist use as it does now, nor did it establish the measures the current one does. "The Andalusian regulation enables the consistory to establish this limitation retroactively from the entry into force of the aforementioned regulation," the decree states.

Tempering growth

The mayor said the first measure is to "temper" the dizzying pace of growth of tourist housing that places Malaga city among the destinations in Spain with the highest volume, with almost 9,000 properties registered with a capacity to accommodate more than 45,000 visitors. De la Torre said it is time to set limits to increase the supply of traditional rentals. "It should not be seen as bad news. It is something positive because whoever wants to rent the house has the option of renting it for more than a year," he said. Town hall is already working on two new actions to further curb the growth of tourist lets in the city, he added.

City planning councillor Carmen Casero and mayor Francisco De la Torre.
City planning councillor Carmen Casero and mayor Francisco De la Torre. Salvador Salas

It comes as the council finishes making a detailed report of the holiday lets that currently exist in Malaga city, which will identify the neighbourhoods with the highest concentration of tourist lets. The final results will cause a change in the general planning, for which town planning councillor Carmen Casero has not set a deadline, but said she "hopes it will be less than a few months". The aim of the study is to analyse the numbers of holiday lets by sectors or neighbourhoods, establishing three types of zones depending on whether they are low, medium or high. This will help the city hall to define what type of limitations will be applied in each of these areas, although the definition will not only be given by the consultants but will have to be coordinated and accepted by the municipal authorities.

"This generates a situation of calm and restraint because the volume of tourist housing is reaching high numbers, this is the reality. We recognise the important role of tourism and of this accommodation offer, but it must grow in harmony and coexistence. And this way it will be easier," De la Torre said.

Low quality model

However, Andalusian Tourist Housing Association (AVVA-Pro) president Carlos Pérez-Lanzac said limiting tourist lets to properties with private and independent entrance means "moving towards a low quality format based on locals and houses, with a lower investor profile and a tourist who aspires to stay in a ground floor apartment with the consequent loss of quality of stay". Pérez-Lanzac also said the city council will have to justify very well the adoption of this first measure to control holiday rentals so that "it is legally and technically viable".

De la Torre said "the requirement to have a separate entrance (for tourist lets) has all the legal security based on the terminology of the new decree of the Junta de Andalucía". The city hall said this is a "temporary measure until the council approves the common space ordinance, a document analysing the impact the introduction of tourist accommodation is having on the housing market".

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