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The Minister for Housing and the Urban Agenda, Isabel Rodríguez. EP
Government plans to clamp down on holiday rental property owners in Spain
Housing crisis

Government plans to clamp down on holiday rental property owners in Spain

Among the proposals is the creation of a centralised register of tourist rentals to avoid the problem of illegal or unlicensed accommodation

Amparo Estrada

Madrid

Saturday, 6 July 2024, 09:10

Opciones para compartir

Spain's Minister for Housing and the Urban Agenda, Isabel Rodríguez, announced last Wednesday that the national government will push for a revised wording of the Horizontal Property Law that "adjusts and clarifies" the veto capacity of residents' associations to veto the setting up of tourist flats in their block of buildings. The regulation already allows communities to reject tourist flats by a three-fifths majority. The government wants to move ahead on clarifying this decision-making power by requiring authorisation from the neighbours prior to attempting to put a flat out for tourist rental.

The government is going to initiate a round robin of talks with the relevant parliamentary groups to make this "surgical adjustment" to the horizontal property law. In the words of the Housing minister, this is a substantial change that will be restricted to guaranteeing this veto for neighbours in the face of an activity that is causing problems for everyone getting along. It is also basing the need for this change on recent court rulings that have established the renting of tourist flats as an economic activity that requires authorisation from the neighbours.

On a related matter, the Spanish government will urgently process a Royal Decree law so that seasonal or short-term rentals (normally less than a year) are included in the single registry platform that the Executive wants to create for all short-term accommodation, of which tourist rentals will form a part. This will be in accordance with the EU regulation governing the exchange of data relating to short-term rental services via booking platforms. This single register, which will include all temporary rentals of any kind that are advertised on booking platforms, will probably be operational by the end of 2025. What remains to be decided is whether they will be obliged to lodge them with the existing registers of regions and municipal councils until then. The purpose of the register is to prevent illegal or unlicensed rentals.

The Housing minister, after the meeting with the working group looking at the regulation of temporary rentals, made it known that the government will also include in this Royal Decree the conditions that must be met for temporary rentals to justify being temporary in nature. Owners of flats proposing to become temporary rentals must give good reason when formalising the contract and, in this way, justify that "the contract is really in the best interests of being temporary and is not standing in the way of other types of contracts necessary for the development of ordinary living."

The aim, said the minister, is to "establish all the mechanisms needed to avoid circumventing the law and to safeguard seasonal renting for what is necessary." That is, "to guarantee and protect temporary renting for temporary reasons." such as for studies, cultural events (like a festival), or temporary migration for work purposes . The Housing Ministry presented no papers at the meeting and did not specify what kind of documents will have to be presented to justify and accredit any temporary rental, but it seems to rule out the reduction of the length of seasonal rentals as had been previously raised by several trade unions.

In summary Rodríguez said: "We cannot ignore the problem. It is affecting market prices and preventing access to affordable housing."

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