Monday, 20 May 2013

Spanish Government to regulate private Owner's Holiday Lettings.....


Holiday country house for rent in Motril

Property id: 5308

Cortijo Azahar. 


3 Bedrooms holiday country house rental in Motril (Las Zorreras)A Comfortably Furnished Andalucian Country House with WIFI, private floodlit pool, lush sub-tropical Gardens,beaches ten minutes,restaurants bars shops 5 minutes. Pets Welcome. Below you will see some photos, prices, a calendar and a description of the property.

The Spanish Government is attempting to pass a bill that will affect private owners who rent their properties out to holidaymakers,  making as little noise as possible. 
The new law, whose content is ambiguous, means that owners in this situation will be subject to the tourist accommodation regulations in each region.
In the case of Andalusía this specific legislation is still being drawn up and owners will have to wait until the end of the year to find out what new requirements they may have to meet if they want to continue to draw an income from holiday rentals.
The secretary general of Tourism at the Junta de Andalucía, Vicente Granados, said on Wednesday that they were already working on the conditions for private rentals in the light of the central government’s new bill. He explained that they had been studying the regulations in force in Cataluña as a reference.
He added, though, that they had still not had time to establish key points such as the definition of the properties that would be included or the procedure owners will have to go through in order to continue to rent out to tourists.
What he was able to confirm was that private rentals would have their own section within the new Tourist Apartments law currently being drawn up.
Granados explained that the law in Cataluña requires private owners who rent out their properties two or more times every year to present an official application at their local town hall.
Granados pointed out that the Andalusian regulation will include clauses that guarantee the tourist’s right to complain if the rental conditions are not met. There will also be fines for properties that fail to comply with the law.
Green light from Senate
Meanwhile, the central government has not wasted time making the planned changes public. The bill, with the title ‘Medidas de Flexibilización y Fomento del Mercado de Alquiler de Viviendas’, has already been approved by the Senate and now has to go through Congress.
Controversial modifications introduced show the clear influence of lobbying by the hotel industry. Hoteliers have been calling for more regulations controlling holiday rentals for years, but until now their demands have fallen on deaf ears.
Now this new bill has angered private owners, who are more vulnerable than the other sectors involved, in the absence of a solid organisational structure, as well as rental firms, who believe that the law clearly violates the right of home owners to rent their property on a temporary basis.
It is estimated that the changes could affect some 120,000 properties in Spain, of which 13,000 are registered in Andalucía as being ‘de uso turístico’, that is, rented as holiday homes. 
However the rental industry points out that the figure could be between 100 and 150 per cent higher, taking into account the properties that are not registered but operate under the protection of the current LAU urban rentals law (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos).
The director of the holiday rentals portal Rentalia, Almudena Ucha, regrets that the bill has already gone through the Senate despite the number of objections. She complains that once this bill has been approved, the sector will no longer be regulated by one single law, the LAU, but by 17 different ones, depending on the Spanish region. Each of these has its different obligations, some of them, said Ucha, notably restrictive.
The most immediate consequence, she explained, would be a reduction in the volume of business, which will in turn take its toll on employment and on the incomes of bars, restaurants and shops that benefit from renting holidaymakers.
Ucha also criticised the fact that the law has been given the green light at a time when the possibility of renting to tourists makes the thousands of property developments standing empty more attractive to investors. Now they will think twice about buying.
The director of the Studies Office at, Manuel Gamdarias, pointed out that Andalusía, the Balearics and the Canaries are the regions with the greatest activity in holiday rentals, but insisted that the sector should not be seen as competition for hotels because they have a different clientele.
In Andalucía, the chief executive of Turismo Andaluz, Francisco Artacho, said that the regulation has been pending for some time.  “We have to put limits on both sides.
 On one hand rentals are unfair competition for regulated tourist accommodation. Having said that I believe that anything affecting tourism has to be done with caution, with well thought-through measures and looking carefully at the consequences of each step.”
Critics have also complained that the bill approved by the Senate is ambiguous. Not even the hoteliers are happy that their demands have been met, even though it has been admitted that the modifications are the result of the pressure from the industry.
The president of the Costa del Sol Hoteliers Association (Aehcos), José Carlos Escribano, has defended the need for this regulation to bring to light the accommodation that is operating as clear unfair competition to the hotel industry.
The situation is by no means clear. If before, someone with an apartment in Torre del Mar, for example, could rent it out to tourists just with a habitation certificate or a first occupancy licence, now the Andalusian regulations could introduce new conditions or requirements, pointed out a spokesperson for Asotur, an association for tourist accommodation managers, who also pointed out that the demand for privately-rented self-catering accommodation was in fact growing.
Junta announces inspection next year
At a meeting in Cadiz on Wednesday the head of Tourism at the Junta de Andalucía, Rafael Rodríguez, announced that an inspection campaign would be launched next year to fight against tourist accommodation and services operating in the black. 
By then rental properties will have to comply with the new regulations to be established by the regional authority.