New Law for Spanish Holiday Rentals

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The fact that Spain relies on its tourism industry for such a large percentage of its overseas income seems to fly in the face of proposed new legislation surrounding holiday home rentals in the country.

With an economy that is still struggling to pull out of crisis mode and with the ailing property market playing a major part in the overall picture, a new Spanish law which proposes restrictions on private owners’ rights to let out homes seems likely to be counterproductive.

However, proponents of the scheme say it is aimed at boosting the health of the hotel sector of the tourism industry.

The Association of Holiday Rental Managers in Madrid said the draft law was a “blow against short-term holiday rentals (and) an attack on civil liberties, limiting the use of private property and the freedom of tourists to choose how they want to spend their holiday”.

Private rentals generate an estimated 1.45 billion euros in direct income and also act as a major incentive for overseas investors to buy into Spain’s property market.

At the moment any private property rented out to tourists on a short-term basis falls under the law on residential rentals (LAU) and is a right for all owners.

However, the new law would see the regulation of private rentals moved to local authorities, some of which are expected to move to introduce restrictions.

David Tornos, president of the tourist rental management association said: “The passing of this law could deal a death blow to a growing sector that contributes enormously to the economy.”

Should holiday lets need to be authorised by obtaining a licence granted by the local regional government, many foreign investors may be put off by the extra hassle involved.

Anyone wanting to transfer money to Spain should compare the exchange rates offered by currency exchange specialists instead of banks, as this is often the cheapest way to send money abroad.

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