“Kathleen, I thought I’d write after reading Rogelio T.’s remarks about private rentals in Spain. I’m afraid these comments give the wrong impression of what could happen in Spain. He makes it sound as though renting out a property is illegal. It is illegal only if owners don’t follow some proposed new rules.
“Until now, most regions of Spain (except the Balearic and Canary Islands) have not required private home owners to register their properties as rental businesses (whether renting out for a few weeks or a few months).
“Now, according to the Association of Holiday Rental Managers in Madrid (Asotur), the government wants to bring in new legislation requiring property owners, who rent out any part of their property for any period, to apply for a certificate of compliance from their regional government.
“The Spanish government says private rentals are impinging on the tourist industry too much, taking away profits from hotels and aparthotels. That may be true. It may also be a case of wanting to know how much undeclared revenue is being generated. Remember, Spain’s government is desperate for any revenue it can lay its hands on right now.
“The good news is professionals in the real estate industry do not seem too phased by the announcement. Chris Mercer of Murcia-based realtor Mercers told Property Wire:
“‘I don’t think they are trying to stop people from renting their property, but instead trying to get an idea of the numbers involved. There is no way of regulating it unless there is some form of registration of the property in the first place and I think this is what they are hoping to achieve.’
“At the end of the day, I think Spain will find it hard to police this new legislation. How could they possibly know (although there is rumor of the government asking for information from electricity companies if they see short-term spikes and troughs in energy usage).
“I spoke with a B&B-style property owner in Spain last week about this. She ‘rents’ out rooms and she declares her income, as most small businesses do. She doesn’t feel she is offering a very different service from someone who rents rooms from their private, unregistered, home. The big difference is that she is paying her taxes on the B&B/rental income, and they, she believes, are probably not. She has to follow health and safety regulations they do not. So she’ll be happy if this new law is introduced.”
–Lucy Culpepper, Live and Invest Overseas Euro-Correspondent
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