Tourism Licence in Spain

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Posted and filed under Legal Issues in Spain.

Tourism Licence in Spain

Essentially the law for Tourism Licences changed the 9th July 2018. From that date there is a new requirement to obtain a tourist licence that is the Certificate of compatibility with tourist use, the Town hall has to issue it.

Now it is obligatory for all owners letting out properties as holiday lets to apply for a tourist licence in the Valencia region (we can only comment on this area). We recently received this email:-

“I have an apartment in Playa Flamenca and would like to inquire about what is needed for a tourist licence. I would need to let it out occasionally. The apartment is approximately 12 years old. I use it and also let my family use it. Your name was given to me by a friend. If you would be able to help me that would be most helpful.”

This was our response:-

“When you rent out your property short term it is now compulsory to register your property at the Tourist office, this is called a Tourism licence. We can advise the cost of this.

Then there is a new requirement that is called Certificate of Compatibility with tourist licence.The Town hall has to issue this certificate. We can help you obtain it, even there are different requirements depending on the Town hall the property belongs, and sometimes there is a tax involved.

When we receive it from the Town hall we will be able to submit the application form for the tourist licence but not before.

A form must be filed at the tourist office which deals with this (ours is in Alicante City), then the client must register at the police station to get a user and password to enter the data (name and passport) for every guest they have at the property. We can help you with the whole process, to get the plaque and the access codes at the Police station

Please note that a Declaration of Second Occupation is required. The Habitation certificate should have been delivered by the builder when a property was purchased, or when you bought the property if a resale (certainly nowadays this always happens). It is valid for 10 years, but sometimes it is issued some years after the house is sold. If a client cannot find it or if it is expired a new one is necessary. We can quote for the cost of the full process, with Town hall taxes and VAT included, and for the tourism licence.

An architect has to visit the house to take pictures and measurements to make the plans. We then send a form to sign and send back to us by registered post, because an original signature is required.

Finally, the client needs to pay a tax on their rental income of 19% per annum (but this changes every year). We can help you with payment of this tax. You do not need to worry about your friends and family using the property”.

If you are renting out your property and you are non resident in Spain, you are required to pay a rental tax every quarter, by the 20th of January, April, July and October.

The form will need to be submitted to the Tax Office at the end of the corresponding quarter.

So as you can see, the law is chan­ging and if someone is only rent­ing out their prop­erty very oc­ca­sion­ally, the cost of do­ing all this leg­ally is pro­hib­it­ive. The ad­vant­age if your prop­erty is get­ting enough let­tings is that you are legal and can ad­vert­ise to get book­ings safely and without risk. The cons are that is ex­pens­ive to sort, com­plic­ated, with a num­ber of steps such as gath­er­ing the in­form­a­tion, re­cord­ing with the po­lice and pay­ing taxes.

So as you can see, the law is changing and if someone is only renting out their property very occasionally, the cost of doing all this legally is prohibitive. The advantage if your property is getting enough lettings is that you are legal and can advertise to get bookings safely and without risk. The cons are that is expensive to sort, complicated, with a number of steps such as gathering the information, recording with the police, paying taxes, and we only can assist with a couple of these elements (habitation certificates for example and the licence).

We are posting this article so that clients are aware of this information.

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It really depends on how many bookings you are getting/likely to get per year. Do not forget that if you are not using your property at all, then there are other options such as long-term rentals or even considering placing the property on the market for sale (as we all know that the pound is very weak at the moment, if that affects you).

As a final note, I am advised that in some regions, the government have started a programme to check each property for rented properties with the police going door to door to check if the property is being let and there is a licence.  We have also heard that Torrevieja area is proposed to be one of those areas soon. Contact us please if we can be of any help.

26 Comments

  • Randy Humphreys

    How much does it cost to obtain a Tourist Rental Licence in Valencia Comunity

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Randy,

      Ana, who deals with the tourist licences on a daily basis, will be in contact with you shortly via email to discuss this matter further.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Rand Thompson

    Hello, I own a property on the Costa Blanca which i rent out short term (holiday lets). I appreciate your advice regarding the importance of a property rental licence in place however. I asked my agent to get me the licence. Someone told me that not all tourist licences are the same. Is that true? How do i know they are getting the correct licence? I wish I just went to you in the first place,
    Rand

    • Ian C.

      Hey Rand,
      Thanks for asking our advice- We love to help.
      Yes unfortunately it is true- Not all licences to rent your home in Spain are the same.
      There are two types of licence obtainable from the tourism board.
      A tourism licence obtained by your estate agent or rental agency.
      Private rental (tourism licence) as obtained by Spanish Solutions and other trusted firms in Spain.

      You ́ll be able to tell which rental licence you have depending on if it is marked VT or AT- it is so important.
      Be careful, if it is a AT number to begin, you absolutely cannot advertise that house for rent yourself on AirBnB, bookings.com or any other property rental site in Spain. You can only rent the property if you do it through the agent who applied for the certificate.

      Of course if you used Spanish Solutions, we give you the licence that allows you to rent through any agent or website you choose. In fact, its against the law to even advertise a property on tripadvisor etc unless the number begins with VT.

      You need the same documentation either way- habitation cert, cert of compatibility etc. If you have already used a rental agency in Spain to obtain your certificate and if it is the “incorrect” one, we can still rectify the situation by using the work already undertaken. We just finish it in a more advantageous way for you.

      Please contact Ana or Nic for more information.

      Ana

  • Colin Davies

    I am considering purchasing a property in Spain. The Estate Agent I am dealing with has informed me that countryside properties will not be issued with Touristic Licences. Is this correct? The same Estate Agent informed me that I am still allowed to rent out my property without a Touristic Licence, as long as I advertise privately using my own website rather than Airbnb etc. Is this accurate please?

    • Ian C.

      Hello Colin,
      Thanks so much for getting in touch- You ́ll be glad you did when you hear the facts about Tourism licences.
      It cannot be much more false to tell you that you can rent privately without a tourism licence. Let me be clear- If you don’t have a tourism licence you cannot legally rent your home in Spain. The end! You will get caught and you will get fined.
      Hopefully, the estate agent you met just didn’t understand the rules. We always advise Estate agents to check with us so that the information they give their clients is indeed true. (we help estate agents to get more deal closed because of this- Happy buyers and happy agent!)
      Laws and rules in Spain are constantly changing. This is one of the reasons why we advise our clients to speak to us or a similar law office first, before they start looking for a property. Either way, if he purposely told you a lie or told you that information because he didn’t know the rules- you are still the one who gets the fine!

      To give you an example, Pilar De La Horadada town hall is still not in a position to issue certificates. (we need to get a certificate of compatibility before we apply for the toursin licence.) There are hundreds of new properties being sold and built there but we can’t allow our clients to advertise them for rent until the town hall gets its act together. ((probably september, we spoke to them today by phone)
      Other areas where we can not get tourism licences (rental licences) just now include Algorfa and Guardamar. Remember the situation is changing daily.

      Recently, we had an enquiry from a couple buying a property in rustic land, which plans were to convert it into a bed&breakfast. We enquiried about if they could get the Tourist Licence, some the requirements involved were:

      – the building has to have an architectonic interest (like an old windmill refurbished, etc.)
      – the plot has to have a minimum size (it was quite a big size)
      – it has to be a minimum distance from the nearest type of business

      Why not talk to an estate agent that we know for sure knows what he/she is doing?
      We can recommend a few excellent agents who work with us- As a general rule when an agent uses a professional firm Spanish Solutions, they have nothing to hide and 99% of the time, the deals go very well.

      Another quick point. You really need to buy a property in an area where we know you can get rental return. Look at Bookings or AirBnb and see how many properties are rented around the Cabo Roig, La Zenia, Villamartin, Torrevieja areas- tens of thousands. Ideally for property rental, this is the place to be.

      Either way, whether you choose to buy inland or in a more populated area, we can help make sure your property purchase in Spain is legal and you get start earning a rental return ASAP,

      Regards,

      Ian

  • Aine heaney

    Hi I am a tourist and planning a holiday in Ibiza. I have been given a tourist licence number by an owner for a property we are keen to book. How do I check if this number is legitimate? Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Aine,

      To check the tourist licence number contact the tourist information in Ibiza, they can check the number and ensure it authentic, have a lovely holiday !

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Kieron Lock

    I need a licence can someone make it easy for me as the forms are a nightmare

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Kieron, We know! My colleague Yannelsis will email you to help you. Kind regards.

  • Susan Lynch

    Hello I am on holiday in an apartment cuidad quesada the property i think does not meet essential regulations or display a tourist licence.. He has given me tourist no.TVT-471864-A is this a genine no pls thank you

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Susan, Yes this is genuine, but I think you have now spoken with Ana, Kind regards

  • Julie balkwill

    A friend of mines Facebook was hacked and they advertised a property to rent on it , this was advertised on market place for a while , only when some one made an enquirey , they found out and took it off immediately , will this cause him any problems

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Julie, We think this is highly unlikely. But if possible they should keep any evidence of being hacked, but if not possible, we do not think they need to worry. The authorities are far more likely to pursue very clear cases of breach of the law. Kind regards

  • Ann

    I am visiting Spain (Murcia region) on Saturday with the view to purchase a property one bed apartment to rent out. Please advise me the costs of a Tourism Licence and also charges for your services to handle the purchase of the property and also recommend a mortgage provider we have the 30% required.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Ann,

      How exciting! The Murcia región is lovely.

      Before purchasing the property we would advise checking if the tourist licence is possible, this can be done with the local town hall, we would recommend this is done personally or have a third party ,other than the real estate company, carry out the check on your behalf. This will ensure there are no surprises after the property purchase.

      We will contact you directly to discuss your enquiry in more detail.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Marlene Smythe

    I own a house in Villamartin, which I am hoping to retire to in a few years. My question is; Can my family holiday in my property if I am not with them? Would I need a tourist licence for this?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Marlene,

      You do not need a tourist licence if your family use your Spanish property as long as no money is exchanging hands. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Karen

    Is there a register of licensed properties in the torrevieja área? If so how do I check it to see if two properties I am interested in renting are legal.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Karen,

      You can check if a rental property has a tourist licence by contacting the regions Tourist Information Board. This is where the tourist licences are issued.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Paul McIlroy

    We have applied for a tourist rental licence about three months ago but have been told it may take up to 18 months to receive. Do we need to cancel booking for our property and take no more until we get our licence?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Paul,

      If your application for the tourist licence has been submitted to the town hall with the relevent documents, you can rent your property.

      You should have received a stamped form from the town hall (or the person dealing with this on your behalf), this will be the proof your application is being processed. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Frances

    Hello, I have a house in Los Alcazares that I want to rent out and I’m wondering how much do you charge to set up everything so I can do this.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Frances,

      Spanish Solutions would be delighted to help you obtain your tourist licence in Murcia.

      The good news is the process of obtaining the tourist licence in Murcia is quicker, easier and cheaper.

      To obtain the Tourist licence in Murcia you need the relevent forms signed and liability insurance for the property. We will contact you directly to discuss this matter further.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Lorraine

    hello I am trying to find out how much the fines are and how they are levied. We have a tourist licence for 4 people but last week guests who booked through booking.com arrived with 4 children and failed to disclose that there were 6 people even though the site quite categorically states this. Our property manager unfortunately let them in and handed over the keys. We tried to get them to leave but the guests refused and booking.com were as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Can anyone tell me how much the fines are, we do not want to get into any trouble as we are doing everything we can to play by the rules.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Lorraine,

      We understand your concern.

      We feel it would be very unlikely that you will get a fine, unless the Guardia Civil have done a check at the time or someone denounces you because of the number of people in the property.

      If it has been an error on your key holders behalf and if you have evidence to prove this and the fact you have tried to remove the additional people from the property, this will only help in the unlikely event you get a fine.

      We hope this helps.
      Kind regards
      Nicola

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