When you buy a second home in Spain people usually consider renting it out when it’s not being used, however with the resurgence of tourism in Spain it has resulted in a boom in profitable short-term holiday lets, with the knock-on effect of pricing out locals. Regional governments and town halls are reacting by rolling out limits on tourist accommodation.

For landlords, short-term lets are far more lucrative than long-term rental deals, leading to the proliferation of tourist apartments rented out on platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.

This in turn is contributing to property price speculation, meaning that residents who rent are priced out of central areas. Those who can afford to stay feel like they’re living in a hotel, with the coming and going of tourists from their buildings.

Recent data shows that in the old town of Seville, 61.2% of residential homes are used for tourism. In the area of ​​Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, 28.3% are tourist apartments, while the figure stands at 18.3%in the centre of Valencia.

Given the lack of a nationwide law on holiday lets that can be harnessed to address the issue, regional governments and town halls have been cracking down recently on these types of tourist accommodations and have introduced new limitations, as well as fighting against illegal accommodation.

In early February 2023, Valencia announced it would introduce plans to ban housing for occasional tourist use in its historic centre. The plan was initially overthrown by the courts, but Valencia Town Hall has said that it will continue to fight against this type of accommodation. In December, the regional government approved a new tourist tax that applies to all tourist establishments, including homes. This tax will range between €1.50 for superior category tourist apartments and €1 for standard ones.

Palma de Mallorca
In mid-February 2023, the Spanish Supreme Court upheld Palma city council’s policy of banning tourist rentals in apartment buildings in the popular Mallorcan capital. According to the ruling, tourists can only rent single-family homes, not multi-home apartment buildings. These must be detached isolated houses or villas, except those located on protected land, close to the airport or in non-residential areas such as industrial estates.

In mid-February 2023, the regional government of Andalusia modified a decree to enable Andalusian municipalities to control the growth of tourist apartments in the region, as long as they argue reasons of “general interest”. The Seville City Council has also recently modified its plan, which came into force in June 2022, to include all tourist properties, saying that they must meet the same requirements as a hotel.

These a few examples of new rules coming into force across Spain so if you are buying with the intention to rent out its essential you check the rules in the area before you buy

If you are looking to buy a property in Spain and need a mortgage, email mark@vci-network.com for the latest criteria.