The basic presumption to determine whether a property is being rented for tourist accommodation under the terms of the law is when it is marketed through typical tourism promotion channels, such as travel agencies, tour operators, or for short-term holiday rentals on websites.
The new law applies to all kinds of dwellings in residential areas that are rented on a regular basis to tourists. But it does not cover those located in rural areas, nor complexes of three or more units that are owned or managed by the same person and located within the same building or group of buildings, both of which are already covered under other legislation.
The rental of individual rooms that form part of larger property to different tenants and the letting of an entire property to the same tenant both fall under the terms of the law, subject to a maximum licensed occupancy of 15 people in both cases.
Tourist accommodation agreements are also, as defined by the law, for short-term duration and pecuniary gain, so the new regulations are not applicable if the rental is for a period of more than two months with the same tenant or when the property is ‘rented’ without any money changing hands (i.e. you let your friends stay, while you’re away).
To be granted a licence of occupation by the local Town Council, property owners will have to meet a long list of requirements that ensures any dwelling rented to tourists has: exterior ventilation (ie, a window in every bedroom and sitting room) and air-conditioning (with both cool air in the summer and hot to maintain minimum temperatures.
If you intend to rent during the winter months), is furnished to legal standards, and comes complete with cleaning services, complaint forms, a first-aid kit, tourist information, and a document that provides tenants with instructions and rules concerning its use.
An individual rental contract will be required for every tenancy, although the terms and conditions may be freely agreed to by both parties. Owners will be required, however, to make public their terms in advance. In cases where specific relevant terms, such as check-in and out times are not specified by the contract, the provisions of the new law will be applied.
Prior to marketing properties for rent as tourist accommodation, owners are required to provide a statement of responsibility to the Junta, declaring that they are in compliance with the requirements of the new law. Once this has been done, the Junta will then register the property with a unique number which must be included on all publicity for the property.
After May 2016, a property is rented for tourist accommodation without the owner previously having filed a statement of responsibility, this will be considered contrary to the terms of the law and be punishable with fines of between €2,000-€18,000 or, even up to €150,000 for serious infractions.