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Spain and France start licensing demands for holiday rentals

franceholidayThe controversial regulations could also make it a lot more expensive for tourists who will have to pay more for accommodation.

French legislation will focus initially on owners who let property in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, due to begin shortly. Depending on the outcome, the programme of obtaining licences from the local council could be rolled out across the country.

There are some 200,000 British-owned holiday homes in France, mostly in Provence, the Dordogne, Normandy and Brittany.

Spain is also due to introduce licensing. Owners will have to pass regular safety inspections and obtain hygiene certificates. They will also have to meet strict conditions, such as being contactable 24 hours a day to deal with any problems, such as water leaks or power cuts.

Spanish authorities are expected to ban any unlicensed rentals next spring.

Until now, in most parts of Spain, anyone could rent out their homes provided they pay full tax and declare all revenues.

The new licences will no doubt come with a fee attached and failure to comply with the new regulations could incur large fines.

Although the rules will hit any number of expats, they apply to everyone who rents for any period of time. Rentals of even short duration can be deemed to have changed the use of the property.

One million Spanish properties are estimated to be British owned, of which hundreds of thousands are second, or holiday, homes.

Many of these are mortgaged, with owners renting them out to help with upkeep expenses but shy of making a profit.

Private rentals have long been popular with the 12 million Brits who holiday in Spain every year.

According to La Caixa bank, around three-quarters of overnight stays in Spain last year were in ‘unregulated premises’ such as privately-owned villas or apartments.

This has not been lost on the hotel sector, which has been lobbying for change.

Catalonia, the Canary Islands and the Balearics already have tough restrictions. In the past year, thousands of apartment and villa owners in these areas have been fined up to £15,000 each.

Germany is to vote on similar laws in the next fortnight.

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0 #4 Baz 2013-12-22 18:05
A level playing field is l o n g overdue. Owners Direct state that there are 707 rentals units in the East Algarve. Add 2478 in Central Algarve ( include 570 in Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago plus West Algarve 1934 ( including Lagos 500 and Praia da Luz and area 313 ) total Algarve mostly private letting units is ± 5119. Take simply an average of 3 beds per unit = 15.357 beds. How does this number of beds compare with the Official number of beds that have to abide by the many laws plus income declarations, fire certificates, computer accounting etc.. Bringing all letting units into line is long overdue.
+1 #3 Chip the Duck 2013-12-16 18:28
I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing.
0 #2 Paul 2013-12-16 17:05
There already have been fines under this legislation and the news of these changes in the regulations in Spain has been reported since at least May 2013 in various credible British and local media. The roll out across the Spanish region is beginning.

Since 1999, the Spanish General Tourism Act states that all short let properties (private residences that are rented to tourists) and all “apartamentos turísticos” (tourist apartments that have been licensed and sold as such by the developer and which must adhere to strict guidelines) must be registered with the local town hall.

In addition, in certain regions – including the Balearic Islands, the Canaries and Catalonia, where the powerful hotel sector has exerted pressure on local governments to restrict private rentals – holiday let properties must be licensed. The thinking behind it is to ensure owners pay the government tax on their rental earnings.
+1 #1 Ian 2013-12-16 12:13
Sorry to say but if this has been re-reported from an article in the Daily Mail then it is scaremongering and not factual.

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