Measures being considered to regulate “temporary housing rentals” in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
housing rentals

The Spanish Ministry of Housing has developed more concrete plans to curb rental prices for seasonal housing rentals. The ministry also aims to make regulatory changes to rein in tourist rentals in apartment complexes.

Currently, short-term rental contracts of less than a year constitute a significant portion of the market in Spain. These contracts, like those for tourist rentals, currently fall outside the Housing Act. According to the ministry, the current rules put significant pressure on the market and drive up rental prices, making it unaffordable for large groups of the population to own a home. To address this, measures are being considered to regulate “temporary housing rentals.”

More affordable housing needed

The government is looking for ways to ensure the law is not being abused. Additionally, it seeks to provide better legal protection for tenants and increase the availability of affordable housing for those in need. The leeway landlords currently have to charge high rents for temporary contracts or tourist rentals appears to negatively impact the market.

To justify temporary housing rentals, all accommodations will soon need to be registered. This will allow for a clear overview of properties used for temporary rentals and tourist accommodations. This requires the involvement of all levels of government, including national, regional, and local authorities.

Register for better control

The Spanish Minister of Housing calls for cooperation between the various administrative levels to “work towards dignified living at affordable prices.” “There will be better regulations, proof of the temporary nature of a rented property must be provided, and a register will be established to monitor, detect, and penalise” those who do not comply with the law.

Regarding seasonal rentals, “new regulations are urgently needed. There must also be clear explanations about the specific requirements for landlords.”

Neighbours must approve tourist apartments

The regulations for tourist rentals in properties such as apartment complexes will change. Homeowners’ associations will have more say and will likely need to explicitly approve tourist rentals in their complexes. The rules will thus be adjusted. This gives neighbourhood residents more control over whether or not to allow ‘economic activities’ in their vicinity. Discussions with various stakeholders are currently underway before these changes take effect.

The ministry primarily seeks clarity for all parties involved. Especially in areas where tourist rentals conflict with the living enjoyment of permanent residents, it is crucial to have clear requirements and rules for everyone, and to know how tenants and landlords are protected by law.

Spain has until 2026 to implement the new housing rental register

The register is still some time away. The European Union has given Spain until 2026 to implement it. The exact format of the register is yet to be determined. It will involve a registration that clearly indicates the type of rental a property may be used for, ensuring proper oversight.

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