Expat second home owners in Spain granted reprieve

Published:  4 Oct at 6 PM
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Second home owners in Spain who let out their properties to tourists are to be exempted from the controversial 2012 Balearics Touristic Act, which requires a license before letting is allowed.

This being Spain, the act itself along with recent changes to the Tenancy Act has caused confusion amongst many expat second home owners who let out their properties for a part of the year to help with maintenance costs. Many believed it made short-term letting without a license illegal.

In reality, letting any property under the Tenancy Act is legal providing services are not part of the let, as the house or apartment is not considered a touristic rental. Under Spanish law, short-term lets are designated either as touristic or as non-touristic, with differing regulation for each sector.

Touristic lets are those which provide services and are advertised through tourist-aimed channels, whilst non-touristic lets are short term rentals which provide no services and are not aimed at tourists. The only properties which can be listed as touristic lets are villas and semi-detached houses, and only these two types can obtain licenses.

Apartments, terraced homes and town houses are not granted licenses and therefore cannot be rented out as touristic lets. Expats who own villas and semis can choose to let under either category, having taking into consideration tax liabilities.

Legal advisors warn that, if an apartment or terraced house is to be let on a non-touristic basis, landlords should be careful to avoid tourism provisions, allow no services and ensure the rental contract is similar to a long-term rental contract under the Tenancy Act. House management companies, if used, must be similarly discreet.
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