Second home owners in France and Spain to be banned from renting out

Published:  16 Dec at 6 PM
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Thousands of expats and second-home owners in France and Spain are facing a ban on renting out their properties to holidaymakers.

The crackdown on renting out second homes in two of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations is expected to hit owners where it hurts most – in their pockets. The new rules may be implemented in Lyon, Marseilles and Paris before the Christmas break, and a number of properties may already have been rented.

The controversial new laws will also affect hundreds of thousands of budget holiday makers forced to stay in more expensive accommodation owned and run by hoteliers and international chains. The changes are expected to result in a glut of second homes on the market, as owners will find it impossible to maintain their mortgages without rental income.

The immediate introduction of the scheme in the French capital and two of the country’s major tourist hubs is intended as a trial, after which the new rules will be rolled out across France. Spanish authorities are preparing to ban unlicensed rentals, starting in late spring next year.

Holiday rental companies are up in arms, stating that the law will close the door on working- and middle-class families choosing private rentals against crowded, noisy package-tour hotels at higher prices. Lobbyists for the hotel industry are being blamed for the changes.

Until recently, buying and renting out second homes well before retirement sets in has been the choice of many Britons, giving the advantage of an existing property when it’s time to make a permanent move overseas. Both the Spanish and French property markets have fallen sharply, with selling at the present time almost certain to result in a considerable loss.

Owners of Spanish property will have the chance to obtain a license to rent, although an as yet undisclosed fee will be charged. Conditions, however, may be impossible to meet as they include 24-hour availability, safety inspections and hygiene certification.
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Comments » There are 2 comments

Cliff wrote 5 years ago:

I have lived in south west France for 20 years and if this ban had been put in 20yrs ago the whole area would now be a wasteland rather than the beautiful tourist attraction it is today. Even with all the private holiday homes that there are in the area it is still difficult to find somewhere to stay in July and August. Another great idea from François Hollande.

CaptainMarty wrote 5 years ago:

If it was April 1st, I would think this article was published as an April Fool's Day joke. But I guess not! Have rented homes such as these on trips to France and it is a great alternative to hotels. I suspect there will be alot of behind the scenes rentals. This law is misguided. Hope it doesn't go into effect

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