Are you thinking of buying a property in Spain for tourist rental ? This is a great idea, Spain is a very attractive country and attracts every year millions of both international and local tourists.
However, before embarking on this project, you must be aware of the current regulations and in particular of the tourist license, mandatory in the Valencian Community.
1. What is the tourist license?
Obtaining a tourist license has now been mandatory for a few years in the Valencian Community for anyone wishing to rent out a property short term. Without this important number, you will no longer be able to rent your apartment or house in Spain on platforms such as Airbnb or Booking as both yourself and these companies would be exposed to strong penalties.
Obtaining a tourist license is the act of registering your property in the tourism office of your municipality. This allows the municipality to better control the taxes of the short term rental market and to avoid massive investments from abroad forcing locals to leave the city.
2. When is my property considered as a tourist accommodation?
In Spain, there are 3 ways to rent out your property:
- Tourist or short-term rental.
- Classic long-term rental.
- Medium-term or “de temporada” (seasonal) rental. This is usually the case with students or newcomers to the area.
The tourist license applies only to short-term (or tourist) rentals meeting the following conditions:
- The temporary rental of an entire property fully equipped and furnished for immediate use. The property cannot therefore be rented per room.
- The property is advertised to tourists through channels such as holiday rental platform, internet or other forms of technology.
- The rental is carried out in return for financial compensation.
- The accommodation is rented for tourist, holiday or leisure purposes.
- The accommodation respects the current tourist and town planning regulations.
3. Difference private / business tourist licence
Each region independently regulates tourist rentals in Spain through respective decrees.
In effect in the Valencian Community, Decree 15/2018 stipulates that you must register your accommodation in the Valencian Holiday Rental Registry (HRVR):
- If you are renting between 1 and 4 properties, you must register as a “private”.
- If you are renting more than 4 properties, you must register as a “business”.
4. How to obtain the tourist license?
A- Where to present the documentation ?
Processing of the tourist licence can be done in several ways :
- Internet if you have a digital certificate or an electronic DNI.
- In person presenting the documentation directly to the Servicios Territoriales de Turismo (Tourism Territorial Services) in the province where the accommodation is located.
- By post at any post office with the envelope open so that the stamp and date of application can be stamped on the form and on the copy.
It is also possible to make the request in the Consulates and Embassies.
Registration is free.
B- Documentation required
First of all, you should apply to the City Hall of your municipality in order to obtain the municipal urban compatibility report (informe municipal de compatibilidad urbanística) which is mandatory for tourist rental.
You will need to collect the following documents:
- Declaration that the property will be used for tourism purposes
- Characteristics of the accommodation (address, maximum occupancy and other conditions to be classified in standard/premium/superior category)
- Responsible declaration of necessary requirements
- Property documentation (nota simple, insurance, energetic certificate)
- Copy of the identity document of the owner
- Cadastral reference number
- Communal urban compatibility report which allows its use as tourist accommodation. Included in this report is the código seguro de verificación (CSV) which verifies the integrity and authenticity of electronic documents.
The application form to fill is : https://www.gva.es/downloads/publicados/IN/25082_BI.pdf
Once the documentation is presented, you should receive your licence number that will take the following form if you have registered as an individual (i.e. with a maximum of 4 properties):
- VT / Number / V for Valencia
- VT / Number / A for Alicante
- VT / Number / C for Castellon
VT is for Vivienda Turísticas. If you are registering more than 4 properties, it will be replaced by EGVT for Empresas Gestoras de Viviendas Turísticas.
You will need to include it in all the advertisements you do about your property.
5. Properties technical requirements
First of all, it is important to make the difference between the regulations managed by each Autonomous Communities and those managed by each municipality. As an exemple, the technical requirements the property has to meet is not the same in Valencia and in Alicante.
A- Tourism regulations in the Valencian Community (standard category)
In order to obtain a tourist licence for a category standard, your accommodation must have at least:
- A lift from the 4th floor
- Thermal and acoustic insulation in the home
- Electrical outlets in all rooms with voltage indication
- Hot water
- The evacuation plan located on the front door
- The list of emergency and interest telephones, posted in a visible place
- A fully-equipped kitchen
- Wardrobes in the bedrooms
- All furniture
For the complete list of requirements and the difference with the premium and superior categories, we invite you to consult the Article 12/Annex 1.
B- Urban planning regulations (city of Valencia)
The recent regulations on tourist rentals in Valencia have made it considerably more difficult to obtain the licence with the new Law on Tourism and Hospitality (Ley de turismo, ocio y hospitalidad de la Comunitat Valenciana) approved by the municipality in June 2018.
To obtain the tourist license, your accommodation must now meet at least the following requirements:
- It must be located on the ground floor or on the 1st floor.
- If it is located on the 1st floor, it must be above commercial premises.
In some neighborhoods such as Ciutat Vella or el Cabanal, the restrictions are even stricter with some quotas.
Finally, the tourist license must be renewed every 5 years.
6. I have now obtained my tourist license and I want to rent my accommodation to tourists, what are my obligations?
You must ensure that the advertising, supply and management of your accommodation is truthful and objective. The advertisements must provide customers with sufficient information about the rental property, the conditions of use and the services included in the rental.
Regardless of the platform on which you publish your ad, you must always include the registration number of your accommodation as well as its category (standard / first / superior). Large online platforms such as Airbnb, Booking will not let you post your ad on their site without this information as they would face severe penalties.
It is also compulsory to display your tourist identification plaque with your registration number visibly at the entrance to your accommodation. These badges are standard and governed by Decree 2/2017, of January 24. More information on this plaque depending on the type of accommodation here.
B- Complaints book
The owner or authorised rental management company of rental properties must have a complaints book at the disposition of the guests.
An official poster to advertise this complaints book must also be displayed.
C- Registering guests
The owner must also have a traveler register with the date of arrival and the duration of the stay of each guest. It has to be signed by both the guest and the owner of the accommodation.
The registration has be to submitted to the Policia Nacional or Guardia Civil (depending on each town) within 24 hours from the commencement of the rental period by one of the following method:
This register must be kept for at least 3 years.
D- Compliance with community regulations and notification to the guest
If your accommodation is located in a community building, you will have to check that the community regulations don’t prevent or limit tourist rentals. If you don’t have access to the statutes, you can request them to the administrator of the Community of Owners of from the Land.
Unless otherwise stated, in the price of the accommodation is also included the access to the common areas of the building (swimming pool, garden, common terraces, etc.). Guests will respect the facilities both of the tourist accomodation and of the common elements of the building or urbanisation. The owner is therefore responsible for informing the guests of the basic rules that may affect the use of the house and/or common elements and may be responsible for any infraction their customers commit.
E- Protection of personal data
You will need to inform your customers that all their personal data are legally protected and processed.
You will also have to inform them of the retention period of this data and of their rights to rectify, limit or delete it.
7. What are my rights as the owner of tourist accommodation?
As the owner of a tourist accommodation in Spain, you have the right to receive money for each rental. These prices must be adapted to the quality of the property and include the various equipment as well as the maintenance of the accommodation.
Prices should be widely visible on your ads in order to inform customers.
The owner has the right to request a deposit of no more than 250 euros unless previously agreed, for damage or loss of facilities, and the increase in the number of guests. This deposit shall be recorded when formalizing the contract and be refunded once the property is vacated minus any deductions that may be applicable.
In the event of booking cancellation by the guest, the percentage to be refunded must have been established in advance in the contract. Compensation to the owner may be between 10 and 100%.
In the event of booking cancellation by the owner, the guest can either accept an alternative accommodation or a monetary compensation for the amount that is equal to double the payment made in advance.
D- Non-respect of the rental contract
If the accommodation is occupied by more people than authorized, if the accomodation is sublet or if activities which do not comply with the conditions of use of the accommodation take place, the owner may at any time terminate the contract.
8. What are the sanctions for a poor tourist rental management?
Depending on the offense in question, the fines and sanctions can be “minor, serious and very serious”. Here is the list of the main infractions:
A- Minor infractions:
- Do not display the identification badge at the entrance to your accommodation.
- Poor treatment of your customers.
- Insufficient housekeeping and poor maintenance of the accommodation.
- Do not keep copies of invoices.
- Do not announce the existence of claim sheets.
The sanction for minor infractions are a warning and a fine of up to 601 euros.
B- Serious infractions:
- False or misleading advertising
- Lack of document required by law
- Breach of the contract or of the agreed conditions
- Prices higher than those advertised on the ad
- Refusal to issue invoices
- Obstructing the access or duties of the Tourist Inspector
The sanction for serious infractions are suspension or closure for a period of up to 6 months and a fine of up to 6.010 euros.
C- Very serious infractions:
- Make short term rental without the tourist licence
- Non-compliance with the current regulations
- Non-compliance with fire protection and prevention regulations
- Failure to comply with the advertising and communication obligations
The sanction for very serious infractions are suspension or closure for a period of up to 3 years and a fine of up to 90.151,82 euros.
The various laws and decrees on tourist accommodation are regularly updated in the Valencian Community. We therefore advise you to keep yourself informed before starting tourist rental to avoid penalties.
If you still have questions or need help obtaining your tourist license, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.