Given the unstoppable growth of Airbnb and the controversy arisen around its business in Spain, one may wonder how these short stay rentals' regulations work in this country. The truth is that, although there is a general regulation since 2017, it depends on each city's legislation. In recent years, regulations have been changed to restrict and regulate the Airbnb rent model and different actions have been detected in cities and regions since then.
At a Council of Ministers in 2017, the Ministry of Finance approved regulatory changes to the General Tax Law. These changes affect tourist rental platforms. These changes are intended to fight against tax fraud, among other issues.
Platforms such as Airbnb have the responsibility to report the data of the tenants, the ones placing ads in the platform, and they must also collect data of all users who are staying in their houses. The advertiser must, not only be identified by name, surname or company name, but also identify the property with the cadastral reference number and inform about the number of days the house has been rented and the money received from it. When paying the corresponding taxes, they must pay 10% of the amount received for the rental of the tourist home as VAT.
Starting in October, the City Council of Madrid has affirmed that the regulation described in the previous section will be applied.
The City Council of Barcelona has instituted strict inspection and control measures for apartments that do not comply with the regulations. VAT taxes, personal income tax, and tourist establishment’s taxes must be paid.
In Casco Viejo and Bilbao la Vieja, only one tourist accommodation per building is allowed. If there is already a pension, hostel or housing for tourist use, you are not allowed to ask for an authorization for more. However, the bedrooms rented for tourists in a house do not prevent the implementation of more accommodation units in the building.
In Andalusia, all homes with tourism purposes must apply for registration in the Andalusian Tourism Registry. All their ads must include their registration code in the Tourism Registry in the information provided. When a home with these characteristics on Airbnb is published, that code will have to be included in the description.
In addition to state regulation, Valencia wants to limit Airbnb-style flats to first and ground floors. A recent change of the Tourism Law has been approved by the Valencia Parliament. That modification allows city councils to decide about this issue. The apartment or house would have to pass an urban compatibility report in order to determine if the houses can or cannot be used for touristic purposes.
Palma has decided to take radical measures and directly forbids new flats for tourists. Since 2017, they have been working on legislation to regulate this type of flats with the support of the local government, which has introduced this new regulation in July. The only way you can rent tourist homes is through single-family homes, which are isolated houses or chalets, not collective housing blocks.
As you can see, the possibilities of renting a home through Airbnb depend enormously on where you are. Regulations are expected to be stronger in the future at the same time as the inspections do. If you are going to offer a home for rent through Airbnb in Spain, you must comply with the regulations and pay the requested taxes according to the law.
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