Am I free to rent my apartment in the summers in Andalusia without saying it to the authorities?

Am I free to rent my apartment in the summers in Andalusia without saying it to the authorities?

I am afraid you are not. Even if you pay your taxes. Unless you do it just once or twice…Otherwise you must  declare your house to be a tourist home

Regularity is the key concept to understand when a dwelling is considered as “tourist home”, i.e., if you are going to offer the house regularly to visitors then we are talking about a tourist housing and, therefore, it should be legalized (registered).

And if you will not usually offer it then there is no obligation to register it.

But what does the “usual” term mean?

Well, we can find two different situations,

  • Presumption of regularity: the law says there is a presumption of regularity when housing is promoted or marketed by:
    1. Channels that include the possibility of booking the accommodation (I understand that the law refers to cases when the possibility of booking payment on your platform is offered).
    2. Travel agencies.
    3. Companies that mediate or organize tourist services

In these three cases the Administration will assume that the person who assigns housing makes it regularly, and will not have to prove that the home has been rented more often. In these cases, it is the owner holder who has to prove that his activity has not been usual.

  • Presumption of non-regularity: elsewhere in cases not referred to in the preceding paragraph, it is presumed there is no regularity. However, this is not obstacle for the administration to be able to penalize the owner if they prove that he lets his home on a regular basis. In these cases, it is the administration the one who has to prove that housing is sold on a regular basis. These cases are, for instance, when the owner promotes or markets housing with tourist purposes (whether or not mentioned in the promotion of the housing) through:
    1. Websites that offer no possibility of booking payment on its platform, or
    2. Posters exposed on the balcony of the House, or
    3. Through custodians,
    4. Etc.
  • If there is no tourist purpose then there is no possibility to talk about tourist homes, obviously.

In conclusion, when you are the owner of a house and rent it for tourism on a regular basis, you need to register your home in the registry of tourism of Andalusia. And if you are not going to offer it on a regular basis, then there is no obligation to register it.

As you see, the important point here is the “regularity” term. The law tells us when this regularity is presumed. Therefore, if housing is announced on a website that offers possibility of reservation by payment and you as the owner receive a penalty letter, it can be appealed if you allege and prove that your activity is not usual. But if you have no way to prove it, the sanction will go ahead because the standard presumes there is regularity (without the administration having to prove that the house has been given as housing in more occasions in addition to the one mentioned in the sanction). But the law does not tell us when there is and there is not regularity, and therefore we are given an ambiguous concept. There have been several requests for clarification sent to the Authorities. As far as I know still pending reply.

Finally, just a line about penalties. These could vary from 2,001 euros to 18,000 euros depending on the circumstances.

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