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Legal regulations for renting property in the most popular regions of Spain in 2023

Real estate as a capital investment is a solution that does not lose its popularity. Those located in attractive places are particularly interesting not only for seasoned investors, but also for everyone who wants to buy a holiday property for their own use, and generate additional income from it.

Recently, real estate in Spain has become such a tasty morsel. Many investors decide to buy them with a view to renting them for most of the year. However, you cannot rent them just like that. To rent a house or apartment in Spain, you must complete a number of formalities resulting from the legal provisions governing the rental. 

If you do not intend to stay in the property, you can rent it for a longer period. I have already written a bit more about long-term rental on the blog -> Safe and profitable rental of real estate in Spain

However, if you intend to use the property, e.g. during your holidays, and make it available for tourism the rest of the time, you will be subject to the laws governing short-term rentals in Spain.

What should you remember when you want to rent a property in Spain in 2023? 

Let's focus on the most important questions that potential landlords often ask:

Can any property be rented?

Properties that can be rented must:

  • have an occupancy permit (licencia de primera ocupacion),
  • meet the requirements for real estate for tourist use (requisitos de las viviendas de uso turistico), i.e. be adequately equipped and have specific facilities specified by law,
  • have a tourist license (licencia turistica). 

Remember! The license number with a special code assigned to the location and property must be displayed in a visible place on the property itself, and also disclosed in all offers for renting a given house or flat.

Do you need to register a business to legally rent an apartment in Spain?

It depends on how many properties you have. If you want to rent out your apartment, which you also have for your own use, or you plan to rent less than 5 properties, then as a private person you can rent it without setting up a company. However, if you have more than 5 properties - it is necessary to register a tourist enterprise.

Should guests be checked in while staying at a rental property?

It is the property owner's responsibility to register both the tenant and anyone else who will be staying at the property at the appropriate police station for the property's location within 24 hours of the start of the stay. 
More information can be found here: :

– It should be remembered that while there are general rules for renting apartments in Spain, individual regions have the autonomy to set their own applicable rules or restrictions. Local laws may therefore differ depending on the region - says Agnieszka Lech, rental manager at Dream Property Marbella. – The greatest restrictions on the rental of private houses and apartments are introduced in cities with exceptionally high tourist traffic, besieged by travelers from all over the world. The regulations are a response to the need to reconcile the tourist accommodation base with a sustainable urban model based on guaranteeing the basic rights of residents and improving their quality of life, as well as standardising rents, she explains .

Laws governing the rental of real estate on the Costa Blanca

The rental law on the Costa Blanca in 2023 is not as strict as in other popular regions of Spain. Although, especially during the holiday season, Benidorm, Alicante or Calpe record high tourist traffic, it is certainly not as intense as in Madrid or Barcelona. 

What are the rental regulations on the Costa Blanca?

In order to legally rent an apartment on the Costa Blanca and derive income from it, you must have a tourist license, and it is certainly easier to obtain one here than in other cities besieged by tourists. 

Remember! You can apply for a tourist license online. The rental license is tied to the owner's personal information, so it cannot be transferred if the home is sold.

The Costa del Sol is governed by the laws established by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.  
They state that in order to be able to rent a property on the Costa del Sol, you must obtain an entry in the Andalusian tourist register. Registering a property is free.
An apartment or house for rent on the Costa del Sol can be shared for rooms and the owner can live in the property.

Remember! A house for rent can have no more than 15 beds, and a maximum of 4 people can be accommodated in one room.

What conditions must a property for rent on the Costa del Sol meet in 2023?

Properties intended for tourism on the Costa del Sol should:

  • have a permit to use and meet technical requirements,
  • have darkened windows in the bedrooms,
  • have air conditioning and heating,
  • be furnished and equipped according to the number of available places,
  • be equipped with a first aid kit,
  • be equipped with bed linen and towels,
  • provide information about service and medical points, recreational areas and tourist facilities, public transport or restaurants in the area,
  • be cleaned before and after the accommodation of guests,
  • provide a telephone number to the person responsible for solving any problems related to the property,
  • provide guests with a book of complaints and grievances.

As in other regions, within 24 hours of starting accommodation, any traveler over the age of 16 must be registered by the landlord either online or in person at the relevant police station.

For more information on the legislation governing rentals in Andalusia, see:

Przykładowa nieruchomość pod wynajem na Costa del Sol

Laws governing rental properties in Mallorca from February 2022

Holiday rental licenses will no longer be issued in Mallorca . Those who buy a property that already has a holiday rental license will be able to continue to use it.
The expansion of holiday rentals in Mallorca and neighbouring islands has come to a halt. The Balearic government froze the so-called "house-sharing". Until 2026, the government will not grant new permits for holiday accommodation, nor will it be able to increase the number of beds in hotels. This is stipulated in an additional provision of the Balearic Tourism Act, approved by urgent decree.

Around 20,000 new beds could be created in Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera this and next year. Menorca regulates allocation under the regional plan of the island, but a moratorium also applies there.

Until now, those who wanted to deal with holiday rentals had to obtain a tourist license and purchase the appropriate number of places. This is no longer possible. The authorities are no longer accepting new applications. Rental license applications submitted by the date of publication of the resolution in the Official Gazette of the Balearic Islands on February 11, 2022 are still being considered.

Remember! If a home with a vacation rental license is sold, the new owner can continue to use the license.

However, the owner may lose their license if they do not comply with the law. For example, licenses issued for residential and 60-day rentals must be renewed every five years. In this case, you will have to pay the accommodation fees again. Those who received a rental license under the old regulations (before 2017) will have to apply for it again.
Rental licenses issued prior to 2017 have a three-year grace period. If it is found that the property was rented to tourists during this period, the license expires.

Laws governing rental property in the Canary Islands

An apartment or house intended for short-term rental must be entered in the General Tourist Register of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands.
According to him, holiday homes are furnished and equipped homes marketed or promoted for temporary and complete transfer to third parties for leisure purposes, against payment.

What conditions must a property for rent in the Canary Islands meet in 2023?

Properties for rent in the Canary Islands should be prepared in such a way that they are suitable for immediate use and equipped, among others, with:  In:

  • internal security lock on the entrance door,
  • first aid kit.

In the bedrooms:

  • double or single beds with specific dimensions,
  • reading lights by each bed,
  • blackout system for each bedroom, 
  • bedding sets corresponding to the number of accommodated guests.

In the bathroom:

  • mirror,
  • dryer,
  • toilet paper holder,
  • towel hangers, 
  • a system that prevents water from leaking out of the bathtub or paddling pool,
  • towels for each user.

In the kitchen:

  • oven or microwave,
  • Coffee machine,
  • crockery, cutlery and glass in the right amount,
  • kitchen utensils for preparing and eating food,
  • iron and ironing board.

In a house intended for tourist purposes, only the number of people that corresponds to the housing capacity determined by the number of bedrooms and places, in accordance with the data contained in the permit, can be accommodated.
Owners of residential premises are obliged to send information regarding tourist accommodation to police stations.

Remember! Persons who own property in the Canary Islands that are not their permanent residence, whether resident or non-resident, must pay tax on the hypothetical rental price. This fee is required regardless of whether the owner actually rents the property and earns money from it, or whether it stands unused.

More information on the legislation governing rentals in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands can be found here:

Laws governing rental property in Madrid

Houses for tourist use, which can be fully transferred by their owner to third parties for tourist purposes for a fee, are flats, apartments or houses, furnished and equipped, marketed and promoted on tourist offer portals. One of the specific requirements that additionally applies in Madrid is the need to provide guests with free WiFi in the rental property.

In order to normalise the phenomenon of short-term rental tourism, Madrid has introduced a limit on the days during which private accommodation can be rented.

What are the rental regulations in Madrid in 2023?

Flats or private houses in Madrid can be rented by owners for a maximum of 90 days a year without permission. An extension of this period requires an application for a permit. Tourist rental can last a minimum of 5 days.

Remember! The city has decided that only properties as a whole, with a separate entrance, can be subject to tourist rental. This means that renting a property in Madrid for rooms is not possible. 

For more information on the legislation governing rentals in Madrid, see:

Laws governing rental property in Barcelona

The rental law in Barcelona is related to the regulations governing the rental of apartments and houses in Catalonia. You can read more about these regulations -> here

Territorially, Catalonia is a diverse territory with large metropolises as well as small and medium-sized municipalities, all of which have their own economic, social and tourist interests. Barcelona is in a special position, as it treats the short-term rental law very strictly. 

To rent properties in Barcelona, their owners must apply for a rental license through the administration. However, an apartment or a house cannot be rented for more than 120 days a year.

What are the rental regulations in Barcelona in 2023?

Due to the growing influx of tourists, Barcelona has introduced rules that are defined by the Special Urban Development Plan for Tourist Accommodation (PEUAT). This plan creates a regulatory framework for the management of accommodation facilities in Barcelona, including all hotel facilities, tourist accommodation facilities, tourist apartments, hostels and university residences.

Considering that Barcelona has areas with more tourist traffic than others, PEUAT divides it into zones: 

  • Zone 1 – refers to the part of the city with the highest concentration of tourists. 50% of all hotel beds in Barcelona are concentrated in this area, therefore licensing of tourist accommodation has been restricted here.
  • Zone 2 - borders the area with the highest concentration of tourists. Here, in the event of liquidation of accommodation places, it is possible to implement new ones, but only in the same number of places for accommodation.
  • Zone 3 - covers the rest of the territory, which is far from the areas of interest of tourists. It is allowed to register apartments or houses for holiday rentals here, provided that the maximum occupancy limit established for each area is not exceeded.

Remember! There is a tourist tax added to the price of accommodation in the city. Renting an apartment in Barcelona in 2023 will be even more expensive - from April 1, the daily rate will be raised from 4 to 5 euros, of which 2.75 euros will go to the city's account. It is also known that on April 1, 2024, further increases will come into force.

Spain has demanding and varied regulations when it comes to short-term rentals. However, every year it attracts millions of tourists who need accommodation. So if you invest in the right region of Spain and comply with applicable holiday rental laws, you can count on profits.


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