The following is a press release from the British Embassy:
Homeowners who rent out their properties to holidaymakers are being warned they could face huge fines unless they comply with Spanish law.
The British Embassy has become aware of a number of cases where homeowners have been fined up to €30,000 for letting properties without the correct permits.
The Embassy has today (Monday) published advice for homeowners who rent out their properties or are considering doing so, which can be found on the UKinSpain website.
The regulations on letting tourist apartments (apartamentos turísticos) and holiday homes (viviendas vacacionales) vary by region. If you are planning on making a financial return by renting out your existing property, or buying one to let, you are recommended to seek independent legal advice and check the local licensing laws with your local town hall (Ayuntamiento).
This is particularly important in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands where the rental of holiday properties on a short-term basis is strictly regulated. The authorities in these areas are cracking down on homeowners who rent out their properties to tourists (particularly through online adverts) without complying with Spanish law.
If you own or are planning to buy an apartment which is part of a Comunidad de Propietarios (Committees of property owners who are responsible for the management of communal areas of apartment buildings/complexes), you should also check whether there are any rules that prohibit or restrict short-term letting.
Owners who rent out properties on a long-term basis are generally not required to apply for a special licence. However, it is worth seeking professional advice to make sure that you are complying with Spanish legislation and that you are using the correct rental contract.
There are different types of contracts depending on how long the property is being let for, such as arriendos de vivienda which are for a minimum of five years, and arriendos de temporada which are generally for one year or less. You can get copies of these contracts from tobacconists (estancos).
Owners of properties should also be aware that whether or not you are resident in Spain, you will need to declare rental income to the Spanish tax authorities. Homeowners may wish to seek advice from a professional tax adviser (asesor/gestor).
Managing a property rental:
You may want to consider hiring a Spanish letting agent to assist with finding tenants, drawing up rental contracts and managing the property on your behalf.
Lists of local English-speaking lawyers can be found on the consular pages of the UKinSpain website.