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Legal regulations for renting real estate in the most popular regions of Spain in 2024

Tatiana Pekala Tatiana Pekala |

Real estate as a capital investment is a solution that is not losing popularity. Those properties located in attractive places are particularly interesting not only for experienced investors, but also for everyone who wants to buy a holiday property for their own use and at the same time generate additional income from it.

Real estate in Spain has been such a tasty treat for years. Many investors decide to buy them with the intention of renting them for most of the year. However, they cannot be rented just like that.

Important!

To rent a house or apartment in Spain, you must complete a number of formalities resulting from the legal regulations governing rental.

If you do not intend to stay in the property, you can rent it for a longer period of time. I have already written in more detail 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 holiday, and for the rest of the time make it available for tourist purposes, you will be subject to the legal provisions governing short-term rentals in Spain.

What should you remember when renting a property in Spain in 2024?

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

Can any Spanish property be rented?

Properties that can be rented must:

  • have an occupancy permit (licencia de primera ocupacion or cedula de habitabilidad),
  • meet the requirements for real estate for tourist use (requisitos de las viviendas de uso turistico), i.e. be properly equipped and have specific amenities 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 placed in a visible place on the property itself and disclosed in all rental offers for a given house or apartment.

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 designate less than 5 properties for rent, you can rent it as a private person without setting up a company. However, if you have more than 5 properties, it is necessary to register a tourist company.

Should guests be checked in while they are staying at the rental property?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to register both the tenant and other persons who will stay in the property at the police station appropriate to the location of the property within 24 hours from the beginning of their stay. 

More information can be found HERE

It's worth remembering that...

Although there are general rules for renting apartments in Spain, individual regions have the autonomy to establish their own applicable regulations or restrictions. Local laws may therefore vary by region. 

The greatest restrictions on the rental of private houses and apartments are introduced by cities with extremely high tourist traffic, besieged by travellers from all over the world. The regulations are a response to the need to reconcile tourist accommodation with a sustainable urban model, based on guaranteeing the basic rights of residents and improving their quality of life, as well as regulating the amount of rents.

The rental law on the Costa Blanca in 2024 is not as strict as in other popular regions of Spain. Although Benidorm, Alicante and Calpe experience heavy tourist traffic during the holiday season, it is certainly not as intense as in Madrid or Barcelona. 

What are the rental regulations on the Costa Blanca?

To legally rent an apartment on the Costa Blanca and earn income from it, you must have a tourist license.

Remember!

You can apply for a tourist license online. The rental license is linked to the owner's personal information and therefore cannot be transferred if the home is sold.

On the Costa del Sol, the laws established by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia apply.  

They state that in order to rent a property on the Costa del Sol, you must be entered in the tourist register of Andalusia. Registering your property is free of charge.

An apartment or house for rent on the Costa del Sol can be rented out as 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 2024?

Properties intended for tourist purposes on the Costa del Sol should:

  • have an operating permit and meet technical requirements,
  • have darkened windows in 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,
  • share information about service and medical points, recreational areas and tourist facilities, public transport and restaurants in the area,
  • be cleaned before and after guest accommodation,
  • provide the telephone number of 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 accommodation for any traveler over 16 years of age, the owner of the accommodation must register him or her online or in person at the appropriate police station.

More information about the legal regulations governing rentals in Andalusia can be found HERE 

Holiday rental licenses are no longer issued in Majorca. Those who purchase a property that already has a holiday rental license will be able to continue to use it.

The expansion of holiday rentals in Majorca and neighbouring islands has stopped. The government of the Balearic Islands has frozen the so-called "house sharing". Until 2026, the government will not grant new permits for holiday rentals or increase the number of hotel beds. This is specified in an additional provision of the Balearic Islands Tourism Act.

Until now, those who wanted to engage in 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 before the date of publication of the resolution in the Official Journal of the Balearic Islands on February 11, 2022 are still processed.

Remember!

If a home with a vacation rental license is sold, the new owner will be able to continue using the license.

However, the owner may lose his license if he does 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 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.

For rental licenses issued before 2017, there is a three-year non-use period. If the property is found to have been rented to tourists during this period, the license will expire.

The 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 houses placed on the market or promoted for the temporary and complete transfer to third parties for recreational purposes for a fee.

What conditions must a rental property in the Canary Islands meet in 2024?

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

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

In the bedrooms:

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

In the bathroom:

  • mirror,
  • dryer,
  • toilet paper holder,
  • towel racks, 
  • a system that prevents water from escaping from the bathtub or shower tray,
  • towels for each user.

In the kitchen:

  • oven or microwave,
  • coffee machine,
  • tableware, cutlery and glass in appropriate quantities,
  • 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 included in the permit, can be accommodated. Owners of residential premises are obliged to send information regarding the accommodation of tourists to police stations.

Remember!

Owners of non-domiciled property in the Canary Islands, whether residents or non-residents, must pay tax on the notional rental price. This fee is required regardless of whether the owner rents the property and makes money from it, or whether it stands unused.

More information about the legal regulations governing rentals in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands can be found HERE

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

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

What are the rental regulations in Madrid in 2024?

Apartments or private houses in Madrid can be rented by owners for a period of no longer than 90 days a year without a permit. Extending this period requires applying 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 rented for tourists. This means that renting property in Madrid by room is not possible. 

More information about the legal regulations governing rentals in Madrid can be found HERE

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

Important!

A tourist apartment is understood as premises transferred by its owner directly or indirectly to third parties in exchange for remuneration for a seasonal stay and under the condition of immediate availability. Seasonal stay is any occupation of real estate for an uninterrupted period equal to or shorter than 31 days. Properties intended for tourist use must be transferred as a whole, room rental is not allowed.

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 situation, as it treats short-term rental law very strictly. 
To rent properties in Barcelona, their owners must apply administratively for a rental license. However, they cannot rent an apartment or house for longer than 120 days a year. 

What are the rental regulations in Barcelona in 2024?

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

Taking into account that Barcelona has areas with higher 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 the granting of permits for 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 accommodation places.
  • Zone 3 – covers the rest of the territory that is away from the areas of interest of tourists. It is allowed to register apartments or houses for holiday rentals, provided that the maximum density of places established for each area is not exceeded.

Remember!

The city has a tourist tax added to the accommodation price. Renting an apartment in Barcelona in 2024 will be more expensive – from April 1, the daily rate will be increased from EUR 4 to EUR 5, of which EUR 2.75 will go to the city's account. For comparison, in a hotel you will have to add EUR 6.25 per night to the accommodation price. 

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

See also

Do you want to buy a house in Spain? Here's what you need to know in 2024

Luxury real estate in Spain – this is worth knowing in 2024

Investing in Real Estate in Spain. What do you need to know in 2024?

Taxes and fees related to buying a property in Spain in 2023

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