Monday, 10 September 2018
Is renting your house as a holiday let still a viable option? Part 2
Is renting your house as a holiday let still a viable option?
Part two – So what is a holiday-let?
The very first question requiring an answer is what constitutes a ‘holiday let’? Well each of the 17 autonomous regions in Spain set their own laws regarding this, so it is not necessarily as straightforward a question as it may at first seem! There may even be additional local laws that also need to be considered. So again, my comments relate to Valencian Communidad (and more precisely to the Alicante region within that). But all agree that anyone receiving payment in exchange for use of their property for a short-term period needs a licence. Even if only letting to family and friends.
You must furnish guests with details of the community rules, display an evacuation plan, provide a list of emergency telephone numbers and tourist information. And there is a list of equipment that must be supplied. All that is basic, and we were compliant anyway.
However, there are rules about what properties can obtain a licence. For all Standard properties there must be heating in all rooms, wall power points in all rooms, a fuse box (relating solely to that property). For the Primera (mid-range) properties you additionally need parking, air conditioning, a pool or be front-line to a beach and have a security box. Finally, if you have a Superior property then you need to add internet and a garden (can be communal). It is highly likely that some, if not most, of these will eventually also be required in Standard properties too.
But it doesn’t end there either. Next comes the size of the rooms! In a ‘Standard’ property the master bedroom must be at least 10m2, other double/twin rooms at least 8m2 and a single room at least 6m2. This allows for a minimum of 3.5m2 per person sleeping in the room. Bedrooms must have use of a wardrobe. If you have squeezed a shower, loo and wash basin into a cupboard, it doesn’t qualify as a bathroom unless it is at least 4.5m2; a living room must be at least 14m2 and kitchen 5m2. The rooms need to be larger for Primera and larger still for Superior. The only exception is for a studio apartment which must be at least 24m2 and include a separate but private bathroom.
All properties must be legal and have a Habitation Certificate (unless exempt due to age). They also need an ECP (energy certificate). But for some there are complications because some owners have made changes to their properties without the correct planning permissions. For instance, there is a design of house I know that lends itself to partitioning off a section of the lounge to create a ‘third bedroom’, thereby increasing the price you can charge renters, but if your house is listed at the land registry as having two bedrooms you cannot register it for rental purposes as having three. Aside from the room sizes for a rental licence as above, there are minimum specifications for what legally constitutes a bedroom including ceiling height and window size. This also rules out some converted ‘underbuilds’ (basements) with low ceilings and very small windows, especially those conversions that have never been granted permissions and not entered onto the property deeds as they don’t even officially exist.
I am aware of an apartment that is close to my house that is on the forth (top) floor that has been previously let out for holiday use, but as there is no lift it won’t qualify for a licence. Currently the rule in Valencia is up to a maximum level of three floors unless there is a lift. I am sure there are other complications too of which I am not aware. So, the answer to initial question of what constitutes a holiday-let is much more than just a property/part of a property rented out for holidays.