Monday, 1 October 2018
Is renting your house as a holiday let still a viable option?
Part four – other requirements
Being legal and having a licence applies to the property owner but avoiding fines also means ensuring those you use to work for you are also legally registered. There have in the past been those who were paid keyholders and cleaners who were working cash-in-hand and not declaring their income. When you register for your password with the Guardia Civil they will ask who acts as your keyholder if you are not yourself resident in Spain. They note the name and contact details and request the person concerned attend the office with their passport and tax number. If you are found employing an unregistered worker, then you can both be fined.
Another common practice has been for people to act as unofficial taxis providing airport transfers. There are regulations regarding this and recently a mini bus owner was fined 6000 euros when stopped by police and the passengers said they were paying the man. Yes, that said six thousand euros! The fines in Spain are not small!
For some reason no one yet asks you to produce copies of your insurance certificate, but I’m sure that will come in time as you do need to be insured. We have always had a specialist holiday rental policy from a UK insurer (small-print in your mother tongue is tricky enough, but in another language, it is a total nightmare!). This covers the property, us and the holiday makers plus has a public liability provision. Another certificate I’m sure will be necessary in the future is the one from your air conditioning engineer regarding annual service of all air con units. We ensure we use a properly registered engineer and have a full invoice with his tax number displayed as required under Spanish law. If we had gas appliances I would be anticipating needing to produce your invoice showing the annual service of those fixtures too, but we are all electric.
We also have a fire extinguisher, fire blanket and smoke alarms on each level. We display our evacuation plan and provide the emergency number with a multi-lingual service. What we cannot do is ensure that our guests actually read any of this clearly displayed information!
In addition to the information we must display, (we use the back of the front door as a notice board), we duplicate this information in the ‘house folder’ which also contains additional information on the house, the keyholders, washing machine instructions, internet access codes, TV stations, info on the area, directions to the supermarket and beach etc, bus timetables, 24 hour pharmacy, driving in Spain information, matters of personal safety, English speaking radio stations and a few other miscellaneous items. But we know that despite saying in the welcome letter sent out before the holiday that they should read the contents of the folder, guests don’t look at it! How do we know? From phone calls, emails and text messages asking for information that is detailed in the folder! So, complying with all the rules doesn’t actually mean the guests will take notice of anything, but we must still do what is required of us.