Anyone renting out their property on a short-term basis in the Andalusia region of Spain is now required to register their property with the local authorities. Failure to do so could result in a hefty fine.

The Andalusia region of southern Spain is packed with places and attractions that entice a constant flow of visitors: from the sun-drenched Costa del Sol to internationally renowned cities such as Seville. With more than 10 million international tourists heading to Spain’s second largest autonomous community each year, many property buyers are keen to cash in on their investment by renting to this army of visitors.

Renting out a property legally in Spain requires compliance with various rules and regulations. Failure to do so can result in large fines being issued and in some cases the loss of property. Since May 2016 anyone advertising their holiday home as tourist accommodation in Andalusia has been required to register with the Junta de Andalucia (Andalusian government); bringing it in line with many other regions in Spain.

Anyone planning to advertise and rent out their property on a short-term basis – maximum 60 days – to paying guests will need to obtain a VFT number.

Officially known as Decree 28/2016 (viviendas con fines turísticos), Andalusia’s holiday rental law makes it compulsory to obtain a VFT number prior to entering the rental market. So how do you know if this impacts your plans? How do you go about registering? And why is it so important?

What is a VFT number?

A VFT is a legal registration number that confirms a rental property is legally compliant with Article 7.1 of the Andalusia Touristic Laws.

Who requires a VFT number?

Anyone planning to advertise and rent out their property on a short-term basis – maximum 60 days – to paying guests will need to obtain a VFT number.

Requirements to register a holiday rental

The minimum requirements to register a short-term holiday rental in Andalusia are as follows:

• Properties rented out between May and September must be fitted with air-conditioning equipment in the living area and bedrooms.
• Properties rented out between October and April must be fitted with a heating system that maintains a temperature of 19 degrees.
• All bedrooms must have direct ventilation to the exterior and all windows and patio doors must have some means of obscuring light: curtains, shutters, etc.
• The property must be furnished adequately for the maximum guest occupancy.
• Adequate bed linen and towels must be supplied based on the maximum occupancy, plus one extra set.
• A changeover cleaning service must be offered in between each guest occupation i.e. before arrival and after departure of each guest.
• A medical kit should be available in the property.
• Guests must be supplied with tourist information.

 

The Costa del Sol in Andalusia is a popular destination for owning rental property

 

How to register

Unless you have an electronic signature (firma electrónica) – in which case you can complete the whole process online – you will be required to complete the online registration form, print it off and present the completed form at your regional tourism department, or submit it via the post office (correos).

Inspection process

Having been registered on the guardia (police) and Junta de Andalucia systems an inspection of your property will be carried out during the application process. If your property does not meet the structural requirements of the decree, e.g. you do not have air-conditioning or heating, you will be given one year to ensure the property is fit for rental.

Upon successful inspection of your property you will be assigned the all-important VFT number; allowing you to rent out your property in accordance with the relevant legislation. The whole process should take between one and three months from submitting your registration form.

Failure to comply

Fines and sanctions for failure to comply with Article 7.1 of the Andalusia touristic laws are divided into three categories, says Spanish lawyer Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt:

Light offence: either a written warning or a fine up to €2,000.
Serious offence: fines ranging from €2,001 up to €18,000. Premises may be shut down temporarily at the local authority’s discretion (for periods less than 6 months) and the rental licence may be revoked temporarily.
Very serious offence: fines ranging from €18,001 up to €150,000. The premises may be shut down temporarily at the local authority’s discretion (for periods spanning between 6 months to 3 years).

If the landlord is sanctioned two or more times for very serious offences within a three-year period, the property will be struck off the register indefinitely.

This change to the Andalusia tourism laws aims to reduce income tax fraud in the local rental market

Why is the new Decree so important?

This change to the Andalusia tourism laws aims to reduce income tax fraud in the local rental market. It is hoped that by registering rental properties and issuing what is essentially a licence to rent the local authority will be able to monitor the huge number of landlords in the region more effectively.

The new system should provide greater clarity around how authorities define a short-term rental property. A previous lack of clarity enabled many landlords to avoid complying with the law.

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