Registering a holiday property – this time they’re serious!
The south of Spain for many years has been a bit like a refuge. Ex Pats coming out here for the weather, finding a nice place and keeping firmly off the grid. It is true that in many ways the Spanish Government has not helped itself by failing to keep tabs on who is coming and going, and whether they are paying their taxes or signed on the padron. We see evidence of this all around. With the threat of Brexit, applications for Spanish Residencia have nearly tripled and its likely a lot of the applicants are people who have been here for some time. Likewise with Holiday Rentals.
Renting ones house through the major booking websites has been a huge source of income for the Ex Pat community in Andalucia in the past 10 years and that income has by and large remained totally untaxed. There is a bit of confusion about how to declare income and how to pay tax if you are a non resident, and we will deal with that in the next few weeks, for now the important thing is to understand the new registration laws for holiday rentals are being followed up with measures that are not typically Spanish.
In Barcelona last year, EL Pais reported the problem that many owners of property were simply not aware that their house was being let on AIRBNB by tenants. In Catalunia they have had the registration laws for 3 years, and the Owners of property have found themselves hit by heavy fines, whilst their tenants who were getting a nice little income were none the wiser.
Catalan property owners have found themselves in the firing line of the new efficiency drive from the tax man too. In 2012 the Hacienda launched an investigation into “empty” homes by checking the electricity and water usage on the property then heavily fining offenders.
In 2016 with the new law in place here in Andalucia we can expect to find the same happening here. The Junta de Andalucia is incredibly proud of the fact that it is able to now “spider” the major holiday lettings websites. That is a computer programme which goes through the listings and checks instantly against tax payment and registration details, where either is missing the owner will receive a letter and most likely a fine of between €1500 and €18,000. For the Junta, they don’t even have to do anything except pay the fine into their account.
On 11th May, the Law comes into force. Everyone who is renting out their property to tourists must be registered or have ceased renting. Those who choose to continue must begin preparation to ensure the rental is up to date with all the things required, such as air conditioning by the 4th May 2017. You can read more about what is required on the earlier blog post.
If you are not yet registered and don’t know where to start, contact me or contact your lawyer immediately, because this is Spain the new version and if you don’t register, you will be caught.
Patrick Grant EMLE
MiMarbellaNow’s Legal Beagle
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