Renting Property

Purchasing property on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida for rental

Not everyone buying property in Spain wants to live there. Lots of people are buying as an investment. The regulations regarding rental are complex and differ between regions.

Since 2013, the task of regulating short-term holiday rentals has fallen to each of Spain’s 17 regional governments. The regional governments, some of which already had a level of regulation in place before 2013, were given guidelines by Madrid. Over the years, most have adopted some core rules, such as homeowners needing to obtain a rental licence. Inevitably though, this being Spain, regional differences in the way short-term lets are controlled, have become differences between provinces, town halls and cities within the same region! This is one reason why you need a local lawyer who understands the regulations in the area you are looking to buy.

Even individual complexes and urbanisations have their own rules, which will be set by the community of owners.

External factors can also trigger changes to local rental regulations. Examples include pressure from large tourism bodies, local politics and how dense an area already is already with holiday accommodation. Popular large Spanish cities have taken different approaches in response to the rise of Airbnb etc. You have to be a local legal expert, on the ground, to stay abreast of all the developments.

Getting your tourist licence

One rule that governs most regions is the need to register and have your property licensed for holiday lets. Generally, the property owner should begin by gaining permission from their town hall or declaring their intention to do so with the authorities.

The next step is to register the property and obtain a unique registration number. This is done by returning a completed form to the local tourism office or post office. In many cases this will trigger a property inspection (details vary, depending on the region). You’ll need relevant documentation, including owner’s ID and your property’s occupancy licence.

Rating Rental Property

Each rental property will be rated as either superior, first or standard, depending on the size/level of comfort and facilities. There are minimum size requirements for some rooms, and specified health and safety standards will need to be met too.

Both the rating and registration number should be included in any property adverts and marketing materials, and be on display in the rental property. It is a common requirement also for the property owner or representative to log details of all paying guests with the local police.

Failure to comply with the rules regarding advertising and rental or to be renting without a rental licence can result in hefty financial penalties.

All income generated from rentals should be declared to the Spanish tax office and all necessary taxes paid. Again failure to comply is an offence punishable by fine.


A key takeaway for property purchasers intending to rent short-term to holidaymakers is to be prepared to obtain a tourist rental licence and always observe local regulation, right down to the rules of your community or blok. Using a lawyer will help you to tick all the right boxes and keep within the law.

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VIDEO: Managing your holiday home.

Jose Maria Lomax shares his expertise on what you know when renting out Spanish property. He was an invited guest on a webinar hosted by A Place in the Sun in 2020.