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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 10:57

Housing of tourist use

Through Law 4/2013 of June 4, measures to increase the flexibility and promotion of the housing rental market, the Law on Urban Leases (LAU) was reformed. It was a very important change in the rent of houses in general and in the leases of houses of tourist use in particular. This type of lease is excluded from application of the LAU by introducing section e) of article 5. Passing therefore this activity to be regulated by the regional regulations in question of tourism and the regulations of their development.

The situation that we find in the sector, therefore, is a diversity of regulations, as many as communities, although obviously they have a common background.

On the one hand, we find the rental of tourist apartments and cottages that are included in a tourist activity, regulated in a homogeneous way in almost all communities, although with some logical nuances, serve as an example the requirement of air conditioning in some Assumptions in more southern communities.

On the other hand, we find hybrid figures such as rural housing and tourist housing that have had a huge expansion in recent years. Regarding the latter, we will focus our attention on this article, due to the problems that accompany them, both in regulation and sporadic neighborhood problems that sometimes arise, as well as an important aspect that is to transmit security and certainty to travelers. Powerful platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway have made it possible to meet the existing demand and at the same time have encouraged the activity of these types of accommodation.

The fact is that a private owner can make rents, for periods of time less than 31 days generally, and in conditions of immediate use and marketed in tourist channels and for a lucrative purpose.

The requirements to be able to carry out this activity is to be registered in the autonomous registers for these activities and the declaration of said income in the declarations of rent of the owners of the houses.

The operation of these platforms is very varied, and in fact have been changing over time and even have been causing in itself, legislative changes. We have platforms like Airbnb, with American philosophy that charge a commission of the rent to both the owner and the tenant, retaining the payment of the rent until days after the entry of the tenant, performing a function of guarantee both the existence, Veracity of the accommodation. In this platform the insertion of the advertisement is free. This system, although it makes leasing more expensive, gives the tenant some peace of mind.

Platforms like Homeaway, homelidays, open ... etc, of French origin, originally its only way of proceeding, was to contact the owner with the tenant, charging only the owner for the insertion of the advertisement. In this system only the advertisement was paid by the owner and then all the transactions were done by the parties directly.

It has been transformed into a mixed system where you can choose different forms, allowing the traditional system and opening up to the American system to charge commission for the collection services that it performs.

The next step is to allow tourists to rent rooms in your main house in exchange for a fee and the possibility of doing some services such as breakfast. The autonomous community of Andalusia already allows it, and has regulated, by the existence of a registry and limiting the number of rooms that can be rented. Catalonia and other communities will soon legislate in this regard.

An important aspect is the obligation to insert the regional registration number of the activity in the ads of the platforms. By visualizing the registration number it is intended to give confidence to the tenant that it is a regularized dwelling and at the same time allows the distinction of houses that are irregular. An important inspection task is being carried out by the administration in order to avoid the existence of non-compliant and irregular rentals, as well as the imposition of important sanctions in the tourist regulations.

It is clear that we are facing activities that have come to stay, which respond to changes in the way of travel and to understand life in general, and in which the development of the internet has played a crucial role. The laws are adapted allowing to weigh the rights at stake, allowing and regulating the power to carry out a legitimate activity as owner, regularizing the activity and the payment of taxes and at the same time contemplating the possible neighborhood problems that may arise.

Certainty and confidence are very important aspects for the traveler and so are the future of the sector. Therefore they are aspects that the sector must transmit to the traveler, these must be contributed by all the subjects involved, administrations, platforms and owners. One of the ways that the owner has to provide certainty and confidence to his future tenants is by means of a contract, in which exactly they are identified, the data of the house, the services that are offered, the forms of payment and that collect exactly and Without ambiguities the conditions and characteristics of the rent, that can help the traveler prepare their trip, have a happy stay in our country and invite you to return.

Writings SF Lawyers