Renting your property in Spain, easy money or a headache? Article code RPS
First the rules:
As from 1st June 2013, all homes for sale or to let in Spain are required by law to have an energy efficiency certificate. If you are offering your property for rent after this date, you will need to obtain an energy certificate first. If Google does not help you find a company that can do it for you pop into a local friendly English speaking estate agent because every property on their books has to have one.
If you want to let your property to tourists on a short-term basis, you must ensure that you are doing so in accordance with Spanish law. The regulations on letting your apartment in Spain to tourists (apartamentos turisticos) or your holiday villa (viviendas vacacionales) to tourists will vary depending on the region where the property is located. Each region in Spain have their own rules which makes “Googleing” redundant. You will need to find the right Spanish official website and hit the translate button because the information will be in Spanish.
If you are planning on making a return or a business out of renting out your property on a short-term basis, it is best to seek local independent legal advice and get them to check what the rules are at the local town hall or the tourist department of the regional government. It is not always understood that the marketing of private residential property to tourists is strictly regulated in many regions of Spain.
Owners who get caught advertising or letting out their properties without complying with local legislation can be liable for significant fines. A for rent (alquilar) sign outside the property is always a dead giveaway. In the old days in July & August signs popped up everywhere all along the coast for just those two months as people tried to make a good profit short term. Not any more.
It is also worth mentioning that if you are planning to buy an apartment which is part of a residential block to be your commercially rented property you should also check whether there are any rules set by the community of owners that prohibit or restrict short-term or long-term sub-letting or holiday letting. You may be better off hiring a Spanish letting agent to assist with finding tenants, drawing up rental contracts and managing the property on your behalf if the community does allow it.
Owners who let their properties on a long-term basis are free to do so within the terms set out by national rental laws but be aware that there may be local restrictions. It is worth seeking professional advice first to make sure that you are complying with Spanish legislation and that you are using the correct rental contract. Regard getting advice as buying insurance. Better safe than sorry.
In Spain, there are several types of contracts depending on how long the property is due to be let. You can get copies of these contracts from tobacconists, in Spanish of course if you are confident enough to do it alone.
The Tax man:
Taxes are part of every day life so to be on the safe side you must submit your rental income details to the Spanish tax authorities (Agencia Tributaria) and you should do that whether you are a resident in Spain or not. Taxation on income from property is a complex issue which is why it is advisable to seek the advice of a local accountant who is used to dealing with the tax implications from letting out property. To find a good one all you need to do is join a local community Facebook Group and post the question.
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Article code: RPS