All tourist apartments in Catalonia must have mandatory municipal licenses

The Catalan Government has approved a decree regulating tourist apartments. A flat rented for a period of less than 3 months is considered a “tourist” flat. As it performs an economic activity, it will now need a municipal license. Until now, tourist flats were regulated depending on the municipality.

CNA / Paula Mateu

November 9, 2010 10:56 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government will have major control of tourist apartments with the new decree. Apartment owners wanting to rent their property to tourists will face the legal obligation to obtain a special license from the municipality after declaring their economic activity. Currently, a minority of tourist flats are declared, since few municipalities regulate them. The new decree obliges all Catalan Town Halls to adapt to the new rule in one year’s time. Barcelona, Cambrils, Palamós, Salou and Castelló d’Empúries are among the municipalities that were already regulating this activity. The Catalan Government decree makes the flat owner responsible for guaranteeing that the special license has been issued. The Government expects that, with this obligation, the quality of the apartments will improve.

Some municipalities that have already been regulating tourist apartments were putting rental companies as the ultimate responsible for obtaining the license and not the owner, such as in Barcelona. Now, with the new decree, flat owners will have the legal obligation to get the license and declare their economic activity.

With this new measure, the Catalan Government foresees that about half-million tourist flats will appear on the market. Right now, the Government only has 23,000 flats in its database, those that are managed by a fixed company. The vast majority of them are directly managed by individual owners.

With the new decree, not having the license and renting the flat for tourist purposes could carry severe fines. The Government expects that with the obligation to get a license, the quality of tourist apartments will improve.