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Holiday rental licences in Spain - region-by-region

It’s been almost two years since changes to the LAU (Spanish Tenancy Act) were introduced, affecting Spanish holiday rentals. Since then has been working its way across the 17 autonomous communities to find out exactly how the legislation has been interpreted and what a holiday homeowner should do to apply for their licence. 

Not all regions have rolled out the option to apply for a licence; but some have finally published a decreet in this first semester of 2015, such as the Canary Islands and Aragon, that add to Catalonia (Barcelona), Madrid and Valensian Community. Others, like Andalusia and Madrid have draft decrees on the table, but as yet no date for publication and Murcia is yet to discuss the subject of regulating holiday rentals in the region. 

In this article we report on the current situation for holiday rental licence application in each region. We’ll keep the article updated as we receive information. You’ll find links to articles on regions where licence guidelines are available. The list runs in alphabetical order.  

Andalusia (capital Seville)

UPDATED June 2015: In process. Andalucia was due to publish its version of a legislation for holiday rentals in the first quarter of 2015, but regional and municipal election periods have set a pause to this process. Presumably, once the new government is finally established in this month of June, the decree should see the light in the second semester of this year.

The draft decree, which was published last June, does allow owners to offer a bed and breakfast service and single room occupation, but insists on Wifi, air conditioning and heating. 

You can read the latest update for holiday rentals in Andalucia here.

Aragon (capital Zaragoza)

UPDATED June 2015: Approved. In May 2015, the Aragonese regional government has published the decree that approves changes to the regulation for holiday accommodation in the region introducing ‘Viviendas Turisticas’ as a regulated tourist accommodation type. As we informed earlier this year, you need to apply for a licence and as with most regions, to do so you will need to present a Declaración de Responsibilidad (Declaration of Responsibility). Owners and agencies must include the inscription number in all advertising.

IMPORTANT: The approved decree specifically excludes owners or agents that rent two or more houses in the same building mentioning that the applicable law in those cases is of apartamentos turísticos.  

The local government is actively pursuing owners who are operating without a licence with fines starting at 600 € and reaching up to 90,000 €. If you need to apply for a holiday rental licence in Aragon, you must follow the guidelines set out the regional decree for Viviendas Turisticas (holiday rentals) (Spanish text).

Asturias (capital Oviedo)

In Asturias you can apply for your licence online, or at the local/regional Department for Tourism. Holiday homes are classified as Viviendas Vacacionales or Casas de Aldea (private country homes). Apartments are not considered within the decree for Viviendas Vacacionales and you may not offer single room occupation. Read more about how to apply for your holiday rental licence in Asturias. 

Read more about How to Apply for your Holiday Rental Licence in Asturias.

Balearic Islands (capital Palma de Mallorca)

The Balearic Islands government has managed to complicate their regulations for holiday rental accommodation. Here you can apply for a holiday rental licence if you own a villa or townhouse, but not if you own an apartment. The ruling has alienated many owners and alienated many holidaymakers.

We understand the regional government is preparing a new decree that will further regulate the industry on the islands, but we don’t expect leniency; we understand one of the prerequisites will be for the owner to get permission from their neighbours before they can apply for a licence. A condition that owners in the Canary Islands are also contesting in the soon to be published decree.

Find out what guidelines you need to follow to apply for your Holiday Rental Licence in Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza


Basque Country - Pais Vasco (capital Vitoria)

UPDATED June 2015. In process. The regional Basque government are working on a new tourism decree, which will include regulations for holiday rentals in the region. The current decree excludes owners from renting out a single property, stating you must have two or more properties to promote tourist accommodation activity. So owners would currently need to promote their holiday rental through an agent. We understand the draft decree allows owners to offer single room occupation, limited to a maximum of six bedrooms (12 beds).

It is now compulsory for holiday rental properties to be inscribed in the Registro de Empresas Turisticas, this includes privately owned and run holiday homes. Owners and agencies must include the inscription number in all advertising.

Canary Islands (capitals Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife)

UPDATED June 2015: Approved. The Canary Islands have finally approved a decree on holiday rentals with a final and revised draft that was surely very positive for the industry and had the support of all political parties. To the surprise and shock of many, the approved text had a difference with the final draft one: it excludes all properties situated in “touristic areas”, “touristic urbanisations” and “mix of residential and touristic urbanisations”, which means it excludes 95% of the holiday homes. This decree is active and it means that owners and agents will have to carefully analyse the local laws to know which areas are considered touristic, or not. The Government has announced inspections this summer with fines that can go up to 60.000 euros.

The regional association for holiday rentals, ASCAV, are working hard to fight against this situation. Read the decree for the Canary Islands approved on the 22nd May. (Spanish. PDF).

Cantabria (capital Santander)

On the 22nd March 2014, Cantabria amended their Tourism Decree to regulate the short-term holiday rental market for Viviendas Turisticas (private holiday homes). This terminology now ceases to exist in the region and owners should re-register their holiday rental as an ‘Alojamiento Turistico Extrahotelero’. The foundations for applying for the registration and licence are one of the strictest we have come across. Read our article on how to apply for your holiday rental licence in Cantabria.

Castile-La Mancha (capital Toledo)

We spoke to the Regional Tourism Department for Castile-La Mancha who confirmed that there is still no option to apply for a licence in the region. We were informed that although they are studying a change and, indeed would welcome a change, there is no definite decision made as yet.

At present you are unable to obtain a licence for a private holiday home in the region. If you have a Vivienda Rural (Country Home) you may be able to apply for a licence as a Casa Rural, but you would need to take your application to your local tourism office and ask them to study your case. We will keep you informed of any updates in the region.

Castile and León (capital Valladolid)

Again, the law in Castile and Leon, does not currently allow private homes to be rented out for tourist purposes. A homeowner may rent their property out short-term, according to the LAU, but it must not be advertised through tourist and holiday advertising channels.


Catalonia (capital Barcelona)

In Catalonia, the legislation allowing private homes to be used and advertised for tourist purposes, was introduced at the back end of 2011 and the Catalan Government are organised with the administration and distribution of licence applications. One issue is the inconsistency in licence taxes being issued by each local town hall. There is no set fee, with each town hall setting its own price. And in Barcelona city they suspended the issue of licences back in May 2014, whilst it reestablishes guidelines and deals with illegal rentals in the city. 

We recommend you read the following article on How to Apply for your Holiday Rental Licence in Catalonia. There are various links in the article to updated posts on Catalonia.

Extremadura (capital Mérida)

Extremadura is another community, which does not currently have specific regulations in place for private homes to offer short-term holiday accommodation. If you want to rent your property out, you must do so under the LAU and again without promotion as tourist accommodation.

Galicia (capital Santiago de Compostela)

UPDATED June 2015. In process. The law in Galicia allows a private owner to rent their home out as tourist accommodation. An owner will  need to ensure their property meets with the guidelines as set out in the regional decree, there is an application fee to pay and of course, you must declare your earnings to the tax office. Find out how to apply for your holiday rental licence in Galicia

La Rioja (capital Logroño)

La Rioja does not currently allow private homes to offer short-term holiday accommodation. We will keep you informed of any updates in the region.

Community of Madrid (capital Madrid)

UPDATED June 2015: Approved. Madrid introduced regulations at the end of July 2014. Main points to watch out for in their holiday rentals decree include the five day minimum duration and single room occupation is not permitted. In March 2015, the CNMC (National Commission for Markets and Competence) has appealed against the decree, specifically referring to the five day minimum duration, considering it an obstacle for fair competence and demanding it to be eliminated. 

 Find out more about holiday rentals regulations and how to register your property in Madrid.  

Region of Murcia (capital Murcia)

We spoke to the Institute of Tourism for Murcia back in March 2014. They told us that it’s not currently possible for an owner to offer their home as individual tourist accommodation. However, as the region is currently revising its general Tourism Act, there is a possibility that they could introduce a ruling to allow private holiday accommodation to operate in the future. This information hasn't changed since our last update.

Navarre (capital Pamplona)

In Navarre, or Navarra, you can apply for a licence under two categories: 

  • Casa Rural - if your home is built in the traditional architectural style
  • Apartamento Turistico -  whether you have an apartment or bungalow, chalet or villa (Vivienda Turistica) in Navarra, you should apply under the category ‘Apartamento Turistico’ for your licence. 

You need to make your licence application in the principal Tourism Office in Pamplona. There is no fee to apply, but once your application has been processed and sent to your local ayuntamiento, you may be requested to pay a fee for registering details with the local authorities. You must include your licence details in any advertising you do for your holiday rental.

The regional tourist board have excellent information on how and where to register your holiday rental: 

Visit Navarra's Registro de Turismo and click on the Apartamentos y Viviendas Turisticas link to find out how and where to apply. You can then visit the 'Normativa' page and click on the link ‘Notas sobre el Decreto Foral de Apartamentos Turisticos to download an FAQ on the process. The information is available in Spanish only.

Valencian Community (capital Valencia)

A registration system was introduced in 2013, allowing owners and agents to register their holiday rentals in Valencia, the process was recommendable but not compulsory. However that changed at the beginning of January 2015 and it is now obligatory to register your property with the Registro de Empresas, Establecimientos y Profesiones Turística. You can read all about How to Apply for Holiday Rental Licences in the Valencian Community. 

In our continued commitment to keep owners up-to-date with the new legislation for holiday rental licences in Spain, we’ll keep posting updates to this article as we receive them, so please keep checking back. If you are aware of changes or updates in your region, or have further information, please write to us at:

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