Regulation of holiday rentals in Catalonia

In order to certify suitable quality and to promote the different types of holiday rentals, the Catalonian general directorate of tourism has implemented a campaign to regulate housing units destined for tourism use.

All that is required is a prior notification of the activity to the City Hall where the property is located. This is contemplated in the latest amendment to the law on Tourism in Catalonia, due to the implementation of the new DECRETO 159/2012, de 20 de noviembre,de establecimientos de alojamiento turístico y de viviendas de usoturístico , which revokes DECREE 164/2010, of 9th November on tourism accommodation.

The General Directorate of Tourism plans to inform managers and owners of these housing units of this new regulation, so that everyone is advised and they can take the necessary steps. 

As stated above, all that is required to legalise this activity is to notify the pertinent City Hall in advance. This notification will only apply to new registrations, thus it does not affect those housing units that are already legalised. Below are the essential requirements that will help you in your formalities. In order to continue with your activity, at we encourage you to formalise the necessary procedures as soon as possible.

With this easy step you will help to legally consolidate this sector and to begin with the necessary classification procedures and promotion in order for Catalonia to be competitive and to become a quality benchmark in this type of activity.

Prior notification for housing units to be used for tourism

1.- The owners of holiday housing units must present the communication of having registered the activity to the City Hall where the unit is located. 

2.- The managing agent may present the registration of the activity in name of the owner of the housing unit (with the signature of both owner and managing agent). The owner may also delegate to a third party, with sufficient representation, the signing in his/her name of the initiating procedure. If the owner delegates to the same person who is in charge of managing the housing units, this person will sign in both places as manager of the housing units and representative of the owner. If they are different people, the manager will sign as manager and the representative as representative of the owner.

3.- City Halls must accept the registration of the activity.

4.- Registration of the activity must contain the following data:

  • Information on the holiday housing unit and its maximum capacity.
  • Owner’s particulars.
  • Phone number that will take calls immediately pertaining to a stay.
  • Identification of the company providing assistance and maintenance for the housing unit.
  • Document of conformity stating that the housing unit has a certificate of habitability, occupation licence and is up to date in all tax payments.

4.1.- If the housing unit is managed by a third party, the registration must also state:

  • Information on the managing person.
  • Proof that the managing person has sufficient authorisation from the owner to manage the housing unit.

4.2.- If the owner delegates to a third party, when signing the registration it must include this person’s information in the notification section.

5.- The City Halls, after receiving the registrations and removals, must send them to the Catalonia Tourism Registry, as well as the information on the housing units and the persons marketing them.

6.- The housing units are automatically added to the Tourism Registry of Catalonia.

7.- If one same owner is to register different housing units, it is acceptable to present only one registration of activity, but adding the specific details that identify each housing unit as the object of a rental.

8.- The General Directorate of Tourism informs that the form may vary depending on the City Hall, as this is a notification procedure and not an affidavit, as in the case of holiday apartments. It should not require anything more than prior notification for housing units, although the information required on the form may vary.

9.- In addition, law 5/2012 of the 20th March on creation of the tax on stays in tourism establishments requires that owners of these activities present the proof of payment and deposit of the tax in place of the taxpayer. This tourism tax came into force on the 1st of November 2012 and it is €0.75 per person and night in Barcelona and €0.5 in the rest of Catalonia. All the information can be found here.

Is your holiday home outside Catalonia?

If your property is outside of Catalonia, we recommend that you ask about this information at your City Hall to find out what you must do to legalise your holiday home.