Last week the holiday rentals industry in Andalucía met to discuss the decree set to regulate our sector. Over 300 agents and owners attended the event in what proved to be an amazing demonstration of solidarity amongst professionals of the industry. And in a bid to find out how the new regulations will affect the future of our industry.
We have compiled some of the highlights of each guest speaker in this video. The event was held in Spanish, so we have highlighted the main points below.
The conference was hosted by Apartsur, the Seville-based association, who work, pro bono, to defend the rights of owners and agents in Andalucía. The president of Apartsur, Hilario Echevarria, opened the event, commenting on the work of the association, which now supports over 200 members. Their purpose to promote quality and excellence of service; to demonstrate the importance of working within the law and to create a competitive sector.
Hilario introduced, Pablo Zubicaray from Fevitur. The National Federation for holiday homes and apartments represents over 125,000 apartments in Spain, supporting the majority of the regional associations. Their priority has always been about creating an environment where every independent region works towards the same objective. However, Zubicaray explained how difficult an ambition this is to achieve; when every autonomous community has its own agenda, resulting in complications. Every region is dictated by the political goals of the regional government, which are often influenced by third party lobby groups, wishing to curb the success of holiday rentals.
Yet, as Zubicaray rightly commented, “How can you stop a sector that is so clearly part of the future of the accommodation industry? A recent studied carried out in Barcelona shows that 26% of tourists would choose another destination, if they were unable to stay in a holiday rental. We mustn’t allow tourists to get away, just because the accommodation of their choice isn’t available here in Spain.”
Eliseo Martínez of IUE+Aquinas, a lawyer with considerable experience working with the holiday rentals sector, discussed the importance of associations like Apartsur. According to Martínez, there are hundreds and thousands of people involved in the holiday rentals sector in Spain. Yet there is little organisation between regions and associations. An essential factor if we want to obtain fair laws for our sector.
Eliseo recounted the history of the law representing holiday rentals going back to it’s initial introduction in 1967. After several different rulings, we currently find ourselves in an a-legal situation, under the conditions of the LAU. If your property meets with conditions under the current LAU, you are not in an illegal situation and should be recognised as tourist accommodation, until the new decree is published for Andalucía.
- Your property is built on residential land
- You own the first licence of occupation
- Your property is furnished and equipped for a holiday let
Martínez also highlighted the case studies of Austin, Texas and Denmark. Both of which have successfully rolled out regulations, that work fairly and professionally for all involved. Until now, Catalonia, has been the mark of standard for Spanish regulations. Although, the recent freeze of licences in the city of Barcelona, does present a slightly less than positive picture.
Both Airbnb and HomeAway presented statistics and market study information. Spain-Holiday discussed the changing marketplace and the need for all involved, including hotels and the government, to accept change and focus on the future of our accommodation industry.
Article from 27th October 2014: Updated news on regulations to holiday rentals in Andalucía
Article from 19th June 2014: Regulation of private holiday rentals in Andalucía