The Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda has outlined its plans to put a stop to seasonal rentals, which last less than a year and which have largely been abandoned. These rentals were left out of the Housing Law and which, together with tourist rentals, are making it impossible to find an apartment for large sections of the population who cannot afford to own a home.

Following the meeting of the working group for the regulation of seasonal rentals, Isabel Rodríguez explained that Article 3 of the Urban Leasing Law will be developed to “protect temporary rentals for those who need them.” “We must regulate the causality of this temporality,” she said, giving the example of academic research or cultural work.

“Just as we may be required to provide our payroll” when signing the rental contract, “the causality of that temporality will be required,” he repeated. “Temporary accommodation cannot be abused, but rather protection and legal security must be provided to those who need this type of accommodation that is now putting pressure on rents, in the same way as tourist accommodation.”

As for the latter, Rodríguez recalled the new European regulation that equates tourist accommodation with seasonal accommodation, in terms of the requirement to justify this temporality. This will lead to a register, at the service of state administrations, autonomous communities and town councils. In other words, these temporary and holiday accommodations will have to be in this future register that is still to be designed.

He also called for joint work between administrations to “work towards decent housing at affordable prices.” “We are going to move forward with regulation, we will have to prove temporary employment and we are going to create a register to be able to monitor, prosecute and sanction” those who do not comply with the law.

As for when these legal changes will be made to seasonal rentals, “we have to do it urgently, through a regulatory development with a Royal Decree that we are going to process urgently,” where it will be explained how this requirement of causality of a contract that has to last less than 12 months is specified.

Residents will have to approve tourist apartments

Regarding tourist rentals, Rodríguez also stressed the Government’s “willingness” to act in compliance with regional and local powers. “They are an economic activity” so the communities of neighbours will have to explicitly authorise them.

To do this, the Horizontal Property Law will be changed and “adjusted” to “empower the neighbours” so that “it is decisive” whether or not they accept this type of economic activity on the properties. The law will be modified in a “surgical” way and for this purpose, talks will be held with the parliamentary groups, social agents and affected sectors.

At the end of last year, the Supreme Court clarified that communities of property owners have the power to veto this type of holiday rental. With the legal change, the Housing Authority is seeking to make it clearer how they must do so.

“Now the law does not clarify how this veto should be” by the communities of neighbors and, with the wording that we are working on, it will be clarified to require a prior authorization from the communities” that would have to be approved, foreseeably, by three fifths of the owners.

“I call on all administrations to put all necessary resources into place wherever this problem exists, wherever the right to housing collides with these activities,” so that “we can achieve a greater objective.”

The registry, where all these temporary rentals that are on digital platforms will appear, must wait a few months. “The European Union gave us a deadline of 2026 and we committed to having it in 2025, but we are going to try to have it before then,” said the Minister of Housing. It has not yet been specified how this registry will be, but it would involve a kind of registration to control what rent the property in question has.

The Housing proposals are not in line with the demands of the Tenants’ Unions, which last week presented a Bill to Congress to regulate seasonal and room rentals, with the support of the parliamentary groups of Sumar, Podemos, Esquerra, EH Bildu and BNG. Specifically, they propose that these types of contracts be limited to six months and cannot be chained indefinitely.

They consider that the proposed changes “are not only ineffective, but they perpetuate abusive practices and do not offer adequate protection for tenants.” They also believe that the registration of apartments for temporary or tourist rentals involves “a hidden licensing system that responds to the interests of employers.”


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