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Crackdown On Illegal Spanish Holiday Lets

Brits planning to rent out their homes as holiday lets in popular tourist spots are facing a crackdown.

Tens of thousands of homes Barcelona and the Costas to Balearic Islands are subject to strict licensing.

Around 50,000 holiday lets in the Balearics alone are thought to flout permit rules put in place by the local council.

Now, cash-strapped councils are looking at making qualification for the permits tougher and more expensive.

The local council for the Balearics, the Govern, is devising new regulations for holiday home owners looking to make a return on their investment.

Impossible standards

Currently, the Govern has stopped giving permission to rent out homes in Menorca, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

Tourism is a major earner for the islands, and the Govern is walking a tightrope between pleasing hoteliers and tour operators, who feel holiday lets undercut their profits, and local voters who make a lot of money from holiday lets, many of which are illegal.

The solution appears to be making standards so high for holiday lets that few will qualify for the status.

The Govern is looking at raising holiday let standards to match those offered by hotels.

This means restricting the type of properties that can be let and when they can be rented out.

Where the rules will bite

Property owners will have to offer air conditioning, heaters, quality furnishings and meet a strict ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms. Visitors can also expect manuals in three languages, a 24-hour helpline and a complaints book.

The financial rule that means many rent out holiday lets illegally is property insurance with minimum cover of 300,000 euros to safeguard visitors and neighbours.

British property investors hoping to make some money towards purchase and running costs from letting to holiday makers should make inquiries about obtaining a licence as part of their due diligence.

Are holiday lets regulated where you want to buy? – a region by region guide to holiday let rules in Spain.

The Govern is also considering a levy on tourists based on the number of nights they stay in hotels. The tax could be as high as £80 for a family of four on a two-week stay.

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