SHARE
COPY LINK

TOURISM

Spain cracks down on home rentals for tourists

Thousands of homeowners in Spain will no longer be able to rent out their properties to tourists on a short term basis if Spain's Senate approves a new law that would make the practice illegal.

Spain cracks down on home rentals for tourists
The new law is aimed at cracking down on the thousands of people who currently rent out their homes independently to holiday makers over the internet. Photo: Linus Bowman

Spain's Senate are set to vote in the coming week's on a law that would make it illegal for homeowners to rent out their properties to tourists on a short term basis.

Authorities believe around 20,000 properties will be affected.

The law is aimed at cracking down on the thousands of people who currently rent out their homes independently to holiday makers over the internet, a practice which hotel owners have long criticised for undermining the country's tourist trade.

“It would be a declaration of principle against renting out property for a certain number of days. Now all that needs to be done is to create the rules that would make it illegal to offer an apartment for holiday rental,” said Eliseo Martinez Secretary General of Asotur, an organisation which deals with property rental for tourists.

Spain's housing crisis has resulted in a proliferation of apartments that are being rented out “irregularly” to tourists for a certain number of days. In Madrid around 3,000 properties are believed to be on the rental market unbeknown to authorities.

The new legislation, which has already been approved by Spain's Congress, would hand the power of regulating the renting of properties to regional governments and would make temporary leasing by a private property owner illegal.

Short-term renting to tourists, whether for the summer period or on a day-by-day basis, has up to now been a civil right enshrined in Spain’s Urban Rental law (LAU).

But the government appears to have finally listened to the pleas of hotel owners.

In its new National Tourism Plan, the Spanish government stated “there has been a significant increase in this type of leasing” and described it as “unfair competition” for the country’s traditional tourism model.

Property owners in Spain however fear that everyone will be tarred with the same brush, even those who rent their properties legally.

“It’s true that there are a lot of underground deals, but we’re against that”, Asotur president David Tornos told 20 minutos.

“We pay our taxes and stick to the law, but hotel owners say we’re pirates. We want to be monitored and to be allowed to do our jobs.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

PROPERTY

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

If you get locked out, have a break-in or need to change or fix the door lock at your home in Spain, here are the rates and advice you need before calling a Spanish locksmith (cerrajero).

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

Like anywhere, locksmiths are generally expensive and the price can vary greatly depending on the service you need and where you are.

It also depends on when you need them, as it’ll cost much more to call them out on a Saturday night than a Monday morning, for example.

Nor would it cost the same to open your front door as it would a reinforced security door.

But locksmiths don’t just make copies of keys and bail you out when you’re stuck outside your flat.

They also offer a whole host of different services including, but not limited to, opening safes, creating master keys, installing security doors, anti-drill doors, cutting specialist locks that reject copied keys, and even unlocking the boot of your car.

How much does a locksmith cost in Spain?

Given all these variables, the price can range massively.

According to Cronoshare, the average price for a nationwide call out in Spain can start from €80 anywhere up to €400.

On average, for a basic service, you can expect to pay anywhere between €40-€70 an hour for the labour, with the price of changing or installing a basic lock anywhere between €80-€200. 

For basic door openings, it depends on the situation you find yourself in: for doors locked with a key, which is a more complex task, prices average around €200, and for doors that are jammed or slammed shut, slightly cheaper in the €80-€100 range.

For an armoured or security door, prices can start at around €300.

In short, a general rule is that the more complex the task is, the higher the prices.

And as always, prices can vary depending on where you are in Spain, the quality of the locksmith, the time of the day and week you need his or her services, and if its a public holiday or not. 

So, as always, compare prices to try and find the most economical solution without skimping on quality.

As such, the following rates are estimations taken from average prices from locksmith.

Weekend/holiday rates

Where prices can really start to add up, however, is when you have an emergency situation requiring a locksmith’s assistance at the weekend, on a public holiday, or outside of normal working hours.

And if you live in Spain, you probably know there’s quite a few of those days throughout the year.

If you really need a cerrajero on a public holiday or during non-working hours (usually defined as anything between 8pm-8am) prices can reach €300 or €500 due to the fact you’ll have to cover the cost of travel, which starts from around €40 plus the increased rate.

Then you must also include the price of labour to the flat rate, which is usually somewhere between €40 and €70 an hour regardless of when you call them out.

Key vocabulary 

We’ve put together some of the basic vocabulary you might need if you find yourself needing a locksmith while in Spain.

el cerrajero – locksmith

la llave – the key

la llave de repuesto – the spare key

la puerta – the door

la cerradura – the lock

la bisagra – the hinge

día festivo – public holiday

cambio de bombín – change of cylinder lock

puerta blindada – armoured door

coste de mano de obra – labour costs

quedarse afuera – get locked out 

puerta cerrada de un portazo – door slammed shut

puerta cerrada con llave – locked door

Tips relating to choosing a good locksmith in Spain 

If you’ve just started renting a new place or have bought a property, it’s advisable to change the lock as you don’t know who has keys to your front door. If you’re a tenant, try to negotiate this with your landlord as it’s in both of your interests that only you two have keys to the property.

If there has been a burglary in your property while you’re living in it and there’s no sign of forced entry, then there’s a very big chance that the burglars had a copy of your keys, and you should definitely change the locks. 

If you’ve lost your keys and you think it happened close to your home, again it’s advisable for you to change the locks.

One of the best ways to avoid being locked out and having to cough up a hefty sum is to give a spare set to someone that you trust that lives in your town or city in Spain. 

When it comes to choosing a locksmith in Spain, you should make sure he or she is a reputable one. Asking friends and family first can be your first port of call.

If not, make sure you read reviews online if available to get any insight beforehand.

In order to avoid any nasty surprises, ask them on the phone for a budget (presupuesto) for all the costs attached to their services before accepting.

Be wary of cerrajeros that automatically want to change the whole lock when a simpler and less costly option is possible. 

Usually they should offer you a contract for you to read carefully before signing. It should include a three-month guarantee for the potential new lock or at least a breakdown of the costs.

Make sure that they are not charging you an excessively high price if it’s an emergency, as this is not actually legal.

There’s also asking them to prove their accreditation with the Unión Cerrajeros de Seguridad (UCES).

Weekend and holiday rates can be higher nonetheless, so consider your options and if it’s worth staying with a friend or family member for a night to save some money. A trustworthy and honest cerrajero will let you know about the money you could save if you choose to wait as well.

SHOW COMMENTS