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REVEALED: Spain's plan to also clamp down on monthly accommodation

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
REVEALED: Spain's plan to also clamp down on monthly accommodation
Spain wants to clamp down on monthly rentals. Photo: Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura / Pexels

Several Spanish cities have recently declared war on tourist apartments advertised on Airbnb. However, the government now aims to also crack down on temporary or seasonal rentals, a move set to affect digital nomads and new arrivals.

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In recent months, many places in Spain have tried to curb the number of tourist apartments as a means of lessening their impact on prices in Spain's long-term rental market for locals and residents. 

Some cities have rolled out a moratorium on issuing new licences, others are making it more difficult to get them and, in Barcelona's case, there've even a new plan to get rid of all Airbnb flats in the next five years.

READ ALSO: Barcelona to get rid of all tourist rental flats 'by 2028'

Nevertheless, Spanish authorities aren't stopping there, as the nationals government is also looking at how it can clamp down on monthly or temporary rentals too.

These are essentially rentals that are longer than one month, but under one year. 

Recently, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the government will approve measures "to tackle one of the main problems of our society", referring to the rise in housing prices.

The crackdown on tourist apartments is part of this, but now the Ministries of Housing and Social Affairs are going to try to prevent what was previously an Airbnb rental from now being camouflaged as monthly or mid-term housing. 

It has also previously been reported that landlords have opted to rent out their properties on a temporary basis to circumvent rent caps introduced by the government on long-term leases.

READ MORE: The loophole landlords in Spain are using to bypass the 3% rent cap

In essence, the middle ground in which temporary accommodation finds itself, the high remuneration it provides landlords and the lack of regulation it is subject to have led the government to deem its role in Spain's current housing crisis as crucial enough to act upon.

According to national radio station Cadena SER, the government’s plan is to put a stop to temporary rentals, which are also managed through platforms such as Airbnb to try and get around some of the restrictions imposed on them.

READ ALSO: Spain considers banning tourist lets in residential buildings

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This means that anyone who wants to temporarily rent their apartment will have to explain why.

For example, if you’re renting to a student or researcher, the government now wants the tenants to have to show the research contract or course booking to show they only last a few months.

There is also a plan in place to get people to register their property on a Ministry of Housing platform so that only those homes that meet licence requirements and justifications can operate in the market.

Currently, many of these homes do not comply with municipal regulations.

READ ALSO: Valencia police pile pressure on tourist flats with more stiff fines 

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In the same thread, but as a slightly different plan, junior coalition partners Sumar, as well as other left-wing parties including Esquerra Republicana (ERC), EH Bildu, Podemos and BNG have registered a new bill in parliament to limit seasonal and room rentals to six months and no more.

The primary reason given for the bill is that in the last year there has been a 56 percent increase in seasonal contracts, to the detriment of rental contracts for primary residences. For this reason, they urge Isabel Rodríguez's Ministry of Housing to understand “housing as a right and not as a market good”.

According to the political parties behind the proposal, this will require a reform of the Urban Leases Law in order to prevent prices from being raised continuously.

Like above, the draft establishes that there must be a justified cause for renting out accommodation temporarily and proof of planned duration.

If this is not justified, “it will be presumed that said contract is for habitual residence," the draft bill says, stating that it will be the landlord who has to verify whether these circumstances are true and request proof from the tenant.

READ ALSO - UPDATE: Which cities in Spain have new restrictions on tourist rentals?

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If more than six months have passed or more than two consecutive contracts have been issued, it will be understood to be a rental contract for a habitual residence and for the long-term. 

It also states that with these temporary contracts, the lessee may withdraw from the lease contract, once at least one month has passed giving 10 days’ notice before leaving.

These two plans are sure to affect a lot of people including digital nomads, those who have newly moved to Spain and want to try out different cities and people who want to rent out their apartments because they want to temporarily spend time back in their home country or go travelling, for example.

And they don't only affect foreigners, in fact, every summer Spaniards rent or rent out temporary accommodation for the month of August as people escape the cities for the coast or the mountains.

To appease those who are worried about the temporary accommodation clampdown, Rodríguez said: "It is important to guarantee that those who need temporary accommodation can have it, but that it is not used to limit the supply of housing for habitual residence. Let's try to combat fraud by all means”.

Whether these new draft proposals will pass or ever come into force is a different matter, as there currently seems to be numerous kinks that must be ironed out before any law is enforced on a local or national level.

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