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Spain may ban Brits from renting out second homes as holiday lets in tourist crackdown

Thousands of Brits who rent out their second homes in Spain to holiday-makers are facing a ban on lettings.

The Spanish government says it is studying changing the law as part of its bid to provide more affordable housing for local people.

If legislation goes ahead, it would mean that anyone who owners a property within a community would not be able to rent it out to tourists.

This would penalise thousands of Brits who have bought apartments in residential blocks from renting them out for holidays. At the moment, the majority of owners do this “under the radar” through illegal lettings.

Spain’s Minister of Housing, Isabel Rodríguez, confirmed this Tuesday that the Executive is studying a modification of the Horizontal Property Law. This would ban tourist apartments in communities of owners, considering that the homes carry out an economic activity.

On the programme ‘Mirada Crítica’ on Telecinco, the Minister argued that this decision is a consequence of a Supreme Court decision, which already ruled in two sentences in two districts of Oviedo and San Sebastián last year.

Specifically, the judges concluded that the rental of homes for tourist use is an economic activity and therefore ruled in favour of two communities of property owners, and ordered the cessation of tourist rental activity in several apartments.

“From then on, it will be the communities of neighbours who will also be able to participate in this type of decision, because this phenomenon, which is not exclusive to our country, affects everyone and the main capitals of the European environment,” she explained.

Isabel Rodríguez criticised that the proliferation of tourist apartments is colliding with the right and access to decent housing, is raising the price of rent and limiting the offer in residential rentals.

For this reason, during her speech she welcomed the fact that the autonomous communities are taking “action on the matter”, giving the recent example of the decision by Barcelona City Council to want to eliminate all tourist flats in November 2018.

The Minister of Housing stressed that “it will benefit the citizens of Barcelona who want to live in their city, who do not want it to be a theme park and who prioritise the right to access housing over economic interests.”


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