Landlords across Costa del Sol could face colossal fines

© Pabkov via shutterstock.

Do you rent property to tourists in the Costa del Sol? If so you have three months to register with the Andalucian Government or face devastating consequences, following a decree approved on Tuesday (February 2). 

Pressure from the hotel industry has sparked a draconian response, as authorities bulldoze through the legal loophole that has protected seasonal renting until now. 

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New regulations call for the creation of a census of touristic residences, and demand the identification of all travellers who use these lodgings.

Using the controversial Citizen Security law, dubbed the ‘Gag Law’ and originally intended to combat terrorism, the government will insist on full disclosure of previously private information. 

The severe diktats unleash a series of stringent demands on landowners to ensure their properties comply with the new regime, which will make liberal use of inspections to carry out its mandate. Transgressions, whether intentional or otherwise, carry a heavy penalty with fines ranging from €18,000 to €150,000. 

To ensure full compliance, owners who let their properties to tourists must be on the Tourism Register of Andalucia by May, with all the relevant documentation complete and approved. 

At this point owners will have one year to ensure their properties fully meet the extensive requirements to register as a tourist property. 

The move has been widely condemned by landlords, who condemn the excessive bureaucracy involved in treating apartments in the same manner as hotels. 

In its defence, the government claims to be clamping down on unfair competition and re-establishing control over a clandestine economy. 


  1. My wife and I were hoping to come to Spain in our retirement which was earlier than planned and set up a little business while also continuing to let out our holiday apartment as we have for many years. It seems as if the Spanish Government just doesn’t want businesses to success or the economy to flourish. They produce ever more taxes and regulations that stifle any means of making an honest income. How on earth can apartments be compared to hotels? What evidence is there that “the industry needs regulating”. The bureaucracy is beyond ridiculous and the information is so confusing with different interpretations being given according to who you speak to. Being given 3 months to get things sorted out is a joke? It will take that just to find out what forms and documents are needed, then another 3 months of queuing in various offices to register, and to levy a fine of 18,000-150,000 Euros is malicious. This is government by “the mob”. Spain is a becoming a very unwelcoming place for Ex Pats and many will not bother to continue renting in this climate of fear. This will have a very damaging effect on the economy at a time when Spain is in financial crisis. It’s a stupid policy.


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