THERE are more than 9,000 officially registered tourist homes across Malaga and the Costa del Sol, more than any other place in the region. Almost 20,000 other properties are in the process of securing permits to offer tourists accommodation.
The avalanche of applications came after the Andalucian government imposed hefty new fines on anyone caught renting their properties out to tourists without proper permission. The new regime came into place in May last year, largely at the insistence of the hotel industry, furious at the perceived ‘black market’ in accommodation.
Anyone wishing to earn money renting to tourists must now undergo inspection, pass a safety and other tests, and pay the relevant taxes. The decision marked the end of an era for thousands of expats and Spanish across the Costa del Sol who regularly supplemented their income through the tourist trade.