Landlords across Costa del Sol could face colossal fines

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. 

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. 

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