EDITION: August - October 2021

Tourist Rentals in 2021

By Armin Gutschick & Anja Sämann-Gutschick
Those who purchase a property in Ibiza these days often think of reducing the costs of buying and maintaining the house through holiday rentals. Since the Balearic Tourist Act was passed in 2012, tourist rentals have been regulated by law and permitted under specific conditions. Holiday rental can be defined as letting tourists use a property for a period of less than a month. For a longer rental period the regulations for seasonal or long-term rental under the Spanish rental law (“LAU = Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos“) would apply.

In the summer of 2017, the original tourist law was changed significantly, and the conditions for obtaining a permit were substantially tightened. According to the new regulations, free-standing single family houses may be offered for holiday rental, and theoretically apartments may also be offered. However, in practice no residential complexes on Ibiza have yet been approved for tourist rental by the authorities.

The new regulations also bring with them a number of bureaucratic hurdles that stand in the way of tourist rentals. It is necessary to check in each individual case whether a holiday rental of the property in question is even allowed at the location of the house. The municipalities can decide independently whether they want to allow holiday rentals in their municipality. Unfortunately, there is still no definitive allocation of the “tourist” zones in Ibiza. You must therefore inquire as a first checkpoint with the municipality whether holiday rentals are permitted in the zone. Furthermore, the property must not be a new building, and must have been used privately for at least five years. A valid habitability certificate (“cédula de habitabilidad”) and an energy certificate must be presented to the island council (“Consell de Ibiza”). The owner must also take out special liability insurance. For a single family home, the cost of the license is around € 4,000 per guest bed. The number of guest beds is determined from the “cédula”. For example, if the certificate shows six guest beds (“6 plazas”), a total of € 24,000 must be paid for approval.

In addition, the applicant must submit a number of documents to the Island Council. First and foremost is a “responsible declaration” about the start of tourist rental (“Declaración Responsable de Inicio de Actividad de comercialización de estancias Turísticas en viviendas”) as well as plans and documents about the property. Furthermore, proof of ownership and the purchase of the guest beds must be provided in accordance with the “cédula”. The Consell requires the municipality to certify that the property is located in an area in which holiday letting is permitted, as well as proof that the property meets the legal requirements for the minimum equipment necessary for holiday letting.

After paying the fees for the application you will receive a preliminary license number. The applicant does not receive the final approval until up to five years after the application. However, once the application has been submitted the property can already be rented out to tourists. The license number must be stated when advertising on portals such as Airbnb, which makes it easy for the authorities and the guests to check whether a holiday rental is legal. The applicant must provide all guests with a complaint form (“hoja de reclamación”) that is specially printed by the Island Council.

As you can see, a new application for a holiday rental entails a lot of time and money. The tourist rental license is house-specific, not personal, so anyone interested in buying a property that already has an existing license is saved from this process.