Ministers have approved a change to the Horizontal Property Law which is aimed at controlling the proliferation of holiday rental properties. Once it has been approved by Congress and is published in the Official State Gazette, it will become a legal requirement.

Once it is in law, three-fifths of the owners of properties in a community will be able to agree limits and impose conditions on those who own holiday rental apartments and villas which, the government says, will “encourage” coexistence in the community.  Presently, unanimity amongst owners is required to, for example, ban holiday rentals within a community.

The legislation will not be retroactive but will be imposed as soon as it signed as a Royal decree.  The government says that the measure has become necessary as a result of the spread of businesses such as Airbnb and will ensure that no legal gaps exist between the legislations of different communities.

The Minster for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, described the move as “one step more” in the regulation of tourist rental housing through regulatory amendments, and said it would help Spain’s 17 regions to “mitigate the difficulties of control” by giving more power to communities of owners.

The changes regarding holiday rentals are included in a package of measures which the government says are “absolutely necessary.”  However, these do not include setting a ceiling on prices charged.