There has been a lot of recent talk about limiting the number of properties that can be used as short-term rentals. Many urbanisations on the Costa del Sol have already imposed limitations on numbers or are blocking any new tourist licence applications.
Towns and cities too are looking hard at the problem, with Barcelona and Valencia leading the way. In many of the area’s top tourist destinations, these short-term rentals are creating problems with long-term renting, which has a knock-on effect on local workers unable to afford to live in the area and drives up property prices to unsustainable levels.
However, as an indirect consequence of the proposed action by local councils, many homeowners have taken pre-emptive action by registering their properties with a tourist licence in anticipation of possible future legislation, such as the new decree of the Junta de Andalucía, which will allow councils to impose restrictions in their towns and cities on the number of apartments of this type.
Malaga city, for instance, has some 2,000 tourist homes which are not offered on the market to travellers visiting the city despite being registered as such.
This figure emerges from a difference detected by Malaga City Council, through the Municipal Housing Institute, between the homes registered as tourist apartments, which amount to 10,000, and the homes offered to travellers, some 8,000 homes.
This proposed legislation by the Junta, which is still being processed, will authorise local councils to limit or restrict the activity of tourist dwellings: “By providing that local councils can establish limitations on the maximum number of dwellings for tourist use per building or sector”, says the draft of the future regulation.
Malaga Town Hall has already indicated that it will study how to restrict these tourist homes in areas with “excessive density” and where “there has been a decrease in long-term rental housing”, as the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, recently said.