How to rent a dwelling for tourist use legally?

April 28, 2022

But first of all, you have to know how to differentiate between a tourist rental housing from a seasonal rental. So, what are the differences between a tourist rental and a seasonal rental?

What are the differences between a tourist rental (or vacation rental) and a seasonal rental (or long-stay rental)?


  • Vacation rental or tourist rental: cannot exceed 31 days.
  • Seasonal rental or long-stay rental: the duration ranges from 32 days to 11 months.


  • Holiday or tourist rental: follows the current regulations in the autonomous community where the property is located. Not all homes are suitable for this type of rental.
  • Seasonal rental or long term rental: governed by the Urban Leasing Law. All dwellings are suitable for this type of rental.


  • Vacation or tourist rental: tourist purpose.
  • Seasonal rental or long-stay rental: these are usually for work purposes or to have a second residence.


  • Vacation or tourist rental: the lessee usually offers complementary services (cleaning, customer service…).
  • Seasonal rental or long term rental: they do not usually offer other services.


How to rent a property for tourist use?

If you are considering renting a property for tourist use, you have to take into account that you will have to:

  • Define the rental regime.
  • Declare the income: be well informed, since each autonomous community has its own conditions and regulations on tourist rentals.

Basic requirements that you have to fulfill:

  • To have a certificate of occupancy or license of first occupation.
  • To have the property fully furnished and with all the necessary utensils.
  • Provide a contact person.

Tourist accommodations must be registered in the Tourist Housing Registry. The agency has offices in each autonomous community and identifies and registers the type of rental.


How to declare the income in the income tax return?

In a tourist (or holiday) apartment, you have to include the profits it generates to the IRPF or declare the VAT, depending on whether you are a private individual or a professional (manager or platform). For the second option, the VAT can range from 10% to 21%, depending on the Autonomous Community and the nature of the rental.

In Catalonia, for example, the owners are obliged to pay the tourist tax or Tax on accommodation in tourist establishments (IEET).


It is possible to reduce the expenses associated with the housing during the months that it has been rented. When making the income tax return, the expenses of this period will be subtracted from the income obtained and the income will be taxed according to the IRPF tables.

If you do not regularize the property correctly or do not declare the income to the Treasury, you may receive fines ranging from 3,000 to 600,000 €, in addition to the prohibition of not being able to rent the property again for this purpose.


In Espígul we have many lines of business, visit our website and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

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