Vacation Rental Properties in Spain – how to get a license and where to invest?

Are you planning to buy real estate in Spain for tourist rent? We explain what conditions you must meet to legally rent it and suggest how to obtain the required license.

Vacation rentals in Spain

Vacation rentals in Spain are becoming increasingly popular. The prospect of additional earnings is so attractive to investors that larger cities had to introduce certain restrictions to limit the number of private tenants, and thus also the tourists coming to them interested in short-term rental of apartments and flats.

According to a survey conducted by Fotocasa in 2018, the greatest interest among investors looking for holiday rentals in Spain was generated by:

  • Andalusia (26% of all holiday properties),
  • Catalonia (18% of all holiday properties),
  • Valencia (13% of all holiday properties).

As the main reason for such an investment, a large proportion of investors of course cite the possibility of obtaining another source of income, as well as the relatively high profitability of this form of rental. Among the most popular types of properties Spain for vacation rentals in Spain are apartments, villas, bungalows, studios and apartments in Spanish tenements.

Short and long term rental of real estate

When investing in rental property, we can opt for short-term or long-term rental. Short-term rental of real estate seems to bring greater financial benefits to landlords compared to the latter option. Tourists visiting Spain are often willing to pay a little more for a holiday in an attractive location. Of course, choosing the right location for the investment is a very important aspect here – to a large extent it depends on it later earned income from rent. People investing in real estate in attractive tourist resorts may expect high occupancy during the holiday season. Given the relatively high rents in typical tourist resorts, rental income can be extremely attractive. Income obtained in this way at the peak of the holiday season should usually be enough not only for the fees associated with the ongoing maintenance of the property, but also the additional needs of the owner.

Who can rent property to tourists in Spain?

The most important conditions that must be met by those who want to rent their apartment or house to tourists are:

possession of a tourist license for renting a property,
rental of real estate that meets specific technical requirements.

Illegal rental of property in Spain involves a fine. It is good to know that the conditions for tourist rentals, as well as how to obtain a license, may vary depending on the region of Spain. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the requirements for investors in the Autonomous Community of Valencia – in the rest of the article you will find specific tips on how to get a tourist rental permit in this part of Spain.

You won’t easily rent properties in Spain in these places

As we have already mentioned, some of the Spanish cities have started to fight private tenants who illegally rent properties via Airbnb services and thus obtain significant financial benefits. The main problem of cities such as Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Palma de Mallorca seems saturated with tourists who, encouraged by bargain prices for accommodation in private apartments, visit massively the most popular Spanish locations. In 2018 alone, over 82 million tourists visited Spain! Renting a private accommodation for many of them is a much more advantageous option, compared to hotel accommodation. Restrictions in terms of the number of short-term rental days, exclusion from rental of premises located in the city center, or the need to have a license are just a few of the solutions implemented by popular Spanish cities.

Here are the restrictions on short-term rentals in Spain by cities and regions.


in the Spanish capital, the maximum number of days per year for which property owners can rent property to tourists without a license is regulated – currently it is a maximum of 90 days. A longer rental period requires a special permit. In addition, it was stipulated that in this case the premises intended for holiday rentals must have a separate entrance. This makes it impossible to rent a single premises located in an apartment building or a tenement house. Of course, the city authorities also made sure that investors do not circumvent this limitation in any other way. In such a situation, the owners of the entire residential property could rent individual apartments to visitors. To avoid this situation, Madrid has introduced a provision that in such cases such properties will be subject to the same requirements as hotel facilities.


The rules for holiday rentals in Barcelona are extremely restrictive. Owners of such property must be licensed, but they cannot rent premises for more than 120 days a year. In addition, tourists using the rental offer are obliged to pay the tourist tax. Some restrictions also apply to websites through which you can book an apartment or apartment to stay in this city. If they publish illegal rental offers, they will be fined.

Restrictive regulations result primarily from the fact that the capital of Catalonia has been fighting the excess of tourists for several years. In 2014, the license to rent private properties to tourists was discontinued. A few years later, the city authorities also forbade the creation of new hotels in the city center and nearby districts. Barcelona has been struggling with the effects of mass tourism for a long time. Due to the huge number of visitors, the city is becoming less and less friendly to its inhabitants. Excess tourists also indirectly affect the Barcelona real estate market. Rental prices are very high, and the owners see greater financial benefits in renting the premises to tourists, who are often willing to pay a little more. For this reason, some of the city’s districts are depopulating – Barcelona residents are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing. Although permits for tourist rental properties have ceased to be granted, many people have rented premises illegally. The city authorities have taken action to combat such practices. The number of people verifying the legality of the lease was increased, and residents gained access to a portal through which they could report premises that were rented without permission.


In Majorca, the rules for renting a property differ depending on the part of the island. You must have a proper permit to rent your own premises – otherwise you will be fined. It should also be noted that holiday properties in this part of Spain can be rented a maximum of 60 days a year in typical tourist regions.

As for the capital of the island – Palma de Mallorca, the situation is somewhat different there. The city authorities decided to ban tourists from renting apartments in the city center. For this it is allowed to rent real estate in suburban areas or near the airport.

Properties for renting on Costa Blanca

The high intensity of vacationers means that obtaining permission to rent tourist property in the aforementioned regions of Spain is significantly difficult, and in some cases simply impossible. The whole process may turn out to be much simpler on the Costa Blanca – this is the place that investors planning to invest in holiday rental property should definitely consider. This region, despite the fact that it is becoming more and more popular among holiday makers, does not face such big problems as the mentioned resorts. Less tourist density means that obtaining a license to rent property in an attractive location is easier than you might think. We especially recommend buying real estate in the Autonomous Community of Valencia, where resorts such as Alicante, Benidorm, Calp or Altea.

How do you get a rental license in Valencia? Step by step

An investor wanting to allocate the property for short-term tourist rentals must obtain a tourist license. Only then will the rental be legal. It should be noted that the process of obtaining a rental permit will be slightly different depending on whether you want to register as a private tenant or a company – if you plan to allocate more than 5 properties for rent, you are required to register a business. In this article we will focus on the tourist license for individuals. Here’s how the whole process looks like step by step in the Valencia region on the Costa Blanca.

At the beginning you should apply to the City Hall for a permit to rent an apartment in our building – Compatibilidad urbanistica que permita el uso turistico
Next, complete the Declaracion responsable referente a viviendas de uso turistico application
The application must be submitted to an administrative authority located in the province where the property is located or to the Registro Territorial de Turismo in Alicante or Valencia.

The application can also be sent by post to the following address:

Registro del Servicio Territorial de Turismo Valencia

Pl. Alfons el Magnánim 15

46003 Valencia

Registro del Servicio Territorial de Turismo Alicante

C / Churruca 29

03003 Alacant / Alicante

The following documents should be attached to the application:

copy of identity document,
document confirming the right to use the property,
list of properties that we want to allocate for tourist rentals.

To make sure that all formalities have been properly completed, we recommend consulting our Tripinvest real estate office.

After registering your property, you’ll receive a license number, location-related code, and property will be assigned to the appropriate category. From this moment you are required to use all these markings in promotional materials placed on booking sites and in other places where you will place your rental offer.

Persons planning to rent a private property in Spain should also become familiar with their regulations, resulting from belonging to a specific housing community. This applies to people who want to rent an apartment or a flat that is part of a larger apartment building or the so-called urbanization. Some owner communities may prohibit the tourist rental of premises in the building.