But do we know what the difference is between tourist apartments and houses for tourist use ( alojamientos vacacionales) ?
According to the new decree 174/2018 Tourist apartments will be considered to be the accommodation units offered, by means of a price, for rent on a regular basis and duly equipped with furniture, installations, services and equipment for immediate temporary occupation for holiday or leisure purposes. These tourist apartments are classified in the categories of one, two, three, four and five keys.
And according to article 30 of the previous Decree of 2005, still in force, will not have the legal consideration of tourist apartments, but of vacation accommodations (alojamientos vacacionales), isolated units of apartments, bungalows, villas, chalets and similar, offered for rent by the operating companies or person, for vacation or tourist reasons, and that meet the specified requirements.
The key therefore lies in the number of dwellings belonging to the same owner or operator that are offered for holiday use. If there is only one unit offered, it will be a holiday home regulated by Decree 2005 and if there are several, it will be tourist apartments regulated by the new Decree 174/2018.
Focusing on the holiday homes that are offered by most of our customers, there are no different categories, but there is a single category. However, these “alojamientos vacacionales” share some of the requirements of tourist apartments.
Thus, the operators of these vacation accommodations will be obliged to:
- a) Maintain accommodation facilities in a condition that guarantee its proper functioning.
- b) Inform users in advance about the system of services offered in the establishment, the conditions for providing them and their price.
- c) Provide users with a contact telephone number of the responsible person.
On the other hand, the price of the accommodation must include the following minimum services and supplies:
- a) Permanent cold and hot water.
- b) Gas and/or electric energy.
- c) Cleaning at the beginning of the stay.
- d) Change of linen once a week.
- e) Television.
- f) Collection of rubbish, or where appropriate, the existence of containers in accordance with municipal ordinances.
As well as the operators of the tourist apartments, the operators of holiday homes must register all travellers who pass through their home, must have complaint sheets available and announce their existence to the public in a visible manner and expressed in Spanish, English and two languages of their choice. Owners must have a civil liability insurance and the advertising they develop must specify the type of tourist accommodation to avoid confusion to the customer.
As for the beginning of the activity, the companies operating holiday accommodation must notify the competent Ministry of Tourism prior to the start of the activity. The communication will be accompanied by a responsible statement ( Declaración responsible) and will be accompanied by a series of documents for the purposes of registration of the same in the Register of Companies and Tourist Activities of the Region of Murcia. It is forbidden to offer and market the property without having previously made the communication.