MAIN LAW CHANGES AFFECTING ALICANTE AND MURCIA DURING 2018

  • NEW DECREE THAT REGULATES THE TURIST APARTMENTS IN THE REGION OF MURICA. During the past month of August 2018 came into the new decree that regulates the tourist apartments in the Region of Murcia (Decree nº 174/2018 of 25th July 2018), which derogates the previous decree from 2005 except in its chapter 5, articles from 30 to 35 in reference to the properties with touristic use which continue to remain enforceable until a new legislation regulating this specific issue comes into force. Both the owners of the properties of touristic use and touristic apartments will have the legal obligation to register every customer who stays there as well make available complaint forms written in Spanish, English and another two languages to be chosen at discretion. The owners will need to have insurance for civil liability and any marketing must reflect the condition of tourist apartment clearly as to not cause any confusion amongst clients.

It is forbidden to offer or rent the property or apartment without having previously done the official Communication to the “Consejería de Turismo”-

  • CHANGES IN THE PAYMENT OF MORTGAGE EXPENSES. The final months of 2018 have been full of changes and controversy surrounding the person who should assume the payment of expenses related to the mortgage, whether the bank or the person who took out the mortgage. The conflict made headlines on all of the media sites in the month of October, when the third chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that the tax on legal documented acts should be payed by the bank.

This ruling brought so much controversy that the own Supreme Court, called a vote in plenary session by which it changed the original ruling, stating that the burden of the tax on legal documented acts derived from mortgages was to be paid by the client and not the bank, as determined by law.

Few days later the Spanish Government approve the Royal Decree 17/2018 establishing that the bank is liable to pay the aforementioned tax, however only for mortgages signed after the decree came into effect, 10th of November 2018.

Hence, after the 10th of November 2018, the banks are liable to assume all expenses related to the signing of a mortgage with the exception of the appraisal which for which the client is till liable. In essence, the bank has the obligation to pay for the cost of the dead, administration and notary, while the client remains liable for the appraisal of the property to be purchased and any copies of the deeds they may request.

  • NEW LAW ON PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION AND GUARANTEE OF DIGITAL RIGHTS (LOPDGDD). The new LOPDGDD in force since 6th of December 2018, counts with ninety seven articles with the objective of integrating into the Spanish legislative system the Regulation (UE) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and Council of the 27th of  April 2016 regulating personal data protection and

complete its provisions.

Among other issues, it gathers the obligations to confidentiality, the need for express consent by the person for the use of personal data, the principle of transparency that falls on the right of the affected to be informed on the use of their data and the right to delete such data at the request of the person.

  • CHANGE IN THE DRIVING REGULATION – CHANGE IN SPEED LIMIT. On the 28th of December 2018, the Royal Decree 1514/2018 was published in the BOE ( Spanish Official Publication), by which it modifies the General Circulation Regulation and with it the speed limits in the following classification: 

o    Vehicles, motorcycles and auto-caravans with a maximum authorized weight below 3500 kg and pick-ups: with a speed limit of 120 km per hour on highway and 90 km per hour on conventional roads.

o    Trucks, tractor trucks, vans, auto-caravans with a maximum authorized weight above 3500 kg, articulated vehicles, vehicles with trailer and the rest of vehicles: with a speed limit of 90 km per hour on highways and 80 km per hour on conventional roads.

o    Buses, vehicles for tourist use and mixed adaptable vehicles: will have a top speed of 100km per hour on highways and 90 km per hour on conventional roads.

  • RENTALS REFORM. The royal law decree 21/2018 of the 14th of December 2018 introduced urgent matters in the issue of leasing which saw implemented a series of changes among which were the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (Law of urban leasing) and Ley de Propiedad Horizontal ( Law that rules the community of owners).

o    In relation to the urban leasing (long term leases), the main changes implemented by the reform are the increase in the duration of the leases (which go from 3 to 5 years or 7 in the cases where the landlord is a company). Limitation of the deposit (up to a maximum of two moths rent), elimination of the payment of the stamp duty tax by the lease holder and an increased protection of eviction for those families considered vulnerable.

People with disabilities and older than 70 years of age will also have increased protection, as the reforms of the properties in terms of adaptability will derive from the reserve fund of the community of owners and will be mandatory of the Public Administration finances 75% of the cost of such.

o    In relation to touristic leases, the Royal Decree has introduced a change in the law of horizontal property, by which the community of owners of such can prohibit the use of touristic leases in such properties by means of an agreement approved with a majority of 3/5 of the owners and quotas, agreement which can never have retroactive effect. Communities will also have the ability to increase the fees for special expenses or common expenses for this type of housing whose destination is tourist rental, with a maximum of 20%.

However, in January 2019 the Congress of Deputies has not validated this Royal Decree 21/2018 by having the vote against the majority of political parties. The validity of the same therefore has been short-lived.