B.SOLIS LIDER EN CONSTRUCCION Y REFORMA DE HOTELES Y RESORTS

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B.SOLÍS, empresa constructora líder en la Costa del Sol, apuesta por convertirse en la marca de referencia en la ejecución de proyectos de reforma y nueva construcción “llave en mano” para operadores turísticos y negocios de hostelería desde su División Reformas & Hoteles.

 Construcciones B.SOLÍS es una empresa familiar y cercana, que combina tradición y vanguardia, que en 2017 cumplirá 30 años de experiencia ininterrumpida. Actualmente cuenta con 150 profesionales altamente especializados, los cuales aportan el gran valor añadido de la empresa, ofrecer a sus clientes un asesoramiento integral y una atención personalizada a lo largo de todas las fases del proyecto.

Su liderazgo geográfico en un destino turístico prime a nivel mundial, los posiciona como una de las compañías constructoras de referencia para inversores y clientes internacionales que demandan la ejecución de obras de alta calidad.

Sus altos estándares de calidad, su apuesta por la innovación y las técnicas constructivas más vanguardistas le han llevado a realizar más de 500 proyectos en todo el territorio nacional en diferentes tipologías: grandes edificaciones (hoteleras, comerciales, deportivas, sanitarias, etc), residenciales plurifamiliares (25.000 viviendas), terminación de activos para entidades financieras y clientes privados, reformas integrales, aparcamientos subterráneos y obra civil.

En el sector residencial de Villas de alta calidad ha llevado a cabo más de 480 unidades de las cuales, 140 se ubican en urbanizaciones tan exclusivas como La Zagaleta, Sierra Blanca, Guadalmina, Sotogrande o Los Flamingos.

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B.SOLÍS se diferencia por su solvencia técnica (mayor obra de edificación ejecutada por un importe superior a € 80 mlls.). Ha  realizado proyectos de gran relevancia y complejidad técnica como, Parque Botánico de Estepona, Boulevard de San Pedro, Centros Deportivos de la cadena GO FIT o uno de sus últimos proyectos en ejecución, una laguna artificial en Casares de la mano de Crystal Lagoons.

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Así como proyectos de construcción y reforma en cadenas hoteleras y en hoteles independientes como: Marriott´s Playa Andaluza, The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & SPA 5*, Hotel Tembo Fuerte Estepona 4*, Rincón Andaluz 3* o Clínica Buchinger entre otros. Actualmente se encuentra en fase de construcción de un hotel 5* GL en Estepona.

Su experiencia en la ejecución de proyectos de reforma y modernización hotelera, no sólo asegura el cumplimiento de los plazos del proyecto y las mínimas interferencias en la operativa diaria del hotel, sino que garantiza resultados que sólo su alto grado de especialización puede conseguir.

La marca B.SOLÍS es reconocida por la calidad en el resultado final de las obras que ejecuta, por su solvencia económica, sinónimo de confianza y seguridad para el cliente y por prestar un servicio postventa orientado a la máxima satisfacción del cliente.

La combinación de las buenas perspectivas para el sector turístico y el track record como empresa, posicionan a la División de Reformas & Hoteles de B.SOLÍS como un socio de referencia para realizar proyectos en la Costa del Sol.

División Reformas & Hoteles

Isabel.villada@bsolis.com

Plaza Dª. Elvira 2. Urb. Aloha Pueblo,

Nueva Andalucía, 29660 Marbella (Málaga)

Tel.: 952 815 080 Fax: 952 817 385

www.bsolis.com

 

TAXATION OF DWELLING RENTALS AND CESSIONS

MANSION

 It is very difficult to summarise the content of an article in its title, particularly where it refers to various situations and various rights, whether from a common or general point of view or from a legal point of view.

Therefore, when in this article we say “dwelling”, this must be interpreted in a very general sense as meaning an “enclosed, covered place which has been built =building= to be inhabited by persons”. And when we say rental of dwellings, it very generally means handing over the right to use or enjoy (occupation) that building to another person, from whom a consideration will be received. And all this applies whether building refers to what we call a flat, apartment, villa, terraced house, room, studio, etc., and whether it is located in a residential building, an apartment-hotel building, a hotel or a combination thereof.

But what matters for the purposes of this article, namely to determine the taxes payable by the owner on the rent received for the cession of such a habitable building, is the kind of “dwelling” involved or, rather, the intended use of that dwelling or how it is going to be used by its occupier, whether by virtue of an agreement between the parties or because it must be legally used for a specific purpose and none other.

SUMMARY

I.- RENTAL OF DWELLINGS (HABITUAL RESIDENCE).

From a legal point of view, where the intended use of dwelling is to be ceded by a person for a price or a rent to another person, who will occupy it, normally with their family, for the essential purpose of fulfilling the need to have living accommodation, this will be what Spanish Law simply (basically) defines as the “rental of a dwelling”.

II.- SEASONAL RENTAL OF DWELLINGS.

Where the dwelling (as a building) is ceded by a person to another person to fulfil the latter’s need to live in it not permanently but during a specific season, be it the summer season, the ski season, a school year during which a person will be attending college or a period during which a person has to move to certain place to do a temporary job, this is legally classified as a “rental for use other than as habitual dwelling-residence”.

III.- RENTAL OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION UNITS.

In this case, whether the dwelling is a villa, a room, a studio, etc., which is part of a building or group of buildings located on land classified as (i) touristic land, or (ii) residential land whose use for tourism-related purposes is permitted, it is legally mandatory for the property to be used for tourism-related purposes, which entails an obligation to comply with two kinds of requirements, i.e. those relating to the unit itself and those relating to the “standard services of the tourism industry”.

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IV.- RENTAL OF RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS FOR TOURISM-RELATED PURPOSES.

This relates to dwellings located on “residential land” (not, therefore, on land earmarked for tourism-related purposes) which are used all year round or during specific periods as tourist accommodation units or for purposes relating thereto.

Consequently, this type of dwelling has to be operated as a tourist accommodation unit and is therefore required to include as an important element, in addition to the cession of the right to occupy the unit, the provision of other “standard services of the tourism industry”, even if these are minimum.

SUMMARY OF THE MAIN TAX OBLIGATIONS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT RESIDENT IN SPAIN BUT ARE RESIDENT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) AND, IN SOME CASES, IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA), IN RESPECT OF THE RENTS OBTAINED FROM THE RENTAL OR CESSION OF DWELLINGS OR UNITS TO THIRD PARTIES ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND OR INTENDED USE

I.- RENTAL OF DWELLINGS (HABITUAL RESIDENCE).

1.- Each quarter of the calendar year during which such dwellings are or remain rented out, the non-resident individual lessor will have to file a tax return with the State Treasury in respect of the rents thereby obtained.

In the case of taxpayers residing in the EU or in EEA countries with which an effective exchange of information is in place, certain expenses may be deductible against the rental income (with certain limitations), such as loan interest, insurance, preservation and repair costs, I.B.I. -local rates-, agents’ commissions, legal expenses, amortisation of the building, etc.

The tax rate in this case would be 19% on the gain thus calculated for residents of the EU, Iceland and Norway, and 24% for the remaining taxpayers.

On the other hand, a small tax known as Actos Jurídicos Documentados (Documented Legal Acts -Stamp Duty-) is also payable, and its amount will depend on the length of the lease and on the rent agreed.

2.- If the dwelling is only used by the non-resident owner or is available to them all rear round, then the non-resident owner will have to pay tax on the “deemed income”, namely a tax which is not payable on any actual income but on an estimated, supposedly received income.

3.- Deposit on the Lease: This is not a tax, but there is a legal obligation for the lessor to demand from the tenant an amount equivalent to one month’s agreed rent as security for any damage which may be caused by the tenant. Such a deposit will have to be fully lodged by the lessor, within one month of the lease contract being entered into, with the Agencia de Vivienda y Rehabilitación (Housing and Rehabilitation Agency) of, in this case, the Junta de Andalucía, commonly known as AVRA for its initials. On termination of the lease, AVRA will refund the full deposit, without interest, to the lessor, and the latter shall in turn refund it to the tenant unless any damage needing to be repaired has been caused to the dwelling (but not because of failure to pay any rents).

If the lessor fails to lodge this deposit, then the lessor themselves -not the tenant- will be liable to pay surcharges ranging from 5% to 20% depending on the delay in paying the deposit after the above legal period has passed. If the deposit fails to be lodged and AVRA makes an inspection, penalties ranging from 50% to 150% of that amount can be imposed.

Important:   As these rentals are meant to fulfil a permanent need of the tenant and the tenant’s family, the tenant will be obligated to respect the full period agreed on in the contract and to pay the rent for the whole period of the lease. Even if a dwelling of this nature has been rented out for a shorter period, the tenant may in their sole discretion extend the contract for up to three years -obviously provided that they pay the agreed rent- regardless of whether the lessor wishes to extend the contract for such a period or not.

II.- SEASONAL RENTAL OF DWELLINGS.

The taxes and tax obligations are fundamentally the same in the case of a dwelling for habitual use-residence and in the case of a seasonal rental of a dwelling, whether the latter is entered into for several months, for the whole year or for a longer period.

Therefore, the income actually obtained will be taxed during the rental period as described in paragraph 1 and the deemed income will be taxed in proportion to the period not being rented out as described in paragraph 2, both of SECTION I above.

DEPOSIT ON THE LEASE:

The amount of the Deposit in this case is not one month’s but two months’ rent, which in many cases is preposterous, disproportionate and unfair.

A seasonal lease can certainly last several months or over one year, but it is normally taken for a short period, often 15 to 20 days, one or two months, etc.

However, it will still be necessary in that case to lodge with the AVRA a deposit amounting to two months’ rent, to the point that the deposit will sometimes have to be refunded by reason of expiry of the lease before the legal period to lodge the deposit has expired.

Also payable in this case is the ‘Stamp Duty’ which, as mentioned, is normally a small amount, although it depends on the duration of the contract and on the rent agreed.

Important: The duration of the lease with this kind of rental is that agreed on by the parties, and neither party may demand an extension thereof.

III.- RENTAL OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION UNITS.

Tourist accommodation establishments are those which offer accommodation to persons wishing to stay at them, normally for a certain number of days but also during longer periods. While their name and category vary slightly, they are normally classified in Spain as hotels, apartment-hotels, holiday apartment resorts, hostels, etc.

But the essential feature of tourist accommodation establishments is that, whatever the occupation period, the client is entitled to receive the “accommodation” service as such jointly with the services inherent in the tourism industry.

This introduction is intended to be of assistance in understanding the taxation of accommodation units which are individually owned by a person. An establishment -e.g. a hotel building with multiple accommodation units (apartments, villas, rooms)- may constitute one only property as a whole, but it may also be divided into various units by executing a Deed known as ‘Horizontal Division’ so that each resulting unit becomes an “independent” property from a legal point of view and, therefore, is registered as an independent property.

This is what has come to be known commercially as a “condo-hotel”, where a person can acquire ownership of a hotel room, an apartment of the apartment-hotel or a villa or a building such as a bungalow, which are accommodation units of the hotel, the apartment-hotel, the holiday apartment resort, etc. That is, from a legal point of view these units are not “dwellings” but tourist accommodation units.

The owner can obtain a rent from their accommodation unit in such tourist establishments, although they may under no circumstance do so directly by renting out or otherwise ceding the apartment to a third party, nor are they entitled, as owner, to simply occupy the unit.

A person who buys an accommodation unit which is part of a tourist establishment is not really a “consumer” but an “investor or business operator”.

What, then, can the owner of such an accommodation unit do?

The only thing they can do according to Law is to cede the unit to the hotel’s sole operating company, and the latter will pay the owner an agreed rent which will then de subject to tax on the profit thereby made in the form explained below.

When we say that the “accommodation unit” has to be fully ceded for each and every day of the year to the operating company, we say it because, according to Spanish Law, only one company is entitled to provide services to and operate the hotel or any other kind of tourist establishment.

This means that the sole operating company is the only company which can handle reservations for the units, accept guests, provide services to the latter and charge them a price for doing all this.

We must therefore reiterate that the owner of the accommodation unit may not admit anybody to occupy the unit and neither they nor their family may occupy the unit other than as guests who reserve, make a contract and pay the price charged for the occupation of that same unit. To give a graphic explanation: they will have to register as hotel guests, take the keys from the hotel receptionist and pay the unit price.

The consideration received by the owner of the unit is the rent they must receive from the sole operating company of the resort.

But the reader will have probably seen offers to purchase one of these units saying that they can “occupy their own unit for two or three months without paying anything and the operating company will pay them the agreed rent for the rest of the year”.

However, this not true from a legal or a taxation point of view, because the owner may occupy the unit as a guest for the maximum period allowed by Law “where the guest is also the owner” (not more than two months in the case of Andalucía) and they will also have to pay a rent, event it this is done by way of an offset payment.

Having made this long but necessary introduction, we must now go back to the purpose of this article, namely to know the taxes to be paid initially by a person who buys an “accommodation unit” and the taxes they will have to pay for using it personally during a certain period and, also, for obtaining a rent from the operating company in charge of marketing the unit.

1.- Taxes inherent in acquiring ownership of the “tourist accommodation unit”.

1.1.- IVA (VAT) is applicable in all of Spain except the Canary Islands, where this is replaced by a very similar tax albeit with much lower taxation rates.

The 21% I.V.A. payable on the selling price must be passed on by the seller of a tourist accommodation unit to the purchaser.

It is true, on the other hand, that as the purchaser does not purchase the unit for their personal use, they can apply for a refund of this I.V.A. the following year.

1.2.- Impuesto de Actos Jurídicos Documentados (Stamp Duty), the applicable rate of which depends on the part of Spain where the property is located and normally ranges from 0.75% to 2% (1.5% in Andalucía).

2.- Taxes inherent in the rental or other legal form of cession of the unit to the “sole operating company” against a consideration or, where applicable, to be offset in subsequent years.

2.1.- As the owner of the tourist accommodation unit cedes the unit, by virtue of a legal obligation, to the sole operator for the whole year, they must receive the rent agreed on with the operating company.

Such a rent received by a non-resident is subject to Income Tax at the rate of 19% in the case of taxpayers with residence in the European Union, Norway and Iceland and 24% for the remaining taxpayers. This tax must be filed and paid quarterly.

Normally, the payer of tax on the yield -operator- must make a withholding on account of the Non-Residents Income Tax (19% for residents on the EU and the EEA and 24% for the rest).

2.2.- On the other hand, the owner-lesser must pass on to the operating company I.V.A. at the general rate (21%) and they must file a VAT tax return -also quarterly-.

3.- Fiscal implications of occupation or use of the unit by its owner.

We mentioned earlier that the owner is not entitled to occupy the unit due to their holding title to the property as the owner thereof, as they have previously rented out or ceded the unit for “the whole year” to the operating company (article 42.2.2 LTA – Tourism Act of Andalucía -).

It is true, however, that the owner may occupy and use the unit during “not more than two months” (in the region of Andalucía, as per article 42.3.a LTA) as a guest, which entails an obligation on their part to pay the price of their stay, as any other guest, including in this case the obligation to add 10% I.V.A. as would be the case with any other guest. This I.V.A. is unrecoverable given that the owner is not in this case performing a professional or trading activity but merely acting as a consumer or user (guest).

But “payment” or “income” must not be confused with a transfer of money in one or other direction. It is possible, and very often the case, that the operating company which must pay an annual rent and I.V.A. to the owner for the cession of the unit during the whole year will only transfer to the owner the amount of the rent plus I.V.A. thereon albeit withholding the sum payable by the owner-guest for the time they have personally used the unit by way of an offset payment.

What happens if the tourist accommodation unit (often an apartment, bungalow or small villa) is used or occupied by, and available to, the owner of the unit during the whole year?

In this case, both the owner of the unit and the hotel operating company will be breaching very important rules relating to town planning, tourism and taxation. By way of an example:

1.- The operator of the tourist accommodation establishment may receive severe economic sanctions and the whole establishment may even be closed down.

2.- If no tax is paid on the cession -necessarily granted for valuable consideration- of the unit by the owner to the operating company and, inversely, if the hotel cedes a period of time (even on a de facto basis) for the owner to use gratuitously where a price should have been paid, both the operating company and the owner will be thereby failing to comply with their fiscal obligations.

3.- Finally, if the owner of the tourist accommodation unit lives in the unit or the unit remains available to the owner, it may well be considered that their unit has been transformed into a personal residence, which is a very serious breach of town planning regulations which may even result in the closure of the building. This is of the utmost importance, and the ‘Autonomous Communities’ (Regions) of Spain are going to great lengths in establishing legal regulations to crack down on the de facto conversion of tourist accommodation units into “residential homes”.

 IV.- RENTAL OF RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS FOR TOURISM-RELATED PURPOSES.

HIPOTECA In another article published in this same blog http://wp.me/p2Zl8w-nI , we commented on the new regulations affecting private dwellings which, either permanently or during certain periods of the year only, were occupied by third parties against payment of a price and including the provision of some tourism-related services such as daily cleaning, meals, etc.

Such use of these dwellings (apartments, villas, etc.) located on residential land is regarded as a tourist services operation by reason of their including such ancillary services and, therefore, they must be registered with the Tourism Registry.

The operation of these dwellings for tourism-related purposes is certainly quite similar to the “seasonal rental” described in Section II above.

The taxation of the -actual or deemed- rents thereby obtained is as follows:

1.- If the property is operated all year round for tourism-related purposes, i.e. as tourist accommodation, then Income Tax will be payable by individuals residing in the EU, Norway and Iceland at the rate of 19% on the profit thereby obtained. The general rate for the remaining taxpayers will be 24%.

As this is a tourist accommodation activity, the owner must charge I.V.A. to the user at the reduced 10% rate which applies to the Tourism Industry.

In both cases, quarterly tax returns need to be filed in respect of these taxes.

2.- If the dwelling is only operated for tourism-related purposes during part of the year, the taxation (Income Tax on actual rent and I.V.A.) will be the same as that described in 1 above in proportion to the period of time during which the property has been used for such purpose.

As regards the periods during which the dwelling is not being operated, namely when it is being used by its owner, the only tax to be paid will be the tax we have referred to as “deemed income tax” (See Sections 1 and 2).

The above list of taxes is obviously a generalisation and will need to be specifically determined in each particular case.

This is an opinion article and is therefore subject to any better-founded opinion on the matter.

Francisco J. Lizarza – Lawyer

Rocio Lizarza – MBA

LA FISCALIDAD DE LOS ARRENDAMIENTOS Y CESIONES DE VIVIENDAS

ESPAÑAResulta muy difícil resumir en el título de un artículo su contenido, máxime si atiende a situaciones y derechos varios, ya sea desde el punto de vista  vulgar o general, como desde el punto de vista legal.

Por ello cuando en el título de este artículo decimos “vivienda”, hemos de entender desde un punto de vista muy genérico que se refiere a cualquier “lugar cerrado y cubierto construido  =edificación= para ser habitado por personas. Y cuando decimos arrendamiento de vivienda, significa de forma muy genérica la entrega del goce o disfrute (ocupación) de esa edificación a otra persona que de deberá satisfacerle una contraprestación. Y todo ello ya sea esa edificación lo que llamamos piso, apartamento, villa, adosadas habitación, estudio, etc., ya sea de un edificio de vecinos, un apartotel, un hotel o con conjunto de ellas.

Pero lo que importa a los fines de este artículo, es decir, para determinar  cuáles son los impuestos que el propietario ha de satisfacer por la renta que obtenga por la cesión de esa edificación habitable, es qué clase de “vivienda” se trata, o mejor dicho cual es realmente el destino de esa vivienda o clase de uso que va a hacer el ocupante de ella, ya sea por la propia voluntad de las partes o porque legalmente ha de tener un destino específico y no otro.

SUMARIO

– I- 

ARRENDAMIENTO DE VIVIENDA (RESIDENCIAL HABITUAL).

Así legalmente, cuando el destino de una vivienda es que se ceda mediante precio o renta por una persona para que otra la ocupe, normalmente con su familia, con el fin primordial de satisfacer su necesidad de vivir en ella, estaremos ante lo que la ley española llama  simplemente (básicamente) como  “arrendamiento de vivienda

-II-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE “VIVIENDA POR TEMPORADA”.

Cuando la vivienda (como edificación) se cede por una persona a otra, para satisfacer su necesidad de vivir en ella de forma no permanente, sino por una temporada, ya sea durante la temporada de verano, o la temporada de ski o la que se destina a vivir temporalmente por que una persona va a la estudiar durante un curso en  la universidad o se ha de desplazar a un lugar para un trabajo temporal, legalmente se clasifica como “arrendamiento para uso distinto  de vivienda residencial-habitual”.

-III-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE UNIDAD DE ALOJAMIENTO TURÍSTICO.

En esta caso, ya sea un apartamento, villa, habitación, estudio, etc., que forma parte de un edificio o conjunto de edificios situados en suelo calificado como (i) turístico o (ii) residencial en e el que se autorice ese uso turístico, es legalmente obligatorio su uso turístico, que implica el cumplimiento de dos requisitos, como son el propio alojamiento, mas “los servicios propios de la industria turística”.

-IV.-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE VIVIENDA “RESIDENCIAL CON FINES DE USO TURÍSTICO.

Son aquellas viviendas situadas en “suelo residencial” (por tanto no situados en suelo turístico”) que son utilizadas durante todo el año o por periodos  con fines o como alojamientos turísticos.-

Esta clase de viviendas  vienen por ello explotarse como unidades de alojamiento turísticos, por lo que requieren como elemento importante que se presten, junto la cesión de la ocupación de los alojamiento, otros “servicios propios de la industria turística”, aunque sean mínimos.

SINTESIS

DE LAS PRINCIPALES OBLIGACIONES FISCALES DE LAS PERSONAS FÍSICAS “NO RESIDENTES EN ESPAÑA”, PERO SI RESIDENTES EN LA UNION EUROPEA (UE) Y EN ALGUNOS CASOS EN EL ESPACIO ECONÓMICO EUROPEO (EEU), POR LAS RENTAS OBTENIDAS POR EL ARRIENDO O CESIÓN A TERCEROS DE “VIVIENDAS O ALOJAMIENTOS, SEGÚN SU CLASE O DESTINO.

-I-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE VIVIENDA (RESIDENCIAL HABITUAL).

Resultado de imagen de fotos gratuitas villas normales

1.- Cada trimestre del año natural en que haya arrendado o permanezca arrendadas estas viviendas, el arrendador persona física no residente deberá declarar a la Hacienda Pública Estatal las rentas obtenidas.

En el caso de contribuyentes residentes en la UE o EEU con los que que exista un efectivo intercambio de información, se podrán deducir de los ingresos (con ciertas limitaciones) algunos gastos, como intereses de préstamo, seguros, conservación y reparación, IBI, comisiones de agentes, gastos legales, amortización de la construcción, etc.

El tipo de gravamen a aplicar en este caso sería de un 19% de la ganancia así calculada para residentes de la UE, Islanda y Noruega, y para el resto de contribuyentes, un 24%.

Por otra parte existe un impuesto de actos jurídicos documentados no poca cuantía que dependerá de la duración del arredramiento y la renta pactada.

2.- Si la vivienda es usada sólo por el propietario no residente o está a disposición del propietario todo el año, la persona no residente debe satisfacer el denominado “impuesto sobre la renta presunta”, es decir una renta  no real, sino estimada y supuestamente recibida.

Pero la cuantía que de forma legal se determina de esta “renta presunta, no es muy alta, así como el tipo aplicable tampoco lo es, por lo que el importe final a pagar es poco en relación al valor de la vivienda.

3.- Fianza del arrendamiento: No es un impuesto, pero si existe la obligación legal de que el arrendador exija al arrendatario una suma igual a un mes de renta pactada, para garantizar los daños que se causen por el arrendatario.- Esta fianza deberá ser depositada en su totalidad por el arrendador en el plazo máximo de un mes desde la celebración del  contrato en la Agencia de Vivienda y Rehabilitación (en este caso) de Andalucía conocida por sus siglas “AVRA”.- Una vez terminado el arrendamiento se devolverá sin intereses por AVRA la totalidad de su importe al arrendador, que a su vez debe reembolsarla al arrendatario, salvo que existan daños en la vivienda (no impago de rentas) que han de ser satisfechos.

Si no se deposita por el arrendador esta fianza, el mismo y no el arrendatario, responderá de recargos que pueden variar del 5% al 20% según el retraso producido en el depósito tras el plazo legal citado.- En caso de que no se deposite y “AVRA” inspeccione que existe puede imponer la sanción del 50% al 150% de esas cantidad.

Nota importante: Dado que esta vivienda se destina a satisfacer la necesidad permanente del arrendatario y su familia, el arrendatario estará obligado a cumplir el tiempo contractual pactado y pagar la renta por todo ese periodo arrendado.- Aunque la vivienda con este destino se haya arrendado por un tiempo inferior, el arrendatario podrá extender el contrato a tres años como máximo y por su sola voluntad, obviamente pagando la renta convenida, y aunque el propietario no quisiera prorrogar el contrato a esos tres años.

-II-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE “VIVIENDA POR TEMPORADA”.

Fundamentalmente los impuestos y obligaciones tributarias son los mismos en el caso de vivienda de uso residencial-habitual que en el caso de arrendamiento de vivienda por temporada, ya sea la temporada de varios meses del año o de todo el año o más.

Es decir durante el tiempo arrendado se satisfará la renta realmente obtenida conforme se indica en el número 1 y la renta presunta proporcional al tiempo no arrendado, conforme se indica en el número 2, ambos del  APARTADO “I” anterior.

FIANZA DEL ARRENDAMIENTO:

En este caso la fianza tiene un importe no de un mes de renta, sino de dos, lo que en muchos casos es un despropósito, falto de toda proporcionalidad e injusto.

Ciertamente el arrendamiento por temporada puede tener una duración de varios meses o más de un año, etc., pero lo frecuentes que sea para poco tiempo, incluso de 15 o 20 días o uno o varios meses.

Pues bien en ese caso seguirá siendo necesario depositar en AVRA la fianza calculada de dos meses de renta, hasta el punto de que puede no se haya cumplido el plazo para depositarla cuando ya hay que devolverla por finalización de esa temporada.

En este caso también existe un impuesto de actos jurídicos documentados, que como antes indicamos suele ser de escasa cuantía, aunque dependerá de la duración del contrato y renta pactada.

Nota importante: En esta clase de arrendamiento la duración es la pactada y ninguna de las partes puede exigir su prórroga.

-III-

ARRENDAMIENTO DE UNIDAD DE ALOJAMIENTO TURÍSTICO.

MANSION

Los establecimientos de alojamientos turísticos son aquellos que ofrecen a las personas que lo deseen alojarse en los mismo, normalmente por días y hasta periodos más largos, y se clasifican de diferente forma en España, pero principalmente, y aunque su denominación y categoría varíe un poco, como “hoteles, hotel-apartamentos, complejo de apartamentos turísticos, hostales, pensiones, etc.

Pero lo esencial de los establecimientos de alojamientos turísticos es que han de reunir dos características principales, cualquiera que sea el tiempo de ocupación permitido, es el derecho del cliente a recibir conjuntamente el “alojamiento” más los servicios inherentes a la industria turística.

Esta introducción del presente apartado tiene como motivo entender cual es la tributación de las unidades de alojamiento que sean propiedad individual de una persona.

La propiedad de un establecimiento, por ejemplo un edificio de hotel con múltiples alojamientos (apartamentos, villas, habitaciones), puede ser en conjunto una sola propiedad,  pero también es posible que esa edificación como conjunto se divida en diversas unidades, mediante la declaración de la denominada “división horizontal”, de forma que legalmente cada unidad producto de la división se convierte legalmente en la una propiedad “independiente”, que se por tanto se inscribe como finca independiente.

Esto es lo que se ha llamado comercialmente “condominio-hotel” o condohotel, en que una persona puede adquirir la propiedad de una habitación del hotel, o un apartamento del apartahotel, o una villa o una edificación como bungalow que son unidades de alojamiento del hotel, o del apartahotel, del complejo de apartamentos turísticos, etc. Es decir no son legalmente “viviendas”, sino alojamientos turísticos.

El propietario puede obtener una renta de su unidad alojativa en estos establecimientos turísticos, pero en modo alguno puede hacerlo directamente  arrendando o de otra forma cediendo el apartamento a un tercero, pero tampoco como propietario tiene derecho sin más a ocuparlo.

El que compra una unidad de alojamiento que forma parte de un establecimiento turístico, no es realmente un “consumidor”, sino un “inversor o explotador de un negocio”.

Pero entonces, ¿qué es lo que hace o puede hacer el propietario de esa unidad de alojamiento?

Lo que sólo puede hacer legalmente es cederlo a la empresa explotadora única del hotel, que a cambio le dará una renta convenida, de la que se deducirá su obligación de pagar los impuestos por ese ingreso, como más adelante indicamos.

Cuando decimos que hay que ceder la “unidad de alojamiento” enteramente y por todos y cada uno de los días del año a la empresa explotadora, es porque conforme a la ley española es sólo una empresa la que puede prestar los servicios y comercializar el hotel u otra clase de establecimiento turístico.

Ello lleva a que esa empresa explotadora única sea la única que puede hacer las reservas de los alojamientos, admitir a los huéspedes, darles el servicio y cobrar el precio por todo ello.

Reiteramos por tanto que el propietario de la unidad de alojamiento no puede admitir a nadie para ocupar el alojamiento, y ni el mismo o su familia pueden ocupar el alojamiento, a no ser como huésped que reserve, contrate y paga el precio por ocupar ese mismo alojamiento. De forma gráfica: deberá registrarse como huésped del hotel y tomar las llaves del recepcionista del hotel y pagar el precio de alojamiento.

La contraprestación para el propietario del alojamiento es la renta que ha de percibir de la empresa explotadora única del complejo.

Pero seguramente  el lector habrá tenido una oferta para que compre uno de estos alojamientos, en la que se diga “utilice dos o tres meses el alojamiento de su propiedad sin pagar y por el resto del año la empresa exploradora admitirá le pagará la renta convenida”.

Y ello ni legal ni tributariamente es cierto, porque ocupará el alojamiento en su condición de huésped, como máximo por el tiempo que permite la ley “cuando además es “propietario” (en el caso de Andalucía como máximo dos meses) y además  pagará una renta, aunque sea por compensación.

Hecha esta larga pero necesaria introducción, debemos pasar a desarrollar en este punto el objeto de este artículo y es saber qué impuestos debe pagar en un primer momento la persona que compra un “alojamiento turístico” y también qué impuestos deberá satisfacer por usarlo personalmente durante un periodo de tiempo y también por obtener una renta de la empresa explotadora que lo comercializa.

1.- Impuestos inherentes a la adquisición de la propiedad del “alojamiento turístico”

1.1.- IVA  es aplicable en toda España, excepto en las Islas Canarias que es sustituido por un impuesto muy parecido pero con tipos impositivos mucho más reducidos.

El vendedor de la unidad de alojamiento turístico deberá repercutir al comprador el I.V.A. al tipo del 21% del precio de compra.

Cierto es por otra parte es que el comprador no adquiere el alojamiento para su uso personal, puede pedir la devolución de ese IVA en el ejercicio siguiente.

1.2.- El Impuesto de Actos Jurídicos Documentados, aplicándose un tipo cuya cuantía dependiente del territorio español en que se encuentra el inmueble, que suele variar entre el 0,75% y el 2% (en Andalucía 1,5%).

2.- Impuestos inherentes  al arrendamiento u otra forma legal de cesión del alojamiento a la “empresa explotadora única”, mediante contraprestación o en su caso compensarla en ejercicios posteriores.

            2.1.- Como el propietario del alojamiento turístico lo cede por obligación legal al explotador único y por toda la anualidad, ha de percibir la renta pactada con la empresa explotadora.

            Esta renta que percibe el no residente, está sujeta al Impuesto sobre la renta al tipo de 19% en el caso de contribuyentes residentes en la Unión Europea, Noruega e Islandia y para el resto de contribuyentes al 24%,  que deberá ser declarada y satisfecha de forma trimestral. Normalmente, el pagador del rendimiento –explotador- deberá retener a cuenta del Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes (19% para residentes en el E.E.E.  y U.E. y 24% para el resto)

            2.2- Por otra parte el propietario arrendador debe repercutir el IVA de esa cantidad al tipo general del 21% a la empresa explotadora, debiendo proceder hacer la declaración de IVA correspondiente también de forma trimestral.

3.- Consecuencias fiscales de la ocupación o uso del alojamiento por su propietario.

Dijimos anteriormente que el propietario no tiene la facultad de ocupar el alojamiento como consecuencia de dicho título de dueño, ya que previamente habrá arrendado o cedido “todo el año” el alojamiento a la empresa explotadora (art. 42.2.2. =LTA= o Ley de Turismo de Andalucía).

Pero si es cierto que puede perfectamente ocupar y usar el alojamiento “como máximo dos meses” (en la región de Andalucía según art. LTA art.42.3.a) en calidad de huésped, con la obligación de pagar el importe de su estancia como cualquier otro huésped, incluyendo en ese caso la obligación de  que se incluya el IVA al tipo de 10% como a cualquier otro huésped.- IVA por otra parte irrecuperable, porque el propietario no actúa en ejercicio de su actividad profesional o mercantil, sino como simple consumidor o usuario (huésped).

Pero no hay que confundir “pago” o “ingreso” con la transferencia de dinero en un sentido u otro.- Es muy posible y sobretodo frecuente que la empresa explotadora que debe pagar la renta anual e IVA al propietario por la cesión de todo el año de alojamiento, sólo le transfiera a este propietario la suma correspondiente al arrendamiento más el IVA, pero reteniendo por compensación la suma que le debe pagar el propietario-huesped por el tiempo que usa personalmente el alojamiento.

¿Qué ocurre si el propietario de un alojamiento turístico vive, ocupa y tiene a su disposición el alojamiento (muchas veces tiene el tipo edificatorio de apartamento, bungalow, apartamento o pequeña villa) durante todo el año?

En ese caso se estará incumplimiento por el propietario del alojamiento y por la empresa explotadora del hotel, normas urbanísticas, turísticas y tributarias de gran  cuantía o importancia.- A título de ejemplo.

1.- El explotador del establecimiento de alojamientos turístico puede tener severas sanciones pecuniarias y además el establecimiento entero incluso puede llegar a ser cerrado.

2.- Si no se tributa por la cesión necesariamente onerosa del alojamiento a la empresa explotadora única por el propietario y viceversa, es decir el hotel cede gratuitamente (incluso de facto) un periodo de tiempo para que lo use el propietario, que hubiera de haberse cedido mediante precio,  mediante precio, la empresa explotadora y el propietario estarán eludiendo sus obligaciones fiscales.

3.- Y por último, si el propietario del alojamiento turístico vive o mantiene a su disposición el alojamiento, bien puede considerarse que ha transformado su alojamiento en una vivienda personal, lo que es una infracción urbanística muy grave, que puede llegar a la clausura del edificio.- Es un tema de suma importancia y las normas legales de las Comunidades Autónomas de España persiguen con ahínco la conversión por la via de hecho de edificaciones de alojamientos turísticos en “viviendas residenciales”.

-IV-

VIVIENDAS RESIDENCIALES CON FINES TURÍSTICOS

HIPOTECA

En nuestro artículo publicado en este mismo Blog http://wp.me/p2Zl8w-nG comentábamos las nuevas normas que afectan a aquellas viviendas particulares que de forma permanente o determinados periodos del año únicamente se destinaban a permitir su ocupación, mediante precio y  con la prestación de algunos servicios turísticos como limpieza diaria, comidas, etc.

El uso u ocupación de estas  viviendas (apartamentos, villas, etc.), situadas en suelo residencial, se considerará turística por tener esos servicios complementarios y se deben inscribir en el Registro e Turismo.

Ciertamente esta explotación de viviendas con fines turísticos, se parece muchillo a los “arrendamientos por temporada” que hemos comentado en el Apartado II anterior.

 La tributación por las rentas obtenidas real o presuntamente, son las siguientes:

1.- Si la vivienda se explota todo el año con fines turísticos, es decir como alojamientos turísticos, los impuestos a satisfacer son el de la renta de las personas físicas residentes en la UE, Noruega e Islandia al tipo de 19%  del beneficio obtenido. El tipo general para el resto de contribuyentes será del 24%.

Como actividad de alojamiento turístico, se debe repercutir por el propietario al usuario el IVA la tipo reducido del 10% propio de la industria turística.

En ambos casos se debe hacer las declaraciones y liquidaciones trimestrales de dichos tributos.

2.- Si la vivienda se explota parte de año con fines turísticos, la tributación (Impuesto sobe la renta real e IVA) será igual a la indicada en el número 1 anterior en la parte proporcional que corresponde al tiempo que ha sido cedida turísticamente.

Pero los periodos en los que no se explota la vivienda, es decir la utiliza su propio titular sólo se tributará por la que antes hemos llamado “impuesto sobre la renta presunta” (véase Apartado I  y número 2).

Obviamente la anterior relación de obligaciones tributarias es esquemática y será necesaria perfilarla  en cada caso concreto.

Este es un artículo de opinión que se somete a cualquier otro de mayor inteligencia y conocimiento

F.J. Lizarza – Abogado.

Rocio Lizarza – MBA

Marbella 25 de Abril de 2016.

Changes to the EU VAT Implementing Regulations

ICONO PEQUEÑA BRITANICAIn October, the European Commission issued explanatory notes on EU VAT place of supply rules on services connected with immovable property. These notes, prepared by the Directorate Gen for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission, are intended to assist with the proper application / interpretation of changes to the EU VAT Implementing Regulations 2011 (282/2011/EU) that become effective throughout the EU on January 1st 2017.

Members should be aware that Article 47 of the EU VAT Directive says that services connected with immovable property should be subject to VAT in the country in which the property is located. The Implementing Regulations now confirm that services allowing a customer to exchange to a timeshare resort are within the scope of Article 47 and, therefore, subject to VAT in the country in which the accommodation is located.

The Implementing Regulations have direct effect in all EU member states, therefore member state Governments don’t have to make changes to their local VAT rules in order to accommodate this change.

Lizarza Abogados 

Abril 2016

CAMBIOS EN EL REGLAMENTO DE APLICACIÓN DEL I.V.A. DE LA U.E.

boton bamder esp. pequeño


En octubre, La Comisión Europea emitió notas explicativas sobre la normativa del IVA sobre el lugar de suministro de servicios relacionados con bienes  inmuebles.

Estas notas, preparadas por la Dirección General de Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera de la Comisión Europea, están destinadas a ayudar con la correcta aplicación/interpretación de los cambios en el Reglamento de Aplicación del IVA de la U.E. 2011 (282/2011/EU) que se hacen efectivos en toda la U.E. el 1 de Enero de 2017.

Los miembros deben ser conscientes de que el artículo 47 de la Directiva Europea de IVA dice que los servicios relacionados con bienes inmuebles deben estar sujetos al IVA en el país en el que se encuentra la propiedad. El Reglamento de Aplicación nos confirma ahora que los servicios que permiten a un cliente a intercambiar a un complejo de multipropiedad están dentro del alcance del artículo 47 y por lo tanto, sujetos al IVA en el país en donde se encuentra el alojamiento.

El Reglamento de Aplicación tiene efecto directo en todos los estados miembros de la U.E., por lo tanto, los gobiernos de los estados miembros no tienen que modificar las normativas locales del IVA con el fin de adaptarse a este cambio.

Lizarza Abogados.

Abril 2016

SEASONAL RENTALS VS. TOURIST DWELLINGS

ANDALUCIA

SEASONAL RENTAL OF DWELLINGS
VS.
OPERATION OF DWELLINGS FOR TOURISM PURPOSES

The legal rules governing tourism in Spain fall within the competence of the Administration of the ‘Autonomous Communities’ or Regions of Spain as opposed to that of the central State Government, which means that different regulations exist in each such Region.

Following suit with other Regions, Andalucía has recently published a Decree (28/2016 of 2 February) on dwellings to be used for tourism purposes.

This and similar legal rules of other Regions are intended as a reaction to what was formerly known as “illegal holiday apartments”, and they have become very important given the growth experienced by the commercialisation of private homes for use by tourists during very short periods. Such an unstoppable growth is due to the straightforwardness and immediateness of the electronic means which are now used for the marketing of these homes. Thus, what the owners of dwellings do is that they cede their private homes for very short periods (sometimes a few days) to companies which, through their own website, channel the agreement between the owner and the tourist, who normally don’t know each other or only meet when the tourist arrives on a prearranged date to occupy the dwelling. Even payment of the agreed price is also managed through that portal.

The traders who operate resorts of holiday accommodation regard this (as they did the so-called “illegal holiday apartments”) as unfair competition as, while these traders need to maintain an appropriate services structure, staff and facilities, in addition to bearing a considerable tax burden, short-term occupation of private homes by tourists, where services which may be considered inappropriate are also offered, do not bear the same taxes or can simply dodge them easily.

But the owners of dwellings have the ancestral, legally-recognised right to rent out their homes, even for short periods.

Therefore, the intention behind these rules is to establish a distinction between a short-term rental of a dwelling and the cession of a “dwelling” (whatever its size) as if it were a holiday accommodation unit.

This Decree is therefore intended -more or less successfully- to differentiate between these two legal activities.

We must therefore stress the elements which identify and differentiate each type of right, although it must first be noted that all these rights relate to “viviendas” (dwellings) understood as the first definition contained in the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language, i.e.:

An enclosed and covered place built to be inhabited by persons”.

Therefore, when we commonly talk about a dwelling, we refer to its physical meaning, i.e. a building constructed to be inhabited by persons, but when we do so in the legal context of the Decree mentioned in this article, we do so to differentiate between the different ways of occupying and using that building, be it a dwelling intended to be used mainly and permanently as living accommodation or to be enjoyed during a short period or used as what we now regard as “holiday accommodation”.

Articles 1542 and 1543 of the Civil Code provide that a lease can relate to things, works or services, and that, where it relates to things, one of the parties undertakes to grant the other party the right to enjoy or use a ‘specific thing’ during a certain period of time. And, obviously, the ‘thing’ can be a dwelling, whatever its size and characteristics (villa, apartment, studio, mansion, etc).

For the purposes of the current Urban Lease Act (L.A.U. for its Spanish initials), leases on a dwellings relate to those intended to be used as a “place of habitual residence” and to the “seasonal rental of dwellings”. Namely, it is their intended use that characterises them.

But where the cession of a building/dwelling has a different intended use, such as the provision of accommodation services, this is no longer a lease but an accommodation services contract.

For this reason, certain clarifications should now be made concerning the elements of each one of these contractual rights:

I.- CONTRACT OF OCCUPATION BY WAY OF A LEASE FOR HABITUAL RESIDENCE PURPOSES.

MANSION

Given the social relevance of the primary need to fulfil the right to living accommodation for persons and families, this has been regulated in Spain with a very interventionist role of the State, so that the rules and conditions governing the cession of use of a dwelling have to a large degree been regulated very strictly and in great detail by special laws, to such an extent that, in the tenant’s sole discretion and enforceable on the lessor, the lease can continue for up to three years even if the contract was entered into for a shorter period. Such lease contracts where the intended use is not a seasonal rental are not the subject of this analysis.

II.- CONTRACTS RELATING TO THE SEASONAL OCCUPATION OF DWELLINGS.

HIPOTECA       In addition to the lease contract mentioned in the last preceding section, the current Urban Lease act (LAU) contemplates and regulates those contracts relating to the rental of urban property which are entered into on a seasonal basis, be it the summer or otherwise.

That is, occupation of the dwelling is granted for a “specific season” such as the summer season or, rather, the summer holidays or any other purpose which does not require a long-term stay.

III.- CONTRACT FOR THE OCCUPATION OF DWELLINGS FOR TOURISM PURPOSES OR AS TOURIST ACCOMMODATION SERVICES.

 This is the kind of contract referred to in, and governed by, Tourism Laws (particularly, in this case, the aforementioned Decree of the Junta de Andalucía).

Therefore, the aforementioned lease contract for habitual residence aside, the purpose of this analysis is to be able to tell an ORDINARY SEASONAL LEASE (where a private individual rents out their dwelling to a person –tourist or otherwise– during, for example, the summer season) from THE CESSION OF A DWELLING FOR IT TO BE OCCUPIED AS “HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION”.

And, to do so, there is a preliminary point to stress, as it is often that contracts, rights or business deals are called something they actually are not in an attempt to dodge the regulations applicable to that specific legal transaction, but this is not admissible from a legal point of view because contracts and rights are what they are, not what they are called; or, as Spanish Case Law has determined:

Contracts have the legal nature which arises out of their binding content, regardless of what the parties thereto may choose to call them”.

Therefore, as far as this analysis is concerned, calling what in legal terms is a right to occupy a holiday accommodation unit a “seasonal lease” (or vice versa) does not mean that we can avoid the rules which in fact apply to each kind of right according to its own legal nature.

For the sake of -an almost impossible- brevity, we need to define or at least delimit when the owner of a “dwelling” located on residential land may only operate their dwelling as holiday accommodation and has to comply with the legal requirements to do so. Or, inversely, when they may not cede it as an ordinary seasonal lease.

This will be mandatorily regarded as the operation for tourism-related purposes of a dwelling located on residential land where some or all of the following circumstances occur:

  • The dwelling is marketed or promoted through holiday services channels where the latter is understood to mean travel agencies, companies providing holiday services or acting as an intermediary in respect thereof and any channels including the possibility of booking accommodation.

It is very important to highlight these provisions of the Decree as therein lies the, in my opinion, main motive for approving this legal rule, as it further addresses what triggered the old claim of “legal” holiday resort operators who felt that short-term occupation by tourists of residential homes constituted unfair completion and, also, the public Administration’s concerns about certain “perils” in an activity which had not been specifically regulated, on the one hand, and even the possibility of tax evasion on the other.

And it is the promotional and commercial use of the Internet to achieve deals in respect of such dwellings through the so-called “holiday services channels” that constitutes this triggering factor.

Just type the words “rental of apartment by days” or something similar into any Internet search engine. You will see the amount of pages offering services for the owner of a dwelling to cede the occupation thereof through that website. We know that the use of such websites is often monitored by the “competent tourism administration” in the assumption that this is a holiday services channel and, therefore, the user’s dwellings are being marketed through this channel, thus engaging in a clandestine operation of tourist accommodation deserving of large fines.

So much so that a previous draft of Andalucía’s Decree on dwellings for tourist use dated in 2014 pointed out, as does the current Decree now in force, that the growth of this activity was due, among other things, to:

The appearance of new forms of marketing which are direct and have no intermediaries, particularly numerous Internet portals…”, to such an extent that said previous draft Decree from 2014 took the tourism-related purpose for granted where the service is offered “through any advertising medium, inclusive of the Internet or any other new technology…”.

Does this mean that any person offering the rental of their dwelling for a longer or a shorter period directly or through an Internet portal, even if they do so regularly, is engaging in a tourist accommodation activity, or that the dwelling has thereby become what the new tourist rule we are discussing calls a residential home for tourism purposes?

I honestly believe it does not.- It is not the fact of being marketed through the Internet that defines a tourist accommodation activity, but the fact that the property is actually used as tourist accommodation.

Tourist accommodation is fundamentally defined or characterised by the union of two essential elements; the “physical accommodation itself” and the “ancillary services of the tourism industry” or, as set forth in article 40.2 of Andalucía’s Tourism Act: “Any establishment to be used for the provision of tourist accommodation services shall comply with the requirements concerning facilities, furniture, services and, where applicable, those applicable according to the type, category, form or specialty to which they relate”.

Consequently, properties occupied without any added services typical of the tourism industry being provided, few as they may be in this case, may not be regarded as tourist accommodation.

So we should now look at the similarities and differences between one kind of right and the other.

Conflict has certainly arisen in the past and will continue to arise, albeit more rarely now, when somebody tries to avoid complying with this new regulation on dwellings located on residential land but including tourist accommodation services and when this is disguised behind an allegedly lawful “seasonal lease”.

We are back to what I mentioned above: contractual obligations are determined by their own nature, not by what we choose to call them. If the right being contracted for is one to occupy a tourist accommodation unit (i.e. a building which is legally suitable to such end and where the ancillary services typical of the tourism accommodation industry are provided), then the contract will not constitute a seasonal lease and, if the intention is to make it appear as such, this will be done in breach of the obligations inherent in the kind of contract now analysed and the breaching party may be subject to severe administrative sanctions.

This certainly does not mean that those who market their seasonal lease, whether directly or through specialised traders (such as estate agents or the like), cannot do so through the Internet or other media, as this electronic medium is not exclusively reserved for lodging activities.

Despite the efforts that went into the legal rules, there can always be a point of conflict between these two types of contracts, hence the Decree under study -article 3, “Definition”-, rather than define the nature of accommodation in a dwelling for tourism purposes clearly, exactly and accurately, simply provides a non-exhaustive list of the characteristics by which it is presumably delimited.

OBJECTIVE DELIMITATION OF “DWELLINGS FOR TOURIST USE”

MANSION

The delimiting (defining) characteristics from a legal point of view of DWELLINGS FOR TOURIST USE -which as such must be registered with Andalucía’s Tourism Registry- are, according to the rule herein discussed, as follows:

  • These dwellings must be located on “residential” land. While excluding those located on “touristic land” may appear to make no sense, it does, as in that case they are already obligated to be used for tourism-related purposes as defined in other rules.
• It must be presumed (and can therefore be otherwise proved) that the following dwellings are used for tourism-related purposes:
* Those offered for a certain price on a habitual basis and for tourism-related purposes.
* Those marketed or promoted through holiday services channels.

         * On the other hand, the following dwellings shall be regarded as not for                 tourism-related purposes:
• Those ceded gratuitously or without any economic consideration.
• Those hired for more than two months.
• Those operated under other kinds of holiday accommodation activity.
• Where the deal relates to a set of three or more dwellings in the same building or group of buildings, adjacent or otherwise, in which case the regulations governing holiday apartments will be applicable.

Essential requirements to operate your dwelling as a “TOURIST RESIDENTIAL” dwelling.

1.– Located on residential land.
2.- Ceded for a certain price or an economic consideration.
3.- Maximum cession time not in excess of two months.
4.- Operation by the same owner relates to one or two dwellings at most in the same building or group of buildings, adjacent or otherwise.
5.- Each dwelling to be rented out for use by no more than the authorised number of occupiers according to its type.

6.- REGISTRATION WITH ANDALUCÍA’S TOURISM REGISTRY:
The process starts by filing a Statement of Compliance (Declaración Responsable) with the Administration in which the owner states that they are compliant with the legal requirements to carry out this activity, particularly:
   6.1.– Contact details and address for notification purposes of the owner of the property.
  6.2.- Identity of the person “operating” the dwelling and title by which they do so if they are not the owner.
  6.3.– Registration with Andalucía’s Tourism Registry; and
  6.4.– Licence or notice of the activity to the Town Council.

7.– MAXIMUM OCCUPATION OF THE DWELLINGS:
 7.1.– If The dwelling is ceded in its entirety, the number of occupiers must not exceed that reflected in the municipal Habitability (First Occupation) Licence or, in any event, fifteen occupiers altogether and four per bedroom.
 7.2.- If the dwelling is ceded by bedroom, the owner must live in it and the number of occupiers may not be more than 6 altogether or more than four per bedroom.

8.– REQUIREMENTS AND COMMON SERVICES:
  8.1.- The dwelling must be “legal”, which in principle means that it must have obtained the municipal Habitability (1st Occupation) Licence and must be compliant with the technical and quality specifications demanded for such dwellings.
8.2.- The rooms must have direct ventilation to the outside or patios and some system to protect them against the glare or exterior lighting.
  8.3.– It must be sufficiently furnished and equipped with the necessary domestic appliances.
8.4.- It must have a heating system if it is occupied between the months of October to April inclusive, and a cooling system if it is occupied between May and September inclusive.
  8.5.– First aid kit.
  8.6.– Tourist information must be available (leisure areas, cafes, restaurants, etc.).
  8.7.- There must be claims and complaints forms in it to be made available to the tourism authorities.
  8.8.– A visible “tourist dwelling” sign.
8.9.– It must be cleaned at least before the check-in and after the check-out of guests.
  8.10.- Linens and furnishings, etc.
8.11.– Owner’s telephone number in case there is a problem.
  8.12.– Information and instructions of use of electrical appliances and machines.
8.13.– Information concerning use of the facilities, whether pets are allowed in the house, smoking rules, etc.

Obviously, this article does not contain full, specific details but only general information.

9.- TAXES.
The owner of these dwellings becomes the operator thereof and must observe the applicable legal rules, as it receives a rent and has to pay for utilities and services and will therefore make a profit or incur a loss, so they must file tax returns, quarterly tax statements, withholdings, etc. This activity is also liable for V.A.T. at a reduced rate of 10%, with the formal obligations this entails.

OBJECTIVE DELIMITATION OF SEASONAL LEASE (SUMMER OR ANY OTHER SEASON).

renuncia 2

Although seasonal lease contracts have been traditionally entered into between the owner direct and another person to whom the owner has been in any way introduced, or through a estate agency, this does not mean that the owner themselves or an intermediary -particularly a real estate agent- cannot undertake the job of promoting and marketing the seasonal lease contract. That is, Internet marketing does not necessarily mean “marketing through holiday services channels”.

As mentioned at the beginning, the differentiating line between marketing a building-dwelling by entering into a “seasonal lease contract” and doing it in respect of the same building-dwelling by entering into the “accommodation contract” to which the regulations herein discussed refer are not clear, as we do not have an accurate definition of each contract. And it is an inaccurate delimitation as aforesaid because both buildings are dwellings which are to be occupied by persons, both are located on residential land and the duration of the agreement is in both cases more or less short, or at least it is in many cases.

Consequently, in trying to delimit the meaning of a seasonal lease as opposed to the meaning of a cession of a dwelling by an accommodation contract, rather than using a legal definition of each right we will have to look at the integral elements -or, in this case, particularly the excluding elements – of one kind of contractual right or the other.

Thus, without being exhaustive, a contract will relate to a seasonal lease where the duration of the contract is in excess of two months (although leases with a shorter duration do exist) and, at the same time, the ancillary services inherent in the accommodation, etc. are not provided.

On the other hand, a contract relating to tourist accommodation in a residential dwelling fundamentally requires the provision of the services typical of the tourist accommodation industry, even if these are restricted to those mentioned in the Decree about which we are speaking. If these services fail to be provided, then the contract is a seasonal lease.

We mentioned at the beginning that Andalucía’s Tourism Administration is putting particular focus on monitoring holiday services channels on the Internet, to such an extent that inspections and sanctions have been frequent in respect of accommodation complexes with several units; but now, after the coming into force of this Decree, there is no doubt that a revision will take place, on what is regarded as holiday services channels, of singular dwellings where tourists are being lodged without meeting the requirements of this law, and the relevant sanctions will obviously be imposed on those who contravene it.

Having said the above as regards the requirements of a seasonal lease as opposed to contracts relating to accommodation in a residential home, we have to say that the “season” does not have a specific temporal limitation, i.e. it does not have a minimum or a maximum duration. A season rather refers to the leaseholder’s need, or mere suitability, to occupy the dwelling “temporarily”, without the ancillary services of the tourism industry on the one hand, and without intending to fulfil the primordial and primary need of persons and their families for living accommodation, as in that case the contract would be an ordinary contract of habitual residence.

Summer is typically the season to which a seasonal lease relates, but it can be any other, such as a period of time during which a person needs to do a temporary job (e.g. six months, one year, etc.).

Therefore, a season of less than two months can exist (without this entailing that the contract is for lodging) or it can be longer than 11 months (without it being a lease for habitual residence).

And we highlight these two time limits -less than two months and more than eleven months – because it has been traditionally interpreted that, by stipulating one or the other, the mandatory rules of a specific contract can be circumvented at will. Thus, “eleven-month” seasonal lease contracts have for decades been offered by lessors in the belief that they could thereby exclude an “ordinary” lease for habitual residence and its mandatory -for the lessor- extensions, which used to be indefinite, then became mandatory up to five years and currently up to three years, depending on the date of execution of the contract. However, those who tried (and still try without being aware of the consequences) to simulate a seasonal contract by merely specifying its duration as eleven non-extendable months, found that the courts had many years ago ruled that, despite its name and appearance, such a contract actually related to an ordinary lease for habitual residence purposes, with an indefinite extension until the decease of the lessor, and even until the decease of the lessor’s spouse and children in many cases.

Therefore, whether a short-term or a long-term seasonal lease is chosen, a reason to occupy the dwelling temporarily has to exist.

It must be stressed, therefore, that a seasonal lease contract has to refer to a “building-dwelling” which may or may not be furnished, although logic dictates that it needs to be furnished in the case of a short-term seasonal lease, and there is also an important security requirement for the leaseholder to pay to the lessor an amount equivalent to two months’ rent as security deposit to answer for any possible damage, which the lessor must deposit with the Public Treasury of Andalucía and refund without interest when the lease has finished.

Current State regulations in Spain excluded this requirement in the case of seasonal leases, but competence in this matter now lies with the Autonomous Regions of Spain and, in the case of Andalucía, its current legislation obligates the lessor to demand, under their own responsibility, that the leaseholder pay a two-month security deposit irrespective of whether the seasonal lease is for fifteen days, one month or longer. This really is contradictory in addition to illogical, but this is the legal rule that must be complied with and Andalucía’s tax administration is currently pursuing non-compliance and imposing sanctions on breaching lessors.

Also in this case, as in others, the rents obtained by the lessor are subject to tax payable to the Public Treasury of the State.

CONCLUSIONS:

A cession for valuable consideration in Andalucía (and on similar terms in other autonomous regions of Spain) of buildings-dwellings located on residential land may be formalised by entering into an accommodation contract, a seasonal lease contract or an “ordinary” lease contract (to fulfil persons’ primary and habitual need for living accommodation), but the choice of one or another right or contract is not free, as it has to be made based on complying with the minimum legal requirements applicable in each case.

This is an article of legal opinion

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Francisco J. Lizarza
Lawyer
Lizarza Abogados S.L.P.