Q&A: Understanding Catalonia’s new tourist apartment regulations

Flags of Spain, Barcelona and Catalonia

Q: What is the Decree Law 3/2023 that Catalonia has recently approved? 

A: The Decree Law 3/2023 is a new legal framework that requires tourist apartments in 262 municipalities of Catalonia to obtain a prior urbanistic license and tourism authorization. It aims to address housing shortages and regulate the short-term rental market more strictly.

Q: Why are these new regulations being implemented? 

A: The Catalonian government ensures that housing becomes a fundamental right for its residents. The decree is part of broader efforts to tackle the challenges of housing accessibility, which the proliferation of tourist apartments has exacerbated.

Q: Which areas are affected by this new decree?

 A: The regulations target 140 ‘tense market’ municipalities where housing shortages are pronounced and areas with a high density of tourist apartments—specifically, those with more than five tourist apartments per hundred inhabitants.

Q: What will happen to existing tourist apartments under these new rules? 

A: Owners of existing tourist apartments must apply for a new license within five years to continue operating legally. If they fail to comply with the new licensing requirements, they must cease their rental activities.

Q: What are the legal criticisms of the decree? 

A: Some legal experts argue that the decree is overly interventionist. They suggest that it focuses on regulating property use rather than facilitating better access to housing or investing in improving the housing stock.

Q: How is the tourist apartment sector responding to the changes?

 A: The sector has voiced strong opposition, describing the decree as rushed and potentially ineffective. Industry associations worry about the substantial adverse economic impact, including the loss of jobs and the potential decline in tourism-related revenue.

Q: Can you explain the economic significance of tourist apartments in Catalonia? 

A: Tourist apartments are a significant part of Catalonia’s economy, particularly in Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona. They contribute to the GDP, generate substantial tax revenue, and support thousands of jobs. The sector also indirectly benefits local commerce and the hospitality industry.

Q: What are the predicted outcomes of this new regulation? 

A: While the regulation aims to address housing issues, there is concern about the potential loss of up to 40% of Catalonia’s regulated tourist accommodation, with broader economic ramifications, including a possible reduction in the GDP from tourism and job losses across related sectors.

Need Help Navigating the New Tourist Apartment Regulations in Catalonia?

The recent Decree Law 3/2023 may have left you with more questions than answers. How do you secure your tourist apartment’s future in the face of these changes? Worry not! At Costaluz, we’re well-versed in the intricacies of the new regulations and stand ready to guide you through obtaining the necessary licenses.

Keep the complexities of legal compliance from disrupting your business. Contact us today, and let’s ensure your tourist apartment continues to welcome guests for years to come!

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