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Hard Facts About The rental situation in Barcelona

Posted by Urbane International on May 6, 2021

Hard Facts About The Rental Situation in Barcelona

It´s not difficult to know that Barcelona, in the last 10 years, has become one of the most attractive hotspots for tourists all over the world. People from all parts are always seeking a chance to set foot in this marvellous city filled with “sun and fun”. And it is not difficult either, to know that with the high influx of tourists comes a high demand for lodging. That´s why there are always many investors looking to pour money into the tourist rental markets. But being able to make a successful business out of this and be legal at the same time is the tricky part. If you are familiar with Spain, you should know that adding many levels of bureaucracy makes being a business owner in Spain such fun! While we always ask that you consult with a person of professional capacity, this article will serve as a small guide to help you on your bureaucratic venture with the Spanish government.

  1. Who must apply for a tourist rental license?

Given the recent attitude of locals towards the so-called “tourism epidemic”, resulting in pointed questions being asked of portals such as Airbnb and HomeAway, the Barcelona government has implemented many measures to try to control the short-term housing market. In fact, recently, Airbnb and apartments illegally listed there were slapped with a hefty fine. BUT! There´s a really common misconception that everyone has to have a tourist rental license to let out their property. Luckily this is not true. You will only have to register for a license if you wish to let your property for periods shorter than 31 days. No specific license is required for longer-term rentals.

In addition, there are restrictions that you have to know. The City council are currently no longer issuing new licenses all over Barcelona. That means purchasing a property that has already been awarded a license or buying a license from someone who already has one is the only option for those wanting to offer short term rentals in these parts.

  1. What are the steps?

Once having the license, you will be given access to an online platform, where you will have to register all the contact information, passport number and duration of stay for all individuals who rent your property. The information will be automatically registered with the local police. Also, you have to collect a tourist tax from each guest over 16, currently amounting to 0.65 euros.

Regarding other regulations, the property has to conform to certain requirements determined by the local town hall, including things like fixed air conditioning in each room, a fixed heater in each room for rental from October to April, adequate furniture, full cleaning service prior to each new rental, …

If you are a non-resident, all of your income from rentals will be subject to a flat rate of income tax of 24% (19% if you are from the EU).

  1. Other cans of worms?

Of course, if you´re already accustomed to the rental business, you will not be a stranger to bad tenants who do not take care of your flat at all. There are many measures to combat this such as asking for deposits but it still is a big certainty. You probably know the drill. Also, with students and young people contributing to the big population of tenants, it is not hard to imagine all the disturbance they will cause to the neighbours. Many tourists go here to enjoy the nightlife, they go back home in the middle of the night, often continuing their fun with loud music in the communal areas disturbing everyone. As a consequence, several buildings as part of the rules of the community have forbidden tourist rental. This often leads to a lot of conflicts, which is definitely something you don´t want to get involved with.

In addition, if you do not live in Barcelona, you will need the help of agencies to take care of your business. Oftentimes, it is truly a quest to find a really good agency to who you can fully entrust your property. That is where we come in. At Urbane, we offer the best service and transparency to both tenants and owners alike.

The last can of worms is that there are not many good properties on the market with a tourist license. It is really a tough battle to fight.

  1. Is it worth the money?

Surely it is worth it! Or else Barcelona would not be such a sought-after city for all the real estate investors. The rental market is always on the rise as tourism and migration is ever-growing. Make the best decision with Urbane International Real Estate today!


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