Aparthotels - Touristic Apartment Legal Requirements

Published on 6/12/2007 in Buying Process

According to the definition contained in provision 1.1 of Royal Decree 2877/1982 dated the 15th of October in 1982, they are considered as touristic apartments and therefore are subject to the regulations expounded in that Royal Decree:

"All those blocks or groups of apartments, and those groups of villas, houses, bungalows and similars which

  1. Are marketed by a company for the renting, in a regular basis.
  2. Are duly fitted with furnitures, installations, services and equipments for inmediate use,
  3. Are intended for vacational or touristic use.
  4. Have been previously classified by the Government through a formal recognition of their characteristics and categories, before being opened and run”.

They can be offered for its occupation through the category of blocks and groups, being understood as block : those building/s of apartments which are being offered as a whole under one single commercial exploitation unit, and being understood as group: the number of touristic apartments which are located in one or several buildings, and/or bungalows, villas, houses or similars, which are offerd as touristic accomodation under one single commercial exploitation unit.

There are several classification categories for touristic apartments regarding their installations, furniture, equipment and services. (like the stars in hotel accomodations).

The companies who exploit blocks or groups of touristic apartments will have to deposit a guarantee in order to secure the correct provision of those services which have been agreed with the clients according to the planned business traffic and according to the technical means that they have got in order to develop their activity. The amount and conditions will be fixed by administrative regulations.

This guarantee is not obligatory to the partners of the company are same people or companies who own the apartments, neither to to the Property Manager or Real Estate Agents, duly registered, who, nevertheless, will have to inform the Government on their condition as a Company with touristic traffic .

If the touristic exploitation of the touristic apartments is not directly made by the owners, the relationship between the owners and the exploitation company must be contained in a written contract where the contractual parties will freely determine the conditions. Also, this circumnstance needs to be communicated to the Governemnt through a common writing.

IMPOTANT NOTICE: When you are buying a touristic apartment you need to be clearly informed on that feature and its implications. It has been a commun “game” to sell touristic apartments as 100% residential and be infomed later on your unknown property rights limitations and administrative obligations for big surprise of buyers. This has been communly used by developers to build “residential” units ( always at a a higher price) on “touristic” floor. Check on work license to see what kind of building model they are allowed to build in there and what is the classification of the land where your apartment is being built. If you find now that you have been missold a touristic apartment as residential ( no mention of touristic classification in publicity or contract) , you are entitled to cancellation with refunding of deposit, legal interests and compensation before completion. You can also put forward a criminal lawsuit because of the fraud involved.

The printed publicity of the apartments need to provide unmistakably full info on services included in the price and those services which are optional.

The right to use the apartment includes the use of the apartment itself and also the enjoyment of attached services and installations and those of the block or group where the apartment is located.

Prices will be freely stablished for different months and seasons with no more obligation than notifying them to the Touristic Branch of the Autonomous Community´s governemnt and respecting the officially setted maximum prices for every season . This information needs to be sent in an annual basis for the proper information and knowledge of the consumer/user. These maximum prices cannot be increased within every year

These prices need to be accepted in writing by the client, and any agreement against the Law regulating this will be null and void.

These services will always be included in the price:

  1. Water supply.
  2. Electricity supply.
  3. Supply of energy for kitchen, heating and hot water.
  4. Apartment, furnitures, installations and equipment in clean conditions and according to what is stablished in the Estatutes.
  5. Rubbish collection.
  6. Customer care regarding every service, both obligatory and voluntary, when they have been accepted by the client.

The following communal services are also included within the price of the touristic accomodation:

  1. Pools, gardens and commun terraces.
  2. Sun loungers, awnings, chairs, swings and pools, gardens and beach furniture.
  3. Playgrounds and their installations.
  4. Outdoor parking places, when they are not under watching or reservated.

The extra services, non included in the price, can be offered, with no further requirements than the duly publicity of their prices. It must be clearly stated that they are not obligatory, and full issuing of payment receipt is also obligatory. The use conditions of them need to be previously and clearly agreed.

The communal hotel services cannot be priced appart, and the contract can never be linked to the obligatory use of them or integrate the price of them within the renting price. Any agreement on the contrary is null and void. It is valid if the contract explicits a price for the cleaning of the apartment as a different service, it will never be higher than a daily apartment renting rate.

The Touristic Companies will be liable of this complementary services even when they are performed by third parties.

The contractual period will be freely agreed by the parties , never inferior to three days as a minimum and never superior to forty five days as a maximum. Excluding posible extensions freely agreed by parties.

Written by: Maria de Castro

About the author:

Maria de Castro is a Spanish Lawyer and the Director of the Law Firm www.costaluzlawyers.es.

Costa Luz Lawyers are contract and consumer real estate law specialists covering all parts of Spain. You can contact Maria at mldecastro@costaluzlawyers.es

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