Six months after the introduction of new regulations regarding holiday properties in Andalucía, figures show that in some municipalities such as Nerja, Rincón de la Victoria and Casares, there are nowmore places available in rental properties than in hotels.
Self-catering properties now represent 50 per cent of holiday accommodation on the Costa del Sol and 30 per cent of hotel places in the province. The figures refer to rental properties whose owners have complied with the regulations and have registered them with the Tourism Register of Andalucía, and they show that there are currently 26,321 places available in 5,321 holiday rental properties.
However, during the six months since the new regulation came into force, there have been more than 10,000 applications for these types of properties to be registered, and 5,321 of them have completed the whole process, explains the Junta de Andalucía’s Turism and Culture delegate in Malaga, Monsalud Galindo.
The legalisation of this type of holiday accommodation has transformed the sector, although the figures show that it has not prevented the hotels registering record figures, in Malaga city and elsewhere in the province. This raises the question of what would have happened if there had not been as many rental properties available in places such as Nerja, where the hotels have maintained high occupancy levels of around 90 per cent throughout the summer, and where there are now more beds available in rental properties than in the hotels.
Figures from the Tourism Department show that there are 677 rental properties in Nerja, with capacity for 3,220 visitors, compared with the 25 hotels and their 2,910 places.
The situation in Rincón de la Victoria is similar, with an almost equal supply of rental properties and hotels with 551 places. In this town about 100 properties have been registered as holiday accommodation.
In the large tourist resorts, where there are plenty of hotels, the proportions are different, at least for the time being, although nobody is denying that in some places there could be greater equality in terms of holiday in the future.
In Malaga city, the number of places available in rental accommodation is currently half of those in the 72 hotels, not including hostels and pensions, which total 8,562 beds.
At the top of the list in this respect is Marbella, where more than 1,000 properties have been registered during the six months since the regulations came into force. There are now more than 6,000 places available in this type of accommodation, compared with 14,593 in hotels.
As the proportion of rental accommodation in the province grows (at present the number of places available in registered rental properties is just over 30 per cent of that in hotels), greater vigilance is needed regarding properties which are rented to tourists.
“We are permanently monitoring the different Internet platforms which market holiday properties, and we have had meetings with some of them, to detect properties which are illegal and we have taken action against about a dozen,” says Monsalud Galindo.
She also admits that this situation is having an effect on local people, who are starting to register complaints for the first time.
“The complaints we are receiving about the holiday properties are mainly from people who are disturbed by noise and bother. We always advise them to ring the police, who will issue a report and we can then evaluate the complaint,” says the Tourism delegate, who stresses that when visitors fail to comply with their obligations under Tourism Law 13/2011, especially the regulations regarding coexistence, the people or companies who are managing the properties they are renting can demand that the clients leave within 24 hours. “And of course they can take other action, such as taking them to court,” she points out.
Monsalud Galindo says that the new regulations have provided property owners with protection, because although this type of holiday accommodation always existed, it was not covered by the law.
Her department is also beginning to receive complaints from people who see that neighbours are renting their properties for holidays, but have not registered them.
“Our evaluation of the decree after these first six months is very positive. The principal objectives are being met, and those are to provide the property owners and their clients with legal security, guarantee certain standards of accommodation and collaborate in the fight against fraud,” she explains.