Buying a holiday home with the view to letting it out to holiday-makers to cover mortgage and other costs is a common theme for Brits buying abroad. However if you are planning to make a financial return by renting out your property there are things that you need to now before you take the plunge!
There are various pieces of legislation in many different countries that prevent properties being let out as tourist lets. The idea behind these laws is usually to protect the hotel and holiday accommodation industries and to ensure that owners pay a government tax on the rentals.
Spain and its Balearic and Canary Islands are particularly affected by restrictions that can prevent owners being able to legally rent out their property to tourists. Mallorca, Minorca, Tenerife, Catalona and Murcia are some of the places where property owners risk fines running into tens of thousands of pounds for breaching the laws, which are now being more strongly enforced.
Spain is not the only affected country however. The French cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille and the German city of Berlin are just a few of the other places that have faced a crackdown on tourist lets. New York also has similar restrictions in place and in Portugal it is mandatory to have a holiday rental licence for property lets of 30 days or less.
It is not all doom and gloom however as there are of course many other places where your rental plans will be perfectly legal or there may be alternative options available to you even if your property is within a restricted area. To prevent being caught out however, the advice is to instruct a reliable, independent lawyer when you purchase your property.
Your lawyer will be able to advise you from the outset if there are any restrictions that may scupper your plans of renting your property to tourists. In some cases they may be able to assist you in obtaining any licenses or permissions that could allow you to legally rent your property in this way.
If you require advice in relation to purchasing or renting out your overseas property, Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with an independent lawyer to assist you.