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Rental regulation and tax changes in Spain

As all property owners renting out their property in Spain know, a new holiday rental law came into force in 2016, regulating the short term rental industry and adding in 2017 that owners also had to register passport details of all the guests and submit them to the police station. This change forced thousands of owners, who had not been declaring their rental income to register and start paying tax here in Spain.

The next step of this process to make the industry more transparent, and ensure owners are paying tax, is that property portals and estate agencies doing rentals have been obliged to pass their clients’ tax details over to the Spanish Tax Authorities from the 1st of January. They are being asked to file these retroactively, going back to January 2018, so it’s very important that all your taxes have been paid and you are properly declaring your rental income. Find out more

The government has also been trying to get involved with long-term rentals and passed a new law on the 19th of December to try and lower long-term rental prices and make the market more stable. However, this law only stood for 35 days, due to concerns about local governments setting a limit on rental prices in urban areas being an overreaching measure. This means that the law regarding rentals has gone back to the original law, which states a 3 years mandatory rental renewal plus one year tacit renewal. Experts believe that the government will revisit this topic during this year to boost tenants’ rights, but for now it’s back to the status quo. Find out more

If you have any doubts about renting out your property and the laws or regulations in place, please contact us. We are property management and rental experts, with many years’ experience helping owners maximise income from their properties and we can help you register your property and make sure you’re complying with everything in the right way.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for owners who want to rent out their property for holiday rentals and long-term contracts for 2019, so please get in touch and find out how we can help you to start generating rental income.

Spring clean your home

Spring has sprung here in Spain and we’ve had some beautiful weather, with warm temperatures and sunny skies. This is the time of year that we always advise our property owners to have a bit of a spring clean and take a look if there are any maintenance tasks that need to be done.

Although winters in Spain are mild, when there aren’t people in the property and when it is cooler and wetter and the wind gets up, problems can develop. So either go down to the property and assess it, or get a property maintenance company such as HomeCareontheWeb to do it for you.

We start with an inspection, which checks windows, doors, paint work and shades outside the property. We check for signs of damp inside and out, as this can often develop over the winter. We then look for signs of wear and tear and things that need to be refreshed or replaced before you welcome new holiday makers. The key things we look at are the bedding and towels, the paintwork and the furniture inside and out. Then we will send a report over to the property owner and log all the details in the owners’ area on the website, with pictures and suggestions on what should be done.

One of the very common maintenance tasks, which many people overlook, is cleaning the filters on your air conditioning units. Under the new holiday rental regulation, air conditioning is essential if you are renting out your property and it’s something that rental clients really need. However for owners it can be expensive and troublesome, breaking down, not cooling as well as it should and using a lot of energy.

You will be very pleased to know, that by cleaning or replacing a dirty filter, you can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by between five and fifteen percent. Cleaning the filters also improves the performance of the unit and so guests will need to have it on for less time, reducing those bills even further.

Air conditioning filters should be cleaned or replaced every year, depending on the model and how much you use it. Make sure it’s on your list of spring cleaning tasks to prepare your property for the summer season. Check out this home cooling infographic with energy saving tips on how you can help guests stay comfortable in your property this summer, while minimising the impact on the environment and your wallet.

The annual spring clean and routine maintenance is very important to keeping your property in good condition, getting to grips with any problems early and avoiding any nasty surprises. Our cleaning team can undertake an annual spring clean of the property, giving it a real deep clean, air it and get it ready for the first arrivals of the season.

By taking our property management and maintenance package, your property will be cared for and looked after by professionals who really care. Wherever you are, you can relax in the knowledge that we’ve got it covered! Contact us to find out more, or request a quote.

Advice for property owners from the UK

The whole world is talking about Brexit and many people are worried about where it will leave those of us from the UK who own properties here in Spain. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to know how the renegotiations will go and whether we will leave with a deal on the 29th of March, but we’ve been reassured by the advice from the British Consulate and the clauses in the agreement which protect the rights of UK nationals living in Spain.

The British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley spoke to Spanish paper El Pais in December about the agreement which was proposed by the EU and said “Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain”. We know of course that this deal was rejected by MPs, but hopefully, these key points will also be included in any renegotiated deal as well.

The British Consulate did a series of events around the Costa del Sol last month, speaking to British expats there about Brexit and there is another Brexit talk in Manilva on the 6th of February. These talks were a great way for residents to ask their questions and the overwhelming message was don’t worry, but just make sure that you are legally registered to be living or owning property here in Spain. Make sure you have your Foreigners’ Identification Number (NIE) and are registered on the “padron”, which is like the council register for residents. Find out about the residency requirements on the Gov UK website.

It is expected that anyone living in Spain before March will be protected, but that moving to an EU country after that date may be more difficult. It is unlikely that holidaymakers will be effected by any rule changes, so tourism should continue to be strong, no matter what happens. The property market is already strong with non-EU citizens buying properties here, so while there may be a few additional barriers, it shouldn’t be a big issue.

The uncertainty seems to be around those retiring here who want state provided healthcare, which is covered by a reciprocal agreement, but may not be in the future.

There are people who are selling up and moving back to the UK to be on the safe side, but many more who are taking a wait and see approach and believing that both the UK and the Spanish government want to keep the positive relationship between the two countries and protect the rights of expats living in Spain. The Costa del Sol has been a popular destination for tourists and foreign residents since long before the UK joined the EU and we believe will continue to be for many years to come. Quite how the politicians will sort it out remains to be seen, but we are continuing to enjoy the wonderful way of life here and enjoy income from our rental properties and we hope you will continue to do the same.

Founder of HomeCareontheWeb Tony Sidebottom commented; “This on going situation is frustrating for all of us, as everyday the news tells us yet another situtaion or story, whilst we the public and businesses carry on regardless.

One thing is very clear is that no matter if Brexit happens, or even if it doesn’t, we at HomeCareontheWeb are here to ensure your property and guests are professionally taken care of.”

If you need support with registering yourself, making sure that you are legally protected and managing your property while you are in the UK, we can help. Our comprehensive property management and maintenance packages include lots of support and advice for our owners, so please feel free to contact us and make sure you are covered for any eventuality.

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to an excellent year ahead.

What was your New Year’s Resolution? If you own a property on the Costa del Sol, then getting more rentals in 2019 should be right there alongside going to the gym, getting a new job, or spending more time with the family.

If you are only getting a few rentals each year, that’s thousands of Euros of lost revenue which is just passing you by! There are lots of ways to generate more income from your property, whether it’s improved marketing, maintenance to make the property more attractive to your target groups, or simply better images. Download our secrets of successful rentals guide for ideas and inspiration on how you can improve your performance.

Our job as property managers is of course to take care of our clients’ properties, but increasingly the demand is more to generate rental bookings and handle them for our clients too. To make this easy for owners and rental clients, we have developed a holiday rental website where holidaymakers can browse, book and pay online. You can monitor bookings through your owners’ area and we will handle everything that the guests need to have a great holiday, without bothering you.

We have developed partnerships with travel agents and tour operators in the UK and Ireland, as well as with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes to drive bookings to our clients’ properties. Our large team of customer service, maintenance and management experts looks after the clients so they come back for more, generating valuable repeat bookings, and you don’t have to lift a finger!

So if your New Year’s Resolution was to get more rentals this year, you know what to do! Talk to the property management experts at HomeCareontheWeb, sign up for a property and rentals management package and start earning more rental income from your property.

Renting long-term to families

Renting long-term to families

The long-term rental market is booming here on the Costa del Sol, with demand outpacing supply. If you’re looking to rent out your property long-term, the family market is a very good one to target.

This is because they tend to stay for a predictable amount of time, as they are bound by school years, and if they are happy and comfortable, they can be tenants for the whole of their kids’ school careers. Although it’s true that having kids around can cause some wear and tear on the property in terms of marks on the walls and furniture, our experience is that because they want a nice home for their family, they tend to generally be careful with the property and often make improvements which will appeal to future family renters.

They also have an excellent network, so when they choose to leave, they often recommend the tenant after them if they are happy with the property and your treatment of them. This minimises the time your property is empty, and makes it easy for you to get your next rental, as the people already know and like the property.

Your property will particularly appeal to families if –

  1. You are near a good school
  2. The property has good public transport links
  3. The property has access to a secure pool
  4. The property has a garden
  5. The kitchen, living and dining space is generous and open plan

Steps you can take to attract family tenants

  1. Get and install a stairgate
  2. Make one of the bedrooms child friendly, by putting in bunkbeds or a desk
  3. If there is space which could be used as a playroom, illustrate this by putting in some toys and a play mat for example
  4. Brighten up the kitchen with a lick of paint or some new doors, as this is probably the biggest selling room in a family home

If you want to find out more about renting long-term, or would like advice on appealing to a particular market please contact us. We have a dedicated long-term rental website HomeRentalontheWeb, a lot of clients looking for long-term rentals and over a decade of experience managing long-term tenants. We can handle everything for you from inventory, to contracts, inspections and rent collection to ensure your tenants are happy and your property is being well looked after. Please contact us for more information.

Making the Costa del Sol more accessible to foreign residents

Making the Costa del Sol more accessible to foreign residents

Foreigners have been moving to the Costa del Sol since the 1960s and services have grown to meet their needs; private clinics and hospitals with multi-lingual staff, international schools and services and businesses which cater to particular nationalities, languages and cultures.

The government knows that they also need to accommodate foreigners who may not speak the language, as this is a boost to the economy. Each Town Hall has a Foreign Residents Department, which is dedicated to their needs and is an excellent first point of call for any new resident. In recent years, these services have expanded and new offices are often opening. For example, a large new foreign residents office opened in Torremolinos in 2017 and added more support services this summer, responding to the increasing need.

Medical centres and hospitals in the most popular areas for expats have volunteer translators to help patients and there are many services springing up offering support to navigate the healthcare system in general.

One area which foreign residents often find difficult is supporting their children in the state schooling system if they have limited Spanish themselves. Luckily, in some areas there are bilingual schools being set up within the state system and other schools are taking the initiative to set up a support system for non-Spanish speakers.

Estepona Town Hall has just announced that they are creating a pioneering service which offers interpreters for parents in their public schools. This will offer an interpreter to accompany foreign parents to meetings with teachers to help their children to integrate better and perform to their best ability within the Spanish school system. They offer this service in ten languages including English, French, Russian, Norwegian and even Arabic!

All of these facilities and services make the Costa del Sol more popular to foreign residents and what is called residential tourism – people that come for part of the year and live there for extended periods of time. These people offer excellent opportunities for property owners who rent out their property to secure rentals outside of the peak summer period. Many Scandinavians for example will come for the winter only and then return home for the summer. If you are open to reducing your prices for longer term lets, this offers an amazing extra revenue stream, while still allowing you to rent to tourists over the peak summer months.

The many foreign residents who live here all year round, also offer excellent options to rent out your property long-term. This is a major growth area and there is a lack of supply to meet demand. Prices are increasing as a result of the shortage and so we’re encouraging owners who don’t use their property to consider this sector. It is a lot easier to find tenants for long-term rentals, than for the highly competitive short-term rental sector and the strict legislation which has been brought in to regulate holiday rentals, does not apply to long-term rentals, so it’s a lot easier to set up and manage.

Our Property Management specialists offer long-term rentals management packages which can help you with the set up and day-to-day running of your long-term rental property. We can offer all inclusive packages, or just a few services to take away the stress. Contact us to find out more.

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

If you own a Costa del Sol property and you rely on holiday rentals to generate income, you will be pleased to hear that the local authorities are working hard to promote the Costa del Sol and expand the tourism sector. It would be easy to rest on its laurels, as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, but they know that the competition from other holiday areas is fierce and they need to keep exploring different markets to remain current and keep popularity high.

Following a summer packed with attractive events to draw in tourists to the area, there were a number of high profile events in September too, which aimed to extend the traditional tourist season and appeal to a different type of traveller.

Malaga Fashion Week created the longest haute couture catwalk in Europe, by converting the important shopping street Calle Larios into a fashion mecca. The two-day event attracted designers from around the world and around 15,000 fashionistas watched the shows each day.

Gibraltar also attracted the crowds on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September with the MTV Gibraltar Music Festival. This amazing event brought nearly 30 music groups to Gibraltar, with internationally renowned artists such as Stormzy, Two Door Cinema Club, Rita Ora, Chase & Status, Sister Sledge, Suzi Quatro and The Boomtown Rats. This attracted lots of tourists to stay on the Western Costa del Sol, to enjoy a sunshine holiday and then take advantage of the buses to go to and fro the festival each day.

To increase tourism from the United States, Marbella Town Hall has been contacting luxury travel organizations and in September signed an agreement with Virtuoso, the largest network of luxury travel agencies in the States. This should boost the number of luxury travellers coming over with big budgets to spend. Find out more

The Andalusian Council, the Junta de Andalucia, is also looking for ways to reach new audiences and to extend the season. They have budgeted nearly €10 million to promoting and developing tourism inland, with a focus on cultural and off-peak tourism. This will be a real boost to inland areas such as our stunning white villages, which have underdeveloped tourism sectors. Find out more

The tourist boards for each area and the local Town Halls will also start the rounds of tourism fairs that promote the destination amongst tourism professionals and encourages them to send their clients to the Costa del Sol. One of the new initiatives they are preparing to present at the most important Spanish Tourism Fair in January, is a platform to help tourists visit the places where popular films and TV series have been filmed.

All of these activities will boost tourism throughout the year and help property owners benefit from the lucrative holiday rental market and earn rental income. This is where our professional property management and rentals team come in. We can take the stress out of renting out your property, market it to maximise your bookings and manage every step of the process, so you don’t have to. Get in touch with us today, if you want to rent out your property for the next season, or need some support to increase your current bookings and make it easier for you

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

September is here and this marks the end of the high season and the start of the quieter off-peak season. Although September is getting more popular for holidaymakers and it is slightly extending the traditional summer season, there’s no doubt that by the end of the month there won’t be as many holiday rental clients to go around.

If you like to use your property over autumn and winter, then this will suit you fine, but if it is just sitting empty and you want to maximise your income, then you need to think differently. Long-term rentals are in high demand in September, as families are trying to settle kids into school and work opportunities pick up after the summer lull. It’s a great time of year, as many long-term renters will have been frustrated by the holiday season, won’t have been able to see properties and are now desperate to find a place to call their own.

We have a lot of long-term rental clients and not enough quality properties to fill their needs. This means landlords are in a very good position. Competition is low, especially for the non-Spanish market, who can’t use the long-term property rental sites here due to the language. These foreign residents are often willing to spend more than their Spanish counterparts and will sometimes even accept a shorter contract, allowing you to have the option to still rent out your property in the summer months, as some people return to their home country over summer.

Long-term rentals may not bring in the same per week as a holiday rental, but because your season is all year round and tenants tend to stay for years if they are well looked after, it’s a steady, predictable income stream. You don’t have to compete with thousands of other properties, so it’s easier to find tenants and because supply is limited, prices are on the rise.

Long-term rentals are also not governed by the rentals laws that have been making things more complicated for short-term rentals. Plus, there’s not much to do – no key holding or meet and greet, no cleaning at the end of each week. Once you have your contract signed and the tenants are in, you’re simply collecting rent each month and occasionally dealing with issues as and when they arise.

We have a range of long-term rental management packages available. These start from the most basic, where we offer advice and one year of keyholding, plus marketing your property to get you a tenant, up to the most comprehensive. With our all-inclusive rentals management service package we can help you set up the property, handle all the tenant’s requirements throughout the tenancy and offer legal support for contracts and changing over utilities, so you don’t have to do a thing.

We’ve condensed all our years of experience into a guide to help you decide if renting long term is right for you and offering tips on how to make the most from this style of renting. Download the guide for free – Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals or contact us to find out how we can help you start renting your property long-term.

Summer 2018 Property Owners’ Update

 

Summer 2018 Property Owners Update

The busiest part of the summer is upon us and according to the Minister of Tourism this year is on track to break records once again. Predictions are that Spain will receive over 30 million tourists between July and September. Many of these will be heading to Andalusia, which is the 4th most visited area in Spain for tourism (behind Catalonia, the Balearics and Canary Islands). Malaga Airport has already welcomed 1,930,866 people in June alone, a 1.2% increase on last year’s figure.  We hope that you are noticing an increase on last year’s rentals to reflect this rise and also the growing popularity in holiday rental properties.

If you are renting out your property, there are some changes in laws which can impact on your renters that we wanted to share with you.

First and foremost is the anti-social behaviour rules, which are now in place in Marbella. It is not permitted to walk around the town without shirts on, drink in the streets, or act in an anti-social manner. Tourists who are breaking these rules will first be warned, but then can be fined up to 750€ if they do not comply. Find out more

There have been weather warnings for a heatwave during August with temperatures climbing over 40°C in many places. It looks like the Costa del Sol will be protected from the highest temperatures, but please bear this in mind and make sure that your air conditioning and/or fans are working and you have clear instructions for use for tenants so they can be comfortable during their stay.

Recently there have been some large forest fires and the fire fighter’s representatives have released a map which shows that the Costa del Sol is at high risk of forest fires. It is important that tourists understand that they need to take great care with barbeques and fires during this time and that there are fines of 200€ for throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, as these can easily cause a fire.

Finally, if your tenants are hiring cars, they should be aware of the Spanish regulations on car seats for children. Children less than 135cm must be in seats which are suitable for their height and weight and may not ride in the front seat unless there are very special circumstances. Advise tenants that they need to request seats from the hire car company in advance, as they can be in short supply during the school holidays.

They should also be aware that drink drive limits are very strict here and that police often do spot checks on the main roundabouts during summer months, both in the evenings and first thing in the morning. The limits are 0.5mg of alcohol per ml of blood, this means in practice 2 small glasses of wine, or 2 small beers maximum for women and 3 each for men, so you need to take care.

For more information and advice on renting out your property browse our website and read our blog. Remember that if you need support with rentals management we are here to help you every step of the way with our comprehensive property management service.

Top tips from the Costa del Sol Property Management Specialists

 

HomeCareontheWeb has been dedicated to property management and rentals on the Costa del Sol since 2003 and our founders have owned property in Spain for more than two decades. The company was started from a need for support from the founders Tony and Gill Sidebottom for their Spanish property. Having evaluated all the options, they didn’t feel that anyone would really care for their property in the right way. So, rather than use someone they didn’t really trust, they decided to set up a company that would do things the right way and HomeCareontheWeb was born.

Coming from the position of owners and understanding their needs from the inside, has enabled Tony and Gill to set up a company that really cares and is prepared to deal with all the issues which can arise when an owner does not live in the property. Good property management requires a lot of people and so over the years they have built a large multi-skilled and multi-lingual team who are able to handle anything and everything that is thrown at them, without needing to worry the owner.

The first person to join the founders was a software developer, to build a bespoke system for the owners to be able to interact with the company whenever and wherever they wanted to. There is an owners’ area where they can check reports on their property, look at bookings, ask questions and make sure everything is under control. This is a key tool which ensures transparency and good communication and builds trust, leading to positive long term relationships with our owners.

We have responded to owners’ demand to rent out their properties by creating two sub brands – HolidayRentalontheWeb which is dedicated to short term rentals and HomeRentalontheWeb for long term rentals. These have their own website, which are the ideal marketing platforms for promoting rental properties. We have also set up partnerships with other companies such as Novasol Holiday Rentals, to increase the reach of our owners’ properties and bring more bookings.

Over 15 years, we have gained a huge amount of experience on how to care for properties and the peculiarities of how things work here on the Costa del Sol. Our team knows about all the regulations, how to present documentation and handle the utility companies and tenants. We can do this with ease after so many years, but remember how tricky it was that first time. This is why it is so nice to be able to take it off our owners’ plates and handle it all. Being able to deal with everything from cleaning and maintenance to rentals and issues such as break-ins, gives our customers total peace of mind and allows them to focus on their busy lives. Read our testimonials

As we’re generous folk, we like to share our hard won knowledge with property owners on the Costa del Sol and have produced a number of guides which you can download for free on our website. These contain our insider insight on long term and short term rentals and finding the right property management provider. We hope that these will help you to avoid making costly mistakes and allow you to plan for common issues when you start renting out your property.

You can download the guides by clicking on these links –

The secrets of successful holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol

How to rent your property long term on the Costa del Sol

Top Tips for finding the right property management company on the Costa del Sol

We also share lots of tips and information each month on our blog, which will help you get it right, when so many people get it wrong. This will put you ahead of your competition, get you more bookings and valuable repeat customers.  Read our property management articles

We hope these guides and articles will help you to make a success of renting out your Costa del Sol property. Remember, we are here to help if it seems too much!

Before you go, one final tip for you – don’t forget long term rentals! Most owners focus on holiday rentals and therefore there is a lot of competition for a relatively short season. However there is a growing demand and a lack of supply for long term rentals on the Costa del Sol at the moment. This means prices are going up and we can normally secure a tenant for our clients very quickly. We take care of inventory, checks and rent collection, plus handling any problem that tenants might be facing, so you don’t have to. Owners receive monthly payments and can have tenants for several years at a time, with very little stress. This is an excellent way to earn steady income from your property throughout the year.

Best of luck renting out your property, we hope you have an excellent summer and that your property is full over these key months. If you’re not getting the results you hoped for, please speak to us and see whether we can help you increase your occupancy and reduce the stress and strain.

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