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Reassurances for British expats living in Spain

At the start of this month, the British Consulate has been doing pop-up sessions to answer questions about Brexit, living in Spain and how to access healthcare. They were in Torremolinos on the 1st of October and Mijas on the 3rd of October, trying to reassure people that their rights were protected.

The British government pledged that pensioners who are currently entitled to use the Spanish health service, will be funded to continue to receive healthcare in Spain for at least 14 months, until the end of 2020, regardless of what happens with Brexit this month. This has reassured many who were unhappy following the Health Secretary’s announcement that there would only be six month’s worth of cover for British expats living in Spain.

The advice remains the same, register with your Town Hall, apply for residency if you haven’t already and hopefully your rights will be recognised, even if the UK comes out of the EU with a no deal. There have been difficulties with getting residency appointments in some areas due to the amount of UK nationals applying, but the British Embassy Madrid announced on their Facebook page that extra staff have been put in place and suggested people try again to get an appointment.

If you want to buy a property in Spain, this should not be effected by Brexit, as you don’t need to be an EU citizen to buy here or invest in Spain. Property expert Susana Lajusticia has said there’s no reason why it would be different or more expensive to purchase property, nor should it effect your ability to rent out your property, as long as you comply with the rental laws in your area. The only thing that she says could change is taxes, as rates for EU and non-EU nationals differ. However, the UK and Spain have Double Treaty Agreements related to income tax for example, so hopefully it will be possible to make similar agreements after Brexit to allow for more stability and security for property owners. Read the full article

As a business we didn’t see a drop in holiday rentals from the UK this summer as expected and the number of long term rental clients from the UK has remained pretty much unchanged since the 2016 vote. We hope and believe that no matter what happens on the 31st of October, that Spain and the UK will come to arrangements to ensure that British residents of Spain can continue to live there and to make it as easy as possible to travel here. Tourism from the UK is too important to Spain to block this and so they should be incentivised to make a deal.

As many of our team are from the UK, but have lived and worked in Spain for many years, the uncertainty is unsettling. However, like migrants the world over, our status and rights will be subject to the changing political climate of our adoptive county (and country of origin). The one constant is that the rules governing our status change! Consequently, the best advice we can offer is to keep informed and respect the rules of the county that has welcomed us.

If you have any questions about how Brexit will affect you, as a property owner in Spain, renting out your property, or perhaps as a long-term rental tenant living here full time, please contact us and we’ll do our best to inform you of the latest situation and advice.

Spanish tourism increases on the Costa del Sol

It was reported in the Euroweekly News that more Spanish tourists travelled to the Costa del Sol this summer. Marbella and Estepona in particular saw a big upsurge in Spanish tourist numbers, with Estepona experiencing an increase of nearly 70% in tourists from within Spain comparing this July to July 2018.

According to the newspaper, this increase was also seen in other tourist areas on the Costa del Sol. “Marbella saw an increase of 20.9 per cent to 30,089 Spanish tourists, while Torremolinos experienced year-on year growth of 18.4 per cent. Antequera saw a 15 per cent rise, Malaga capital 13.1 per cent and Benalmadena 7.7 per cent.”

Marbella had its best July for 13 years, with a small increase in average room prices as well. Estepona experienced its busiest July on record in the town’s hotels, according to the Sur in English.

These figures are for the hotels in the area, as property management experts who help hundreds of property owners generate rental income, we have also seen an increase in Spanish tourists booking holiday rental properties. This is a great source of potential rental income for our clients, in addition to our large numbers of Northern European and British clientele. We haven’t seen the predicted Brexit effect this year, with the same amount of bookings from the UK as in previous years, so this is a very positive upward trend.

The increase in Spanish tourism reflects the improving economic conditions in the country which have been seen over the last five years or so, as Spain recovers from the financial crisis. It was reported in El Pais that unemployment fell in Spain in the second quarter, which would boost tourism and spending in general. Here on the Costa del Sol, there has been significant investment made in the hospitality sector, which is generating employment and more interest in the area from businesses and tourists alike.

This is all good news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol who are looking to generate rental income. The holiday rental market already generates $1,437 million and is expected to grow by 4.2%, resulting in a market volume of US$1,694m by 2023 according to statista.com. We have seen steady growth in the holiday rental and long-term rental demand, as well as an extension of the typical high season and more off-peak bookings.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for more properties to meet the demand and as property management and rental experts we can take the stress out of rentals. Please contact us to discuss renting out your property. You can also download our free guide with our secrets of successful holiday rentals to find out more about how it works and decide if it’s right for you.

La Cala and the Costa del Sol is building again

You can’t miss the reappearance of cranes on the horizon and the new developments which are springing up along the Costa del Sol. As we are based in La Cala in Mijas Costa we’ve been noticing it here more than ever and are delighted to see how many jobs are being created and the renewed interest in property in the area. There hasn’t been this much activity since the golden age of real estate at the beginning of the millennium and its being driven by demand from foreign buyers, as well as the reactivation of Spanish buyers.

A third of all the new development projects completed in Andalucia between March 2018 and 2019 were in the Malaga province according to the Sur in English. They add that two reports from a real estate firm and a valuation firm confirm the good health of the real estate industry in the Malaga province, both in terms of new properties being built and the increasing property prices. The Tinsa report showed that property prices here in Mijas have increased by 15.3%, but the company’s commercial director stressed that there’s a long way to go to reach the top prices seen in 2007. He also noted that lending controls and more gradual price increases protects the Costa del Sol from the real estate bubble that burst due to the financial crisis. Read more

The confidence in the Costa del Sol being shown by property buyers is being echoed by businesses who are investing in the area and creating more for the tourism sector and jobs for residents. Greek hotel chain Ikos are investing 150 million euros in a hotel in Estepona which is due to open in May 2020.  The Four Seasons group are opening a luxury hotel and private residences on the beachfront of Marbella, making an investment of 650 million to make this project a reality and there are many more businesses investing in the Costa del Sol.

We are very happy to see building projects spring up all around us in La Cala, as we’re seeing a large growth in demand for long term rentals throughout the year and holiday rentals in the peak season from April to September. La Cala is desirable because of its great beach area, community feel, nice restaurants, bars, amenities and the large weekly market. Tenants and holiday makers like the proximity to Fuengirola and Mijas Pueblo, the short trip from the airport and the great golf courses and leisure facilities nearby.

Our holiday rental clients love apartments in the La Cala Golf Resort, Dream Gardens and La Cala Azul. They like to be close to the beach, or within walking distance of the centre of La Cala, as well as developments with nice communal pools and gardens. Contemporary styling and open plan living is also popular, as well as great terrace space and opportunities for outdoor eating and socialising. Inland golf properties are also popular, as guests like the quiet, the views and the chance to be within walking distance of a golf course.

We are actively seeking more holiday rental properties in La Cala de Mijas to meet demand, so if you own a property, or are buying one of the new off-plan developments and thinking about renting it out please talk to us. The sooner we can list your property and get it promoted on our website, social media and out to our partners, the sooner we can get it rented out. Pop into our office in La Cala and let’s discuss how we can help you earn rental income.

Spain receives a boost by being named the world’s healthiest nation

As experts in holiday rentals and long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol, we were very pleased to see Spain ranked number one in Bloomberg’s Healthiest Country Index 2019. This has been widely promoted around the world and brought more positive attention on Spain as a great place live for a healthy and long life.

We expect this to have a positive impact on people wanting to move over to Spain permanently, as the index showed how good the public health system was and how, as a result of public health policies, rates of heart disease and deaths from cancer has significantly dropped. It also praised the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet on life expectancy and judged the country on many different variables which lead to a healthy life. Spain is expected to overtake Japan as the country with the highest life expectancy in 2040, further reinforcing Spain’s position as a healthy place to live.

Having lived and worked in Spain ourselves for many years, we’d say that there are a number of other factors about life here which makes it healthier than other nations.

  1. Access to great sports facilities, with a climate and culture which encourages getting active
  2. A relaxed attitude to life, which really reduces stress
  3. A culture which encourages family time and supporting each other

Demand for long-term rentals increasing

This positive news and promotion of the lifestyle benefits of Spain is further fuelling demand for long-term rental properties. Long-term rental demand has been growing for a number of years now, while supply has been decreasing, and this is causing significant price increases in the market – a trend we expect to continue. While competition in the short term let sector is very high, in many popular areas the demand is so high for long-term rentals that you can pick and choose your tenants.

If this sounds appealing and you’d like to earn rental income from your property, but have been put off from renting short term by the new rental laws, or the hassle of renting your holiday home, please get in touch.

We are actively looking for more long-term rental properties on the Costa del Sol from September onwards. Our dedicated Costa del Sol long-term rental website attracts a high level of visitors and we really need more properties to meet the demand.

With HomeCareontheWeb on your side, renting out your property doesn’t need to be stressful

HomeCareontheWeb are experts in property management and pride ourselves on caring for your property as if it was our own. If you rent out your property with us, we can take care of everything, from inventories and contracts, to rent collection and regular checks of the property. We can deal with any maintenance issues for your tenants, in your absence, and keep you informed about everything via our online owners’ area.

Please contact us and find out how we can help you start renting out your property long-term

Preparing your home for rentals

Here at HomeCareontheWeb we are property management and rental experts, with more than 15 years’ experience caring for our clients’ homes as if they were our own. Some clients simply like us to keep an eye on the property and deal with any issues that may arise while they’re away. However, the majority of our owners also want our help with generating income by renting out their property.

So, we wanted to share a few steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your home before you can start to rent it out and generate rental income.

  1. Decide whether to go short or long term

The first step in preparing your home for rentals is to decide what kind of rentals you want to do – short term holiday rentals, or long-term rentals. The long-term rental market is really booming and there is a definite shortage of supply, which is pushing prices up. However, this is most suitable for owners who don’t want to use their properties and are simply using it as an investment. Some contracts have breaks for the summer months to allow owners to holiday there themselves, but tenants usually want a 12 month contract. To find out more about long-term rentals download our free guide Home Owners Tips for Long-Term Rentals

If you want to use your property, but aren’t here often and can be flexible as to when you holiday, then short term rental is a good idea. Although there is a lot of competition in this field, properties rent well over the peak summer months, but tend to be empty outside the season, so you can use the property yourself. There is now regulation in this industry and you need to register your property, inform the police station when guests arrive and pay tax on your rental income, but this is still a good way to maximise the investment in your property.

Download our Secrets of Successful Rentals Guide to learn more about renting out your property.

Once you’ve decided how you want to rent your property then you need to prepare your property for when guests arrive.

  1. Make sure guests are informed

Create an information pack which helps guests to enjoy their stay to the full. This includes contact information for you or your property management company, instructions on how to operate things like the air conditioning, washing machine and dishwasher and any rules and regulations you would like guests to abide by. This information pack should also contain information about the local area, so your tenants feel right at home and know everything they need to so that living in your property offers the best possible experience.

  1. Protect your valuables

Guests will look after your property to the best of their ability, but it’s best not to leave important things at risk. Pack away any items of value (sentimental or financial) and any delicate items you wouldn’t want broken and store them in a safe place. Many landlords buy new but easily replaced packs of cups, plates and glasses from Ikea so there’s no sentimental value and if things get broken it really doesn’t matter.

It’s also a good idea to remove any highly personal items such as photographs and keepsakes and make your property neutral, as this will help guests feel right at home.

  1. Clean, clear out and tidy

Clear your cupboards and fridge and make sure you have all the essential items for a short term or long term tenant. Then deep clean everywhere and perform any small maintenance tasks you may have been putting off to make sure everything is perfect for your guests’ arrival.

Organize cleaners who can handle the change over after guests leave and gardeners, if necessary, to keep your garden in good condition for guests and make sure the property is secure. Appoint someone to keep hold of your keys so that cleaners, gardeners and maintenance people can get access. Then you are ready to welcome your first guests and start generating income.

If this all sounds like too much work, call in the experts!

HomeCareontheWeb can take care of all of this for you. Our experience and multi-skilled team makes this easy, and we have processes in place to remove the stress from you. We are able to find you rental clients, taking bookings, handle payments and deposits and organize all the people needed to keep your property in great condition for you and your tenants.

Please browse our website to find out more about our property management packages and our rental management services, or contact our helpful team to find out more.

Spain’s General Election Run Down

While most of our clients don’t live in Spain, they own property here, renting it out and paying taxes, so it’s important to stay up to date with the political situation. Spaniards went to the polls on the 28th of April after a snap election was called by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party). In this post, we will summarise what happened and how the political landscape has changed.

There was a very high turnout, of nearly 76% and PSOE won the election, with a 28.7% share of the votes. PSOE defines itself as “social democratic, centre-left and progressive”. Pedro Sánchez is leading the party and is the acting Prime minister. However despite the strong performance, the party has not done enough to get an absolute majority, therefore will need to make an alliance with more parties to form a governing coalition.

In the election, the Popular Party (PP) lost a huge number of seats, down from 137 to just 66 – their worst result in history. PP is center-right and led from the 2011 elections until 2018 when a corruption case brought down the government with a no confidence vote. Pablo Casado was named leader in July 2018, and the party swung further to the right, the dismal result in the current elections has brought his leadership into question.

Far right Vox secured 10.26% of the votes, lower than polls suggested, they enter congress, but will not play a decisive roll in the formation of a new government.

Cuidadanos is a centre right political party, opposed to Catalan nationalism. They improved their position significantly, up from 32 to 57 representatives, but have refused to go into coalition with PSOE. Left wing Unidas Podemos lost 29 seats in the election, but is looking to go into a governing coalition with the socialists.

Now the politicians are negotiating to form coalitions and the PSOE is the only party able to build a governing majority. However, they are also preparing for the local and regional elections on May 26th and aren’t in a rush to finalise their alliances until these elections are complete and the votes are counted. El Pais predicts a “long power struggle” and how the final political landscape will look remains to be seen. We will keep you updated.

Find out more on the El Pais in English website –

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/29/inenglish/1556519911_184823.html

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/30/inenglish/1556608489_985863.html

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.

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