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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.

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

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.

New legislations to control holidaymakers’ behaviour

 

New legislations to control holidaymakers’ behaviour

Marbella Town Hall is reacting to issues with rowdy and badly behaved tourists by fining people from June this year. If you are renting out a property in the Marbella municipality, it is important that you understand the new rules so you can help your tenants comply.

These have been mainly designed with hen and stag parties in mind, but it can also impact the unsuspecting holiday maker who wants to enjoy the sunshine by having their shirts off in the street for example, so it’s best to be informed.

Here are the key behaviours that can be punished with a fine of up to 750€ –

  • Walking around the streets in swimwear or without shirts on – swimwear is for the beach and pool only, not for the towns
  • Wearing clothes or carrying objects of a sexual nature
  • Acting in an anti-social manner and drinking on the streets
  • Littering and flyering

Quite how this will be enforced remains to be seen and anyone who is doing this will first be warned so they can respond. However, it is important to be aware that police will be more vigilant on anything that they consider to be anti-social behaviour and that fines can be up to 750€.

We don’t expect this to impact on the majority of people coming on holiday to Marbella, as most tourists are well behaved and respectful. However, if you do cater to hen and stag parties in your holiday rental property, we’d recommend warning your guests in advance, so they know how to behave.

As these laws are passed and start to be implemented, we will keep you updated so that you can inform any tenants. Hopefully the new laws will reduce bad behaviour and make this a more attractive holiday destination for all.

Did you know that if you’re renting out your property we can also help you to manage all aspects of property rentals and make it easier for you? We are property management and maintenance specialists and handle everything from communicating with tenants, taking bookings and deposits, responding to problems and cleaning and maintaining properties before and after rentals. Our aim is to take as much off your plate as possible, so you can just relax and enjoy the rental income, without the stress. If that sounds good, contact us today.

Spain becomes the world’s second most popular tourist destination

 

Spain becomes the worlds second most popular tourist destination

Great news for anyone involved with the Spanish tourism industry came out from the UN World Tourism Organization last month. It revealed that international tourist arrivals grew by 7% in 2017 and that they expected it to grow by a further 4 or 5% this year. If these predictions are proved correct, Spain will overtake the US as the second most popular tourist destination and bring in even more income for the people working in tourism.

For property owners looking to generate rental income from their properties, this tourist growth will obviously lead to more bookings, especially as experts are predicting that rental homes are going to be more in demand this year. There is a travel trend for people who want to experience the destination like a local and therefore are choosing holiday rentals rather than hotels. This, combined with limited hotel beds during peak season, leaves us in no doubt that 2018 will be a great year for people with short term rental properties. Find out how we can help you generate more rental income

Another thing that is on the up is interest in moving to Spain, which is fuelling demand for long-term rental properties. One surprising side effect of the Brexit uncertainty is that more retired people are trying to make the move now, as they are concerned that once Brexit has been implemented it may be hard. Companies who help people to move abroad within Europe have reported big increases in enquiries and people moving, and expect this to continue this year while it is still easy to relocate.

Companies who offer long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol like our company HomeRentalontheWeb report growing demand and limited supply and are looking for quality properties to add to their books.

We are struggling to find the right long-term rental properties in popular areas and the lack of properties is definitely pushing prices up. Long-term rental is a very good option for anyone who has a property in the Costa del Sol which they rarely use, as it is stable and a great way to secure rental income all year round. In many cases, you can earn more with long-term rentals when you look at the whole year, as the income is steady. We’d definitely recommend that owners consider the option of renting long-term, as it will be very easy for us to find them tenants.

Find out more about our long-term rental packages or contact our helpful team to discuss your options and make sure you generate as much income as possible from your property this year.

Travel trends for 2018 and how Spain will be effected

Travel trends for 2018 and how Spain will be effected

2017 was another bumper year for Spain and travel insiders have said that early bookings for next year are already higher than normal. This year’s limited availability in peak times is definitely pushing travellers to book early for the best accommodation and flights.

We are now looking ahead to 2018 and were very interested in the predictions from Booking.com on how travellers will behave next year. Read on for how these trends will effect Spain and people renting out their properties here on the Costa del Sol.

Nostalgic Trips

One of the travel predictions for 2018 is that more people will want to revisit their favourite childhood holiday spots to remember the best of their family holidays. “Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. Millennials look set to be even more sentimental with 44% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to favourite family destinations.” This is great news for Spain’s Costas, as many of us had our first foreign holiday here and look back fondly on the sandy beaches, food and sangria!

Walking & Wellness

Wellness breaks are a growing trend and research shows that almost one in five people are planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018. Walking holidays, cycling and water sports are particularly popular active holidays.

We’re thrilled about this prediction, as the Costa del Sol is a fabulous place for hiking outside the hottest summer months. Amazing walks in the area include hikes in the Mijas hills, climbing the iconic La Concha and walking the Caminito del Rey. It is also growing in popularity with cyclists, with quality equipment hire and excellent routes, plus of course our great year round weather and this is a segment which is definitely set to grow. If you have a property within easy access of any of these great hikes or cycle routes, or have trails from your door, make sure you advertise this, as it can help you obtain some excellent off peak rentals.

Water sports is a classic draw of the Costa del Sol and there are many options to choose from. As this is still an attractive aspect of a holiday in Spain, make sure that you help guests by sharing good companies and providers, so they know that they can SUP or go sea kayaking easily from your holiday rental.

Group Get-Aways

25% of people surveyed plan to do a group holiday in 2018, up from 21% in 2017. Friends are choosing to go away together to improve the holiday experience, but also to make luxury accommodation affordable. This is a trend that owners of luxury villas on the Costa del Sol can definitely tap into. If you can sleep six or more people and have some lovely extras such as a private pool, outside bar and BBQ area, or lovely communal spaces, then this market could be excellent for you.

Live like a local

The study reveals that “in 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular” as “One in three travellers (33%) say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel”. This is obviously great news for our holiday rental business and anyone looking to rent out their property in 2018! As they want to live like a local, it’s important to share recommendations and insider knowledge to help them easily embrace everything the area has to offer.

These predictions are great news for Spain and the Costas in particular, and early bookings and continued instability in other parts of the world lead us to predict another excellent year for holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol. If you haven’t rented out your property before, or you would like to achieve more bookings, please speak to us. We have over a decade of experience with property management, maintenance and rentals and can help you to earn rental income, while minimising stress.

Find out more about next year’s travel trends by reading the full article here

How to get more rental bookings

Did you get the bookings you hoped this year? If not speak to us! 2017 was the best year yet for our property management and rental clients, with more bookings than ever. Check out our summer in numbers

September has been another excellent month with 1,975.850 passengers coming through Malaga airport, an 11% increase on previous years and a warm October has kept tourists thinking about the destination as an Autumn and Winter hot spot too!

Some of our owners now receive an average of 30 weeks per year, well above the traditional peak season of June, July and August. So if you weren’t happy with the number of bookings this summer or found it difficult to manage them, please contact us to find out how we can help you.

Here is some advice for extending your season and attracting off peak and Christmas rentals –

  • Think why your area is good for off peak visits and show that in your marketing. Are you close to golf courses? Do you have great hiking routes nearby? Is there a nice Christmas market or Christmas events taking place in walking distance? All these things are selling points for the off peak traveller.
  • Show that your property works in the winter as well – If you have an open fire, underfloor heating, or central heating, make sure you highlight that when marketing off peak. You want your guests to know that they can enjoy beautiful sunshine and activities in the winter and also snuggle up and be cozy and warm in the evenings, or on a cloudy day.
  • Think about guest’s needs off peak – Make sure the property delivers over the cooler months with warmer bedding, a few rugs and some candles to make it really great in all weathers. Leave a few umbrellas by the door just in case it rains and leave recommendations for good winter restaurants and bars too.
  • Set it up for the holidays – If you want to encourage bookings over the holiday period, take some pictures of the house all decorated and show that it will be decorated on request in December and over the Christmas week, so they can imagine themselves celebrating away from home. If you get any enquiries over this period, help them to imagine spending the holidays in your property and they will be more likely to book.

For more great tips like this, download our free guide – The Secrets of Successful Rentals, where our property management and rental experts offer you brilliant advice on pitfalls, protecting against risk and the information you need about long term and holiday rentals.

Our team at HomeCareontheWeb have over a decade of experience on the Costa del Sol and we know all the secrets of successful rentals. As well as marketing your property to boost rentals, we can deal with any problems and maximise every opportunity, so trust in us to take care of your property while generating you income.

Find out more about our property management and maintenance services on our website: www.HomeCareontheWeb.com or contact us: info@homecareontheweb.com · Tel: +34 952 83 95 95

The effect of the Holiday Rental Law in Spain

costa del sol property management

It’s been a year since the holiday rental law came into force and after a period of uncertainty, the dust has settled and owners are getting on with the important job of renting out their properties for the vital summer season.

As we reported in April, the biggest recent change has been the requirement to register with your local police station and then register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival. Other than that, once the property is registered you can just continue as usual.

There were concerns that owners wouldn’t want to register and would look to long term rentals instead, but figures released this spring show that an average of 33 properties in Malaga were being registered every day, with owners realising that this income stream was important and it was necessary to comply. There are around 11,000 registered holiday rental properties in the Malaga province and we’re seeing lots of demand from holiday makers for quality holiday rental accommodation in the best areas.

The holiday rental sector makes an important contribution to tourism, offering visitors a more flexible alternative to hotel accommodation and much needed availability for the record numbers of visitors expected to visit southern Spain once again this year. The tourism authorities estimate that if the registrations continue coming in, that there could be the same number of beds available in holiday rental accommodation than in hotels by the end of summer, and think long term it may even exceed it.  The demand for rentals and Spain’s competitively priced properties are leading to an increase in buy to let investment, with the Sunday Times recently promoting this as a good option.

All of this is great news for the holiday rental sector on the Costa del Sol, but if you are an owner, it means that you have more competition to deal with. Increased competition means you have to work harder to stand out and attract the bookings. There are a number of ways to do this; you can undercut your competition on price, improve your property’s décor or facilities to really impress, or focus on a particular sector, such as families and really make your property work perfectly for them.

Effective marketing is also vital to make sure your target market can find you when they are booking their holidays. There are two routes to these bookings, online direct bookings and also travel agents. We have both these routes covered thanks to high-ranking websites, social media and a partnership with Novasol – the largest holiday home rental company in Europe. Novasol give our owners a presence on their 11 individual language website and in 1.5 million catalogues which are delivered to over 15,000 travel agents. You will also be featured on our dedicated holiday rental website HolidayRentalontheWeb.

We are property management experts with over a decade of experience in helping owners attract holiday rental bookings and dealing with all the hassle of preparing the property, welcoming and looking after guests during their stay and handling payments. If you have a property on the Costa del Sol and want to earn rental income, contact us to find out how we can help you get bookings and delight your guests so they come back time and time again.

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

As Costa del Sol property management experts, our owners are interested in the potential for rentals and how the property market is developing. So in this blog, we’ve reviewed the latest reports and summarised some of the key indicators for tourism and property in 2017.

Things are looking strong for the Spanish tourist sector this year, with the Spanish Hotel Federation reporting 90% occupancy over the Easter week nationwide. Marbella Town Hall announced average occupancy of 80%, with 100% in many places over the long Easter weekend. As a result of the demand, 35,000 jobs were created in Andalucia over the holiday period.

Marbella is the third most profitable tourist destination in Spain, and the most profitable in Andalucia, showing the resilience of the destination and the value of the brand of Marbella, which positively influences tourism for the whole of the Costa del Sol. Despite concern about Brexit, the Marbella Town Hall announced that according to their data and indicators, tourism from Great Britain continued to grow in the same trend as seen in 2016 and stated that they do not believe it has made a difference.

11% more passengers are already booked to fly into Malaga airport from April to September compared to 2016, and this figure should increase with late bookings. In Spain as a whole, there has been a big increase in nights spent in holiday rental properties and short stay accommodation in 2016, with a 10.2% compared to 2015, so this is definitely a growth sector.  Our sister company HolidayRentalontheWeb saw a 32% increase in holiday rentals in 2016 compared to 2015, so locally we are performing much better than the national average.

Things are strong in the property market as well. Real Estate Agent Panorama recently released their 2017 property market report for Marbella, which shows that house prices are on the rise, with healthy sales volumes back to pre-crisis volumes, although sales volumes have levelled off after a fast period of growth between 2012 and 2015. New build developments are back, with lots of activity in that sector and 77 new developments currently on the market along the Costa del Sol and international funds investing millions in residential developments in the area. The issues with Marbella’s Town Plan are encouraging land purchases in the areas of Benahavis and Estepona, widening the prime real estate areas in future years.

However, Panorama warns sellers that the price still needs to be right to sell and not to think that an improving market means that they can put their prices up. They say, “when vendors fix their asking price to the right level where their properties are perceived as very good value for money, there is an almost instant response in the marketplace”.  So, if you’re looking to sell, price is very important. Find out more and read the full report

Steady growth is expected in the next few years, with more demand from the Spanish market driving sales, well-priced properties selling more quickly and a gradual property price increases.

We are seeing a growing demand for high quality long-term rental properties, with properties in short supply. Due to the increased regulation in the holiday rental, the demand and the ease of management of a long-term rental, this can be a smart option for property owners playing the long game and waiting for property values to reach a peak once more. We have a dedicated website for long term rentals and our Long Term Rental specialist Sergio is here to help owners make the most of this great market, manage the properties and deal with the clients. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss renting your property long term.

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