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Dwellings for tourist use

It is a dwelling that is offered in its entirety to third parties by its owner, directly or indirectly, in exchange for a price, for periods of time equal to or less than 31 days. It must be legalised by the relevant municipal council.

This is the owner of the dwelling, who must obtain the appropriate municipal authorisation, although its marketing and management can be entrusted to a third person (an intermediary or manager).

  • It must have a certificate of occupancy, like any other dwelling, and may not be occupied by more people than those stipulated in the certificate.
  • It must comply with the technical and quality conditions applicable to dwellings in general at all times.
  • It must be sufficiently furnished and equipped with the necessary appliances and utensils for immediate occupancy, and in perfect conditions of hygiene.

The relevant municipal council must be notified of the beginning of the activity, by presenting a statement of compliance, which must state:

  • The identification details of the dwelling and its proprietor.
  • That it has a certificate of occupancy.
  • That it complies with the requirements established by the regulations in force, and that the owner undertakes to maintain compliance with them while providing the service.

As soon as the owner presents the statement of compliance to the competent municipal council or to the Single Business Window. After the dwelling has been legalised, the municipal council will notify the Tourism Register of Catalonia, which will assign it a registration number (NIRC), and notify the owner. This number must appear in all types of advertising in which the dwelling is marketed.

If the dwelling has been legalised by the municipal council, and the registration number mentioned above has not yet been issued, the reference number of the municipal notification must appear, and must it be replaced by the NIRC after the owner has been notified of the registration number:

Because this service must be provided legally. Legalising the dwelling gives the service better positioning in the market, due to promotion policies and opportunities for obtaining a rating.

Legalised dwellings benefit from tourist information and promotion in the Official Guide to Tourism Establishments and in Catalonia's tourism promotion portal.


Providing the service in the dwelling will be considered illegal. This illegal situation places the owner at risk of receiving a penalty from the municipal council or from the Government of Catalonia. Failure to legalise the activity implies an effective loss of competitiveness, and unfair competition with dwellings that are legalised.

Because the Tourism Register of Catalonia registration number or the municipal communication reference number is shown in all types of advertising where the dwelling is advertised. Tourist dwellings must also display the municipal council entry registration number of the statement of compliance in a visible and easily accessible place. However, the dwelling does not have to display any plaque or badge unless it is rated voluntarily.

  • To provide the municipal council, users and neighbours with a telephone number they can call and to immediately deal with queries and incidents related to the services provided in the tourist dwelling.
  • To guarantee a service of support and maintenance for the dwelling.
  • To require those staying in the dwelling to leave it if they fail to respect basic rules of social harmony, or if they fail to comply with the municipal ordinances issued to that end.
  • To send the information regarding people who stay in the dwelling to the Directorate General for the Police, in accordance with the regulations on public safety.
  • To collect the tax on stays in tourism establishments (IEET). This means that the user of the tourist dwelling must pay this tax. This takes place at the end of the stay, with the invoice provided by the owner, who in due course will have to present the payment to the Catalan Tax Agency.

No, the tourism regulations make no provisions on these subjects. The only limitation that they stipulate in this area is that the owner may not claim to live in the dwelling in order to prevent inspections by the competent authorities.

Tourist legislation does not stipulate any specific type of contract for this rental, which can take place in any of the ways admitted by law.

Rating is voluntary, and is carried out in accordance with the tourist quality system of Catalonia. A tourist dwelling can be rated provided that is duly legalised. This allows dwellings to be identified and structured based on the facilities and services they offer, in five categories, from one to five keys.

In order to classify a tourist dwelling, it is necessary to make an application for classification of a tourist dwelling and a self-appraisal questionnaire.

For more information, see the regulations governing tourist dwellings.


The municipal ordinance of uses for the area where the dwelling is located may limit this use, or make it subject to certain conditions.

In buildings subject to the horizontal property regime, the statutes of the community of owners, registered in the Property Register, may also restrict this use.

Public establishments are buildings, premises or enclosures that are accessible to the public, and free access to them cannot be restricted due to any personal or social condition or circumstance. Tourist accommodation establishments are considered public places. These establishments are: hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and rural tourism establishments.

However, free accessibility is not a characteristic of tourist dwellings, since it is the owner who decides to allow third parties to use them, and they are not considered public places.

Another characteristic to take into account is that in public establishments, the proprietor of the activity may not necessarily be the owner, while in tourist dwellings the proprietor of the activity is always the owner, and this distinction gives rise to different rights and obligations for owners and proprietors.

No, the situations are different. Holiday apartments are establishments that provide a temporary accommodation service in continuous buildings or units consisting entirely of apartments or studios, as sole establishments or as operational business units with the appropriate tourist services. They do not need to have a certificate of occupancy.

  • Municipal council of the municipality where the dwelling is located.
  • Ministry of Business and Knowledge website.