Dé­nia joins 'il­le­gal' tourist let crack­down

Po­lice in­spec­tions and hol­i­day rental reg­is­ter checks widen their net

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS -

A CLAM­P­DOWN on il­le­gal hol­i­day lets re­gion-wide has now shifted to the Ma­rina Alta and a reg­istry and in­spec­tion sys­tem will be set up.

Tourism au­thor­i­ties have been sign­ing up town coun­cils all over the prov­inces of Va­len­cia and Castel­lón to their new anti-fraud scheme, and Dé­nia is now the first in the prov­ince of Ali­cante to add its name to the list

he cross-re­gional net­work al­lows lo­cal po­lice in mem­ber towns to draw up in­ven­to­ries of hol­i­day prop­er­ties for rent, com­plete with ad­ver­tis­ing chan­nels, de­tails of the own­ers and fea­tures of the vil­las, houses and apart­ments, then check they are on the tourist board reg­is­ter.

If they are, they should clearly state their regis­tra­tion num­ber in­side the build­ing and on their ad­verts.

Dé­nia's mayor Vi­cent Gri­malt, dur­ing a meet­ing with re­gional tourism sec­re­tary Francesc Colomer, pledged a 'ze­ro­tol­er­ance ap­proach' to un­reg­is­tered hol­i­day lets in the town. The ap­par­ent bat­tle against pri­vately-owned tourist lets – orig­i­nally launched by ho­tels who re­sented hav­ing com­pe­ti­tion – has al­ways been a thorny sub­ject for own­ers.

Rent­ing out a home to hol­i­day­mak­ers is a vi­tal source of in­come for many ex­pats and over­seas res­i­dents and, in many cases, cov­ers the mort­gage on the prop­erty and pro­tects their in­vest­ment.

And do­ing so is com­pletely le­gal – as long as the prop­erty is reg­is­tered with the tourism board and the owner pays the re­quired tax on rental in­come.

But many own­ers claim it is nearly impossible to reg­is­ter their prop­er­ties due to un­real- is­tic de­mands.

Above-ground apart­ments with­out a lift may not be ac­cepted be­cause they have no dis­abled ac­cess, for ex­am­ple, even if the ad­vert clearly states they are un­suit­able for hol­i­day­mak­ers with re­duced mo­bil­ity.

Yet if au­thor­i­ties did not crack down on un­reg­is­tered ac­com­mo­da­tion, they could be leav­ing tourists vul­ner­a­ble to fraud: hol­i­day homes that turn out not to ex­ist, are un­safe, are in ex­tremely poor or in­salu­bri­ous con­di­tions, do not match the ad­verts or are to­tally un­suit­able for the cus­tomer.

The only safe op­tion is to work closely with a sales and hol­i­day let­ting agency when buy­ing a prop­erty likely to be des­tined for tourists.

This said, the re­gional tourist board is now be­gin­ning to recog­nise that the hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion mar­ket is chang­ing .

rav­ellers are more in­clined to book on­line and in­de­pen­dently, and net­works such as Airbnb are a 21st-cen­tury re­al­ity that can­not be de­nied.

skett@

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