New regulations - should I warn guests?

Hi all

We have new regulations coming in next month which, while not too onerous, will certainly increase the bureaucracy (this is Spain, after all!)

One of the requirements is that we take a copy of the passport or national ID card of each guest over 16, fill in a form with their personal information and send this to the local police station (who are going to LOVE the extra work!) This is routinely done at hotels here, but is new for holiday rentals.

My question is, do you think I should warn guests about this ahead of time? I don’t want them to be spooked by being asked this when they arrive, but I also don’t want to put them off ahead of time! Is anyone else required to do this, and if so, how do you handle it?,

You will definitely want to warn them. They may travel without it. If they know in advance, it will be far less of a shock. You may also wish to link them to the regulation.

I agree. You have to make it plain in your listing. And bear in mind that all other hosts in Spain will have to do the same thing so any Airbnb guests looking to rent in your country will have to so which ever rental they choose. If you’re up front in your listing - and explain that it’s a regulation for all Spanish rentals - then you’ll have an edge on those who don’t disclose it in their own listings.

As you say, it’s generally accepted for travellers who are staying in hotels so it shouldn’t be off-putting for guests.

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@Malagachica This has been common in Catalan since they imposed Tourist Licenses. We have never had any issues, and the police are 10000% not excited when we submit the info. We generally store the info with our lawyer, and if ever asked for it we have a record. As you mentioned the bureaucracy in Spain, and in our case Catalan, is extreme. You just have to roll with the punches.

I would definitely tell guests before booking.

I wouldn’t give a casual rooming/boarding host a passport without some sort of documentation saying a local area required it-- linking out to a government site explaining the policy would be goodand make guests feel more comfortable doing that. Many hotels in my city don’t even ask for ID, so I would makes sure you mention it in the ad so guests are prepared for your local regulations.

Plus, a guest could easily forget/lose/etc. their ID before arrival-- especially if they’re from your country or a country that doesn’t require ID for airbnb rentals and don’t think they’ll need an ID.

Having to send scanned copies of IDs to police stations for short-term rentals? That’s intense. Are long-term leases and standard landlords required to do this?

Absolutely you should let them know. As long as you explain the situation there will be no problems I am sure.

Checking into my hotel in Tokyo I was asked for our passports so they could copy them. We don’t know where it went from there. :slightly_smiling:

You could just make the request simple. “Please be sure to bring your passport or ID as a copy must be submitted to local authorities per new Barcelona holiday letting regulations.”

I wouldn’t mention THE POLICE! That could scare guests off.

Many thanks everyone for your suggestions, which pretty much tied in with my feelings on this. I like Kona’s simple request and will definitely use it - thanks, Kona!

From the date the regulations come in (May 11th) we will also have to put our allotted registration number somewhere on our listing and will be fined if we don’t - a rather clever way for the Tourist Authority to find out who’s not registered!

@room - actually, I don’t think anyone in Spain travels without their NIE (ID card) as you practically need it to buy groceries (just kidding … but only just!) but of course a reminder never hurts.

On a slightly different note, when I mentioned these new regs to the Air rep who contacted me about setting up my listing, he didn’t know anything about them … surely Air should employ someone with the requisite local knowledge about this? Andalucia is a real hotspot (literally!) for European tourists and there are hundreds of Airbnb properties in Malaga alone.

Yes, I’ve heard that Cataluna is even worse than southern Spain on this … at least here in Malaga our bureaucracy isn’t very efficient!

May I ask if you have a set form which is used to register guests for forwarding to the police, and if this is downloadable? It’s quite difficult to prise information out of the Ayuntamiento here!

We submit photo copies of passports to the police once a year, with our taxes I believe. There is no form, at least that I know of. I could ask our lawyer/tax person.

Do they have the resources to enforce this? Doesn’t feel like a smart move to me given that Spain has been struggling with its economy for a while, and the last thing a country in that position would want to do would be to deter potential tourists.

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@jackulas Come on, it’s Spain! We have limited resources for anything! Yes, EVERYONE except the politicians agree, detouring tourism is not smart, but we don’t make the rules. The rules especially here in Catalan, get more stringent ever year, I beleive it’s now a 90K Euro fine or putting your apartment on public housing if you get caught renting illegally. The mayor here in BCN is not exactly tourist friendly.

There has been a huge leap in tourism to Malaga in the last few years (it’s the new Barcelona, dontcha know!) and I have to say that the local government have done a lot to encourage it (smartening up the city centre, new museums etc) but they are in thrall to the very powerful Big Hotel lobby, who are naturally terrified of all these upstart Airbnbers. The rationale behind the regulations is to “protect” tourists from a “substandard vacation experience” - like all Spanish hotels are beacons of beauty and luxury? I think not …

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@Malagachica We ADORE the Costa Del Sol… especially Malaga and Mijas. I think it is much better suited for a beach break then BCN.

Absolutely agree, - you must visit next time you’re in Spain!