Tourístic apartments in Condominiums
In Sitges, renting touristic apartments is a very important business. In recent years, many real estate operations have been recorded for foreign clients who buy apartments in Sitges to be used for tourist apartments, undoubtedly attracted by the good name that Sitges has in the world and for our climate.
The owners who want to allocate their apartment to “Housing for Tourist Use (HUT)“, which is officially called, must first request the corresponding municipal license and pay the corresponding fee. Then, they must notify the Community of Owners who allocate their homes for this purpose, providing a telephone and contact person for 24 hours, in order to solve any incident that could occur. It should be remembered that in Sitges, today, the granting of licenses is suspended until the City Council develops a new Plan of Uses and adapts the Ordinances in this regard.
Both owners and tenants should be especially careful to know that they can not carry out “activities that are contrary to the normal coexistence in the Community or that damage or threaten the building.” Nor can “perform activities that the statutes or the urban planning regulations and uses of the sector where the building is located exclude or prohibit expressly.” Although, in our opinion, the responsibility lies with the owner, who should be very careful that their tenants respect both the rules and the coexistence with the rest of the neighbors, because there is a significant change of destination of the Property, not comparable to the lease, even if it is seasonal, in which the property obtains economic performance for its property.
In this type of apartment, where the tenant’s stay is short (usually between 4 and 15 days in Sitges), these rarely receive information about the use of the property, because what the Owners are to make the most of their clients’ stay, not cause any inconvenience, giving a very good image to the customer and back again, have favorable comments in specialized portals, which make their property go up positions within the portal. So further up, it is equal to more reservations. Of course not?
Unfortunately, the lack of interest of the owner in this regard, which often only takes care of his own economic interest, causes inconvenience, noise and problems of coexistence in the rest of the Community, especially during times of maximum employment such as Summer or Carnival. In summary, it can be an activity contrary to normal coexistence in the Community, and it may be prohibited in the bylaws, prior agreement of the Board (article 553-11.1 of the Civil Code), or when it modifies the destination clearly to housing the flats of the property, if this were established in the constitutive title of the horizontal property.
Therefore, the Communities have the capacity to regulate any commercial activity that is developed in the building (the subject of the commercial premises is another thing) on condition that previously it already appears in the constituent title or if it is recorded in the statutes of the community. This point is very difficult to see nowadays, since the promoters of buildings never include this clause in the Statutes or the Constitutive Title, because it could cause them to lose sales of the apartments. So the Commuity must do it…
In order for a Community to modify these statutes, the agreements must be taken in a Board that is regulated by all owners. It is mandatory that this point be in the Agenda (remember that only agreements that are in the Order of the Day can be made or when 100% of the owners concur in the Board and agree to modify this Order of the Day before beginning the Board). Therefore, the point that must be included requires the study and voting of the proposal to effect the change of the Statutes. In this Meeting, a point must be included in which the proposal is specifically considered and voted, and if necessary, reform and adapt the Statutes of the Community according to the majority (article 553-25.2 of the Civil Code of Catalonia ), that with the favorable votes of the four fifths of the participation quotas with voting rights (important), they can incorporate into the statutes a new article in which it is expressly prohibited, to allocate the houses of the property to tourist uses or the like. An added problem is when there are already such apartments in the Community and their owners have the right to vote …
If you want to know if a tourist apartment is legalized and licensed (those of Sitges all begin with HUTB and some numbers), you can access the Generalitat’s website and check.
In summary, for both owners and tenants, it is interesting and advisable to know the constituent title of the horizontal property and the statutes of the Community. Anyone who wants to take advantage of a flat as a tourist apartment or who may be affected by this activity from neighboring housing corresponding to their Community should request the advice of a lawyer specialized in leasing or can ask our Community Department.