In the first place we will explain the difference between tourist apartment and housing for tourist use, it does not stop being an ambiguous difference, understanding on our part that it is a basically legal definition.
The terms could be interchanged, but to give a north the housing for tourist use refers to a property of a private person who rents it intermittently and unprofessionally, usually for days on pages type booking or airbnb, on the other hand the tourist apartments they are buildings generally managed by companies dedicated exclusively to the rent and that have to fulfill several requirements, type to have a plaque indicating AT in the entrance, a classification according to various parameters indicating from one to four keys, reception, etc.
As we can see someone can have an apartment and yet be a tourist housing, and on the other hand a residential building can be converted into a block of tourist apartments.
Perhaps it is the approach that is given, the most defining, while the housing for tourist use is something that does not need to be in a professional activity and only requires registration in the corresponding autonomous government, the apartments also need an activity license In this sense, they are more like a hotel than a residential property.
Nor should we be fooled by the unprofessional use of a tourist home, it must also meet many requirements, such as an occupancy license, first aid kit, air conditioning in each room, have an entry / exit record, communication to the police / civil guard, tourist information, … not forgetting the aforementioned registration on the tourism page of the corresponding community, the breach of these requirements can lead to important sanctions, having knowledge in my community of cases ranging from 2,000 to € 6,000 fine.
Regulations tourist apartments
As we have said, although the regulations extend to all properties, it is more restrictive in the case of apartments since it is a commercial and professional activity.
On the subject of specific regulations I am going to refer to my community, Andalusia, I suppose the others will be similar and have followed a parallel evolution.
First of all we will refer to DECREE 194/2010, of April 20, of tourist apartment establishments. And we must also take into account LAW 13/2011, of December 23, of Tourism of Andalusia. According to the decree we can establish:
1. Tourist apartment establishments are classified into two groups: a) Buildings / complexes. b) Sets.
2. The buildings / complexes group belong to those establishments integrated by three or more accommodation units that occupy the whole or independent part of a building or several, having their own entrance and, where appropriate, elevators and stairs for exclusive use, being able to adopt the name “tourist apartment building” or “tourist apartment complex” in the case of several buildings.
3. The joint group includes those establishments composed of three or more accommodation units located in the same building, in the same complex of buildings, or in adjacent buildings or complexes, occupying only a part of them, in which the tourist accommodation service under exploitation unit.
And its modalities will be:
Beach, at a distance equal to or less than one thousand five hundred meters from the shore of the sea.
City, those that are not classified in any other modality, are located in land classified as urban.
Rural, being located in rural areas.
Highway, in its areas or service areas.
They must also have identification plates, classified by keys (from one to four depending on their characteristics) and have a director. And other obligations specified in the mentioned decree.
Tourist apartment license vs tourist housing license
Regarding the licenses we can find the following differences:
While for a tourist home, the occupation license or occupancy certificate is enough, which the municipality will provide if it is a house under 30 years old, or request it through a descriptive and graphic certificate, made by a technician if it is older and Proceed to the corresponding tourist registry, fulfilling some more conditions such as air conditioning in all rooms, have a first-aid kit, check-in and communicate to the police, as well as having tourist information.
For tourist apartments we will have a full-fledged business, needing an activity license approved by the municipality through a responsible declaration, having a company or being autonomous, and comply with the corresponding as say luxury apartments Barcelona spain.