Blog Post

UK Travel Traffic Lights Stall Hopes Of Spanish Holiday Homeowners

UK Travel Traffic Lights Stall Hopes Of Spanish Holiday Homeowners

Unable to visit their properties abroad and facing the continued closure of their biggest market for tourist rentals, British based holiday homeowners are starting to feel the pain in Spain.

No Clarity On Non-Essential Travel

Boris Johnson’s teatime address to the nation yesterday did little to end the current uncertainty surrounding the prospects for non-essential travel from the UK this Spring or indeed Summer.  Leaving some 630,00 British owners of property in Spain in limbo.

Tax Rises and Travel Restrictions

Whilst Brexit has resulted in a 25% increase in the amount of Modelo 210 tax they have to pay (even if they do not rent their property out), the removal of valuable deductions against tax and new restrictions limiting them to stays of just 90 days per every 180-day period.

Travel Traffic Lights

Now, they face continued uncertainty as the UK Government’s proposed travel traffic light system will impose at minimum numerous expensive tests for anyone seeking to visit Spain, as and when non-essential international travel actually resumes.  A measure which is sure to only dampen demand and negatively impact rental incomes – as the UK has traditionally been Spain’s largest source of tourist arrivals, accounting for a whopping 18 million arrivals in 2019 (around 20% of all visits).

Ray Of Light

Only a few weeks ago, the UK Government offered a ray of light to British owners of second homes in Spain by announcing that visits could be made for residential property related purposes, such as buying or selling a villa or apartment or preparing it for rental.  However, the Spanish Government has since nixed this prospect as they continue to exert tight control over all arrivals from the UK.

Modelo 210 Taxes

As a result of these ongoing restrictions on travel from the UK and subsequent empty rental calendars more and more British holiday homeowners are likely to become liable for the Modelo 210 non-letting tax.  As the Spanish tax authorities levy an annual liability on all foreign owned properties even if they are not rented out at all – an obligation which some homeowners are totally unaware of.

Failure to pay can lead to complications when owners come to sell their property – so if you own a holiday home in Spain and are impacted by the current situation do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

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