Property in Bansko
September 30, 2013 by
Property in Bansko.
28/12/2012 I was in a meeting yesterday, the local property management companies had asked for a meeting with the mayor which became a meeting with the mayor, all his team, the town council and all the tourist associations. The main point of the meeting was for the British business’ to get some clarity on the position of apartments in Bansko as related to taxes and their legality as tourist business’. There has been some confusion about this over the last few years mainly because the law concerning apartment rentals is made in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible for apartments to be rented out. So below I have written a precis of the points as I understood them.
Rental or non rental property in Bansko. The law starts here, if you have guests staying in your apartment they and you are split into 2 distinct groups. If the guests are paying they become tourists if not they are considered friends and family. If you are renting out your apartment for money your property is a Tourist business and if not it is a residential property.
Registration of guests. All guests that are paying to stay in a Tourist business must be registered with the local police no matter where they are from. Any guests staying in a residential property do not need to be registered with the police unless they are from a non EU country or staying for more than 90 days.
Tourist business’, all tourist business’ must comply with all relevant laws as businesses’ i.e. have a registered company, cash machine, accounts, be catagorised by the muncipality, pay all local, tourist and national taxes and in all ways be a proper firm just as a 5* hotel would be.
Long term rentals this is a slight anomaly if you are renting out your residential property for a long term rental you do not become aTourist business and do not have to comply with all the requirements of a Tourist business.
Catagorisation this is a bit of a bugbear with the property management companies, but I think yesterday finally gave some clarity. If you are a Tourist business your apartment needs to be catagorised by the municipality. This basically means someone comes round and officially states your property’s standard. Each and every apartment can be catagorised seperately from the block it is in or together with the block. If the block has been catagorised already it is most likely that your apartment that is being catagorised seperately from the block will end up with a different level of catagorisation from the block itself.
Why is it all so F***ing hard, all I want to do is get a bit of a return on my investment! The law has purposely been made in such a way that it is really not worth the hassle and cost of making your holiday home a Tourist business. This is not a Bulgarian F**k up but an intentional move designed to dissuade people from running residential properties as Tourist businesses . The reason for this is that Residential buildings are not designed to be hotels, they do not comply with all the safety requirements of a hotel and as such are much easier to get building permission for. The Bulgarian government does not want apartments to be rented out and so they have made the requirements for renting out apartments very strict.
What does this mean for you the apartment owner? In the short term now is the time to panic. Every official body in the town hall has just had been informed that it is “too hard to make the British owned apartments legal” Add to this the perception that all the tourists coming to Bansko are now staying in apartments not hotels and you have a pretty explosive mix.
Local community leaders do not understand that the reasons that their hotels are empty are more to do with the world crisis, over supply of hotel beds, poor service and communication and a general lack of tourism talent than British owned apartments. However for the foreseeable future we will have to deal with Bulgarian “dark lord” syndrome where by all problems are heaped onto the closest scapegoat who is then destroyed by The Knight in Shining armor.