One of the non-trivial questions that visitors to Spain may face is whether it is possible to use a tourist apartment as the main place of residence? The question is quite relevant, given that in Spain, in fact, there is no national legislation that would regulate this aspect of the tourism industry and the residential sector.
At the same time, of course, there is regional legislation, but, as follows from the description, it can change from one region of the country to another. First of all, when analyzing this issue, you should start with local laws and regulations, primarily at the level of the autonomous community where the desired property is located.
In some autonomous communities of Spain, there are indeed laws that strictly separate and regulate the purchase and accommodation in tourist apartments (AT) and accommodation for tourist use (VUT). Both must be registered with the relevant services on the territory of the autonomous community and comply with regulatory requirements, but the differences between them are quite serious.
The first type of housing refers to apartments for tourists, which are located within a residential building, entirely reserved for the accommodation of tourists and tourists only. It is not considered a classic residential building and only tourists cannot stay in it. This building is legally registered and usually the apartments in it are marked as AT — A - Túrístico. Being rather hotel facilities, such residential complexes must follow particularly strict regulatory requirements.
Tourist use housing (VUT), in turn, is a specific apartment that can easily be located within an ordinary residential complex and receives a license to accommodate tourists individually. Such an apartment may belong to a private person, and not to a company that rents it to a tourist, including on a regular, long-term basis.
For most property owners who are just starting out as landlords in the tourism sector, it is recommended to start their business through VUT. Answering the question posed at the beginning, AT is not a residential facility and cannot be used as a permanent residence. They are commercial residential units. VUT, on the other hand, allows use as a place of permanent residence.