Only one in four people who have self-catering properties listed on the Costa del Sol tourist accommodation register are actually meeting the legal obligations set out by the government, figures from the National Police show.

The Holiday Rental Licence requires owners of self-catering properties that are rented to tourists to tell the Spanish National Police details of paying holiday guests, including names, passport numbers and nationalities.

Since the introduction of the Holiday Rental Licence just over two years ago, nearly 19,000 properties in Malaga province have been registered as tourist accommodation, according to the Sur in English newspaper, but only 4,500 have set up accounts with the National Police; meaning they are not supplying the police with information about their guests within 24hrs of them arriving as they legally should be.

The new law was introduced in a bid to heighten security, as well as to crack down on tax avoidance via undeclared earnings through holiday lets.

Gustavo Ferrer of the National Police in Malaga province says: “The person most concerned who is in their property should be the owner, and even more so with a level 4 terrorism alert currently in place. If we don’t know that a particular person is there, we cannot do anything. Our main aim is prevention,” reports Sur in English.

Creating an account with the National Police is relatively simple; contact your local National Police station and request the necessary forms by email. Once you have completed the paperwork you need to then make an appointment at the same station to hand them in – bear in mind that waiting times for an appointment can be lengthy in some areas so book well in advance. Once your account is set up, you can register guest’s details via an online programme or via an app. It is worth remembering that failure to supply the National Police with your guests details could result in a hefty fine!