Monday, 15 June 2015 15:39


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The Canary Islands autonomous regional government has, on Friday May 22, approved the long awaited new regulating holiday homes. The Canary Islands Government Deputy Minister of Tourism, said that “after months of work, together with associations, industry players and public institutions, we have finally arrived at a standard for the development of this activity on the islands.”


Not application in Tourist Areas


In a surprise for some, who thought inevitable the inclusion of homes and apartments in established tourist zones, the new law “expressly excludes from the scope of this regulation” areas that are already covered by the tourism rules, “buildings in tourist zones that are within tourism developments or tourist areas, as well as tourist homes located in mixed residential developments or tourist developments, according to the definitions established by the existing Law, on renewal and modernization of Canaries tourism”.


In a few words that means, that if your holiday house is in an already regulated area, then it is still prohibited for you to rent to tourists or anyone for short periods, usually of less than three to six months.


The new rules, as expected from the previous drafts, states that houses or apartments outside of the existing regulated zones “may only be marketed as vacation homes where no such activity is expressly prohibited by the statutes of the community”. So if your residential community statutes says that you cannot rent to tourists, rent short term, or sublet, then you are also still not allowed to contravene these law agreed between proprietors of your complex. So if you are outside the regulated tourist areas, and your community does not forbid you renting short term, then you may consider carrying out tourist rentals, however in another aspect contained in the decree you must begin by submitting a sworn statement “by the operator…prior to the start of the activity of operating a holiday home”


The requrired paperwork


The new rules specifies that “the holders thereof or, where appropriate, the natural or legal persons to whom the owner has previously entrusted exploitation, must formalise their responsibility for these activities” and register with the appropriate institution (Cabildo of each island), agreeing to comply with the new law and to maintain compliance throughout the periods of rental.


At the same time, the person responsible for the declared activity must show at least one of these three documents, depending on the date the permit is requested:


  • the occupation license or cédula de habitabilidad

  • certificate of occupancy,

  • If you don’t have that previous documents because the house is old you will need an special certificate from a technical person very complete.

  • Declaration responsibility (a form from the Cabildo)


This law is quite clear to protect the users of these holiday homes and specifies expressly that “advertising, supply and management of vacation homes must conform to the requirements of truthfulness, objectivity and good faith, providing the user with enough information on the characteristics of [the house], conditions of use and performance of the contracted services, all without prejudice to the provisions of the existing rules on advertising and consumer protection and the end user.” It is include in the regulation that the owner must to inform to the police with the details of the people/clients who are coming to accommodate in the property.


Between the owner and the client have to have a contract or agreement document in which, at the very least, is contained the amounts to be paid, the binding terms of the contract, indicating hours, maximum number of people who can occupy the house and the prices to be charged for the service accommodation, all with the tax (IGIC) included. This document must be drafted in at least Castilian (Spanish) and English.”


The penalty in case you don’t fulfill the requirements of this law or you continue renting the property out of the regulation are between 18000.-€ and 60000.-€, just in case you have an inspection.


At the same time don’t forget  that for this kind of activity you have to pay taxes to the government.




Alicia Hernández


Lawyer (


Read 3814 times Last modified on Monday, 15 June 2015 15:44


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