Recently I was invited to participate in a discussion group where the problems of the Vivienda Vacacional in Tenerife were discussed. If you have invested and bought a property in Tenerife with the idea to rent it out, you probably have heard of the Vivienda Vacacional in Tenerife rules. This is if you are not renting out on long term contracts. The Vivienda Vacacional in Tenerife is, as you know, the regulation of short-term rental for tourism purposes. In other words, when you offer your country house or apartment for rent via platforms such as Booking or Airbnb or other internet platforms. Together with other interested parties, including the mayor of Puerto de La Cruz and a number of politicians, lawyers and people from the real estate sector, the debate was held on this flaw of a regulation.
I am saying ‘a flaw’, because the current legislation is completely unacceptable. The Canary Islands are the only place in the world where you are not allowed to rent out to tourists, in a tourist area. Try to understand this, I can’t. However, you can rent out in residential areas, in other words, where the local people live and from where they leave for work every day. They suddenly get tourists as neighbours, with all the consequences that entails. The reason for this should not be sought too far, the hotel lobby that considers private rental in tourist areas (where the hotels are located) to be a competition. And so they put pressure on the government. Four years of legislature have been lost on this matter, since all the rules imposed by the Canarian government have almost always been annulled or had to be adapted by the Supreme Court in Madrid. In January 2019, the government was once again whistled back by Madrid and chose to simply pass on the problem they had created to the municipalities.
The municipalities now have to decide on their own territory where they will allow renting and where not under the regulations of the Vivienda Vacacional in Tenerife. Area by area, plot by plot, building by building, they will have to investigate and justify whether or not it is allowed and substantiate this. A serious job. The responsibility in the municipality to do this lies with the technical engineer. You hear it well, singular, so one person is responsible. I’m not going to make any further comments, I think that this speaks for itself and that it won’t be recorded tomorrow and therefore we don’t have to expect a plan in the coming months.
But it gets even better… As soon as it is ready, it will also have to be approved by the authorities and by the Supreme Court in Madrid if irregularities or ambiguities are again found.
What is more, the elections are in progress, so there is a complete reluctance to do anything at all! After all, no politician wants to get involved in this subject until he or she is sure of a seat.
In the end, we are only asking for one thing: legal certainty as to what may or may not be done, clear legislation that is logical and not contradictory to what people want. If you know that in 2017 just under 16 million tourists have gone to the Canary Islands, and officially 9% of them have used the houses that are offered under a Vivienda Vacacional license in Tenerife, then there is still work to be done in order to provide for this large group of tourists. Not to mention the black rent which, according to my modest calculation, could reach up to 12% of all tourists who visit the islands …