40 euros for sleeping in a car or in tents on a roof in Lanzarote

by Lorraine Williamson
unregulated tourist accommodation

The summer holidays have started and many tourists travel to Lanzarote to enjoy the beautiful beaches. The inhabitants understand that tourists can earn them money. Still, some miss the mark with that ambition. 

Lanzarote already has almost 7,000-holiday homes. Moreover, this accounts for 30% of the total supply of overnight accommodations. However, since some ‘special’ sleeping places have been offered, the debate about the regulation of holiday homes on the island has reignited. 

Controversial offer 

For example, one of them offers tents on a roof terrace in its ‘urban camping hostel’ in Arrecife. Guests pay €12 per night for this. A review on Airbnb says the following about this: “It’s a camping tent on a roof, what can you expect? It can be windy on Lanzarote, so brace yourself to sleep in a tent while the wind is blowing hard outside.” Guests do have access to common areas and are allowed to stay for a maximum of 28 nights. 

Another provider that has gone viral thanks to social media allowed guests to sleep in a car for €40 per night with a deposit. That is a Renault 4 with a mattress and pillow in the back. 

The upper limit is almost reached 

A study on the maximum number of tourists in Lanzarote, cited by Eldiario.es, concluded that the island is already close to the upper limit. There was also a warning of a “revolution” in the holiday home market. This could therefore, have direct consequences for the inhabitants. Lanzarote already had 6,826-holiday homes in 2022, with a growth of 6.5%. This is no less than 30% of the total accommodation offered on the island. 

“Offering holiday homes for tourists provides an additional source of income for people from different walks of life. In theory, this sounds good, provided that owners of large apartment buildings or urbanisations do not convert them into holiday homes themselves. When that happens, this theory no longer applies. The same applies when the supply is largely foreign-owned,” says Gaia Consultores Insulares SLU based on their research.  

The industry needs to be regulated 

In line with the findings of this investigation, a spokesman for the Canarian Holiday Rentals Association (Ascav) says that the entire holiday home rental sector needs to be regulated. Ascav also points out that this is not a new problem. According to this organisation, a distinction should also be made between the regulation of traditional holiday homes owned by private families and the new trend of making “pseudo-hotels”. 

Fewer and more expensive long-term holiday rentals 

The opportunity to make money from it prompted a large number of owners to convert their homes into holiday homes for tourists. “The direct consequence of this is that the supply of homes is falling and their prices are rising sharply,” the study states. If growth continues at this current rate, no less than 50% of the total supply of places to live will consist of holiday homes. Checking the quality and sustainability of all these holiday homes would be ‘almost impossible’. 

Most holiday homes in the Canary Islands are found in the more expensive cities, according to a survey of rental properties by the Spanish Ministry of Transport. A good example can be found on Lanzarote, in Yaiza. This town is close to Playa Blanca, one of the main attractions of the island. 12.82% of the total housing supply in Yaiza consists of holiday homes. Those looking for a long-term rental house must pay at least €550 per month. 

Cogesa Expats

Also read: Holiday home on the beach this summer considerably more expensive in Spain 

The next expensive town is Teguise, also close to one of Lanzarote’s main attractions; Costa Teguise. 1,044-holiday homes are registered here, 9.40% of the total supply. Here, as in Yaiza, the price for a rental home here is also on average €550 euros per month.

Tías, another city, has 1,211 holiday homes to rent (7.8%). Here, families pay €515 per month for a rental home. In Tinajo, the price is only €15 lower for a single-family home. This city has only 152 holiday homes registered (6.29%). In Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, the rent is €467. This city has at least 466 holiday homes (2.01%). 

According to this survey, Haría is the cheapest city, with a rent of €457 per month. This is even though the percentage of holiday homes in that city continues to grow and is now at 9.40%. 

Stress areas 

Most of the inhabitants of Lanzarote live in stressed areas. The new housing law defines these as areas where rent plus utilities exceed 30% of monthly expenses. 

Lanzarote’s new councillor for housing, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, said that among the government’s plans is also to look at increasing the number of social housing units and giving land to the regional government to create housing to also support the “help local people.” 

“The problem of the holiday homes is quite difficult. These must be regulated in some way to maintain the image of our island among tourists. Not only as a holiday destination but also as a sustainable island with a nature reserve. We can’t do everything,” says Jiménez. Moreover, he also acknowledges that the large number of holiday homes makes the shortage of rental houses more acute and that rents are rising as a result. 

Also read: More return on real estate for tourist rental in Spain 

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