Holiday home rental on the Canary Islands curbed

Will you still be able to rent out your home to tourists in 5 years?

by Lorraine Williamson
holiday rental

The regional government of the Canary Islands has announced new regulations for the rental of holiday homes. The revised, stricter rules are expected to come into effect on October 1, 2024. Homeowners are outraged by the proposal.

The Ministry of Tourism of the Canary Islands has presented a draft law for the “sustainable management of the tourist use of housing.” The law stipulates, among other things, that the 88 municipalities of the islands must reserve 90% of their building volume for “residential housing” in their construction plans. The remaining 10% can be used for tourist housing and other purposes.

For La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro, the maximum quota for holiday homes will be 20%. Nevertheless, it is a demanding regulation that sets requirements in terms of sustainability, quality, and competitiveness. The new regulations aim to restrict the holiday rental of residential homes.

Interest representative extremely critical of the new plan

The Canary Association of Holiday Home Owners, ASCAV, rejects the regulation of the regional government, calling it “illegal.” In response, the association states that “the draft law is the death knell for holiday homes. Soon, holiday rental will not be allowed at all. This is a law of extermination.”

ASCAV argues that the proposal is a “hodgepodge of the most restrictive measures” imposed not only in Spain but also in Europe on owners of holiday homes. The association is not pleased with the regional government, claiming that the Canary Islands want to “prohibit new tourist apartments” from now on and “eliminate the apartments that are already legally rented out.”

Cogesa Expats

Death blow for holiday homes in the Canary Islands

ASCAV also points out that this “is the death blow” for holiday homes on the islands because in the future, virtually no new accommodations will be allowed. This can only be deviated from if the municipal regulation explicitly allows it. According to the association, virtually none of the 88 municipalities have currently adjusted municipal planning to provide for holiday homes. For this reason, it is automatically prohibited under the new law. Moreover, so many conditions are imposed on the municipalities that it is almost impossible to comply.

Measures leading to the disappearance of holiday homes

ASCAV also emphasises that the new measures will lead to the gradual “extermination” of legal holiday homes. The transitional period of 5 years that will apply to these homes will prove useless for many owners. Within those five years, these holiday homes must meet current technical requirements (heating, air conditioning, energy class B or C…). The homes must also meet access requirements to the property, such as a paved road. In many cases, the owner has little influence on this and thus faces the withdrawal of the rental permit. Although owners can get a 5-year extension for adapting the holiday home to all legal requirements after the first 5 years, whether the owner wants it or not, the requirements are imposed from above.

New law puts many jobs at risk

The Association of Holiday Home Owners regrets the steps taken by the regional government of the Canary Islands and calls the law an “anti-holiday accommodation law.” According to the new regulations, more than 50,000 direct jobs are at risk. The financial consequences would also be enormous: €2.7 billion per year. Costs that are directly generated in the archipelago; the closure of thousands of small businesses and local intermediation companies; the loss of real estate to foreign investors; and finally, that the housing shortage and the rise in rental prices are not solved.

The draft law from the Ministry of Tourism still needs to be approved.

Also read: Problems on Spanish holiday islands – full hotels – no staff

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