Official links for British residents and visitors:
these must now be made online and then sent to Belfast:
- see HERE for basic information
- see HERE for pre-application guidance and a link to the passport office application
- see HERE for the direct link to the passport application.
- for an emergency travel document, see HERE;
- the 12-month extension system brought in mid-2014 to cover the Passport Office problems came to an end on 10 April 2015.
Notarial and documentary services guide for Spain – documents available from the Consulate
Healthcare in Spain – British Government advice website about healthcare here for residents and visitors.
There will be times when those with interests in Spain, or resident here, need notarial assistance in the UK. Christopher Atkinson is a Leeds-based specialist Notary Public. His main website is HERE, his blog is HERE, and I have personal experience of how he has helped in UK-Tenerife matters.
Links to various laws and resources that may be of interest:
Health & Welfare
- European health cards are for travellers who are ill when away from where they are resident, so are issued by whichever health system provides their cover – for a full explanation see HERE. UK residents apply for an EHIC (click HERE), and anyone resident in Spain applies for a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (for information click HERE). British pensioners who are resident in Tenerife and have registered an S1, however, have health cover in Spain which is provided via the UK, and so they need a UK EHIC. They must apply by post rather than online because they don’t live in the country which pays for their healthcare. Pensioners resident in Tenerife with a registered S1 can get an application forms from the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0044 191 279 0575. This is the number to call as well for any visitors who have lost or forgotten their EHIC (or if it has expired or been stolen) to request a Provisional Replacement Certificate.
- To access healthcare in Spain, including how to get an S1 and register it, see the UK Government’s Dept of Health website Healthcare in Spain HERE.
- Canaries – Patients’ Charter Law, also see page HERE
- Domestic Violence Law, also see page HERE
- Emergency services charge for rescue for risky sports, etc, also see page HERE
- Spain has a missing child hotline that is part of an EU-wide network. The number is 116000. See HERE, and HERE for the Fundación ANAR – Ayuda a Niños y Adolescentes en Riesgo (“help for children and adolescents at risk”).
- Beach safety Law
- Many people feel ill when we have calimas, or dust irruptions, and some suffer badly with respiratory problems. There are two main sites to forecast these episodes: THIS one, and in my opinion a more user-friendly one HERE, both from Aemet.
- 2015 Vivienda Vacacional Decree
- 2013 Tourism law modifications first year review
- The 2013 Ley de Renovación y Modernización Turística de Canarias.
- Reglamento of the 2013 tourism law
- The 1995 Canarian Tourism Law
- 1999 Modification of 1995 Tourism Law
- 2009 Modification of 1995 Tourism Law
- 2010 Canarian touristic standards law (see Appendixes at the end for specific requirements)
- 1996 Canarian decree governing fire safety regulations for touristic apartments
- The 1998 Not Subject to Tourism Legislation Decree
- 2011 modification of 1998 Not Subject Decree
- 1996 Tourism inspections and sanctions powers Decree
Property & communities
- The Urban (residential) Lease Law
- 2013 Urban (residential) Lease Flexibilization Law
- Ley de Propiedad Horizontal (Law of Horizontal Division) (courtesy of APAF, association of presidents and administrators)
- Law of Horizontal Division (in English, translation courtesy of Hestria, community administrators)
- Swimming pool legislation
- Government guide to community swimming pool legislation
Roads and driving
- Tráfico Santa Cruz (location, opening times, contact details, and the link for making appointments online)
- Código de circulación (Spanish Highway Code)
- Road Traffic Law 1990
- Road Traffic Law 1997
- Road Traffic Law 2003
- Driving licence law 2009
- Driving licence medical test centres (Tenerife’s start on page 361)
- Renewing Spanish licences (can be done at medical test centres or at Tráfico)
- Speeding fines and points
- Also see the Driving section of the Getting It Right page HERE for a range of questions about road usage, driving licences (renewing, exchanging & provisional), cyclists, child seats, drink-driving limits etc.
- Consumer rights law, also see page HERE
- Complaints book law
- Defensor del Pueblo – the Spanish ombudsman, who protects rights given by the constitution.
- EU right to reside in Spain directive and HERE
- Spain’s 2007 EU-compliant law concerning right of residence
- Spanish Constitutional Right to Association
- Canarian Association Law
- Citizen Security Law – so called Gag Law (Ley Mordaza). See also post HERE.
- Short-term specific-purpose rental contract TEMPLATE – do not use unless you know exactly what you are doing, and even if you do, please read HERE and HERE first.
- Long-term residential rental contract TEMPLATE – do not use unless you know exactly what you are doing, and even if you do, please read HERE and HERE first.
- Rent to buy rental contract TEMPLATE – do not use unless you know exactly what you are doing, and even if you do, please read HERE and HERE first.
- ~ I am frequently asked about criminal record checks, normally when people return to the UK. Please see HERE for the information in Spanish, and HERE in English too. Bear in mind that since this will be an official Spanish certificate required outside of Spain, it will need to be apostilled: you need to ask for this when requesting the certificate. For those who need a British criminal record check in Spain, for example, if applying for Spanish nationality, see the ACRO Criminal Records Office HERE.
- A Vida Laboral is an official report of a worker’s social security contributions in Spain, a sort of ongoing or permanent P60 which can be requested in various situations here. You can apply online HERE (set to English page).
- ~ Sworn translators are required sometimes where formal documents need to be translated by someone who has been certified and registered by the authorities and who can give an official stamp to the translation. Please be aware that if you pay for a translation when a sworn translation is required, your translation will not be sufficient. Many people offer a sworn translation service without actually being sworn translators; they are actually intermediaries who add on a fee and then use a sworn translator whom the public could have approached direct. There is a Cabildo list HERE of those who are recognized by the authorities as such, and the Spanish Government has a list HERE, updated for 2016 – Tenerife’s sworn translators for English documents start at page 1302. The vast majority are in the north, but the public can also approach the translation service on the ground floor of the courts in Arona (at the top of El Camisón): sworn translations can be obtained there at minimal cost (in the region of €20 or so).
- HERE and HERE are details of social security contributions for workers and self-employed.
- Grants for Social Security financial assistance HERE and HERE.
- Extra benefits for the unemployed HERE.
- ADICAE – association for users of banks, financial services and insurances.
- Information in English on the Dación en pago (handing a property back to a bank)
- Spanish bank Ombudsman (Defensor del Cliente), and HERE is a consumer association page with help and a complaint form to download because the Bank of Spain site seems to fail far too often on the Defensor del Cliente page …
- Legal Aid
- ~ I am often asked about tax, but even simple questions might have hidden depths, and all tax matters should be answered by experts. I recommend asking either Paul Montague, who is Blevins Franks international tax adviser in the Canaries, or Diana McGowan, a qualified asesora in Tenerife.
- A “clausula suelo” is a “floor clause” which used to be used almost universally in mortgages to set a lower limit to the rate of interest applied regardless of how low the Euribor fell. This has now been deemed illegal by the ECJ with Spanish banks being required to make full repayment. Please see HERE.
- Regional Government Law on “potentially dangerous” dogs
- National Government Law on “potentially dangerous” dogs, updated HERE
- Local rules on keeping animals – Adeje, Arona, Granadilla, Guía de Isora, Santiago del Teide
If you see a matter of animal cruelty, you can call the local police or, more effectively perhaps, Seprona. Seprona is the Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza, so the official police route for environmental issues of any sort, including animal welfare. Just call 062 and explain it’s an environmental or animal welfare issue, where you are, and they will forward you to the correct local contact. Rumours that Seprona is only concerned with non-domestic animals are incorrect, and the Guardia Civil themselves say that cases of animal mistreatment should be denounced without hesitation to 062.
Pet cremation – there is a crematorium for pets in north Tenerife. The details are HERE.
Mercadona website to check if branches are open. Just choose Santa Cruz de Tenerife from the first drop down box.
Poul’s Auto For short- and long-term hire cars.
Tenerife Information Centre is a website with information about everything from food to ferries, politics to parties, and much more.
Duty chemists – just choose the month from the drop down box and it will do the rest, giving a list of pdf files available. There are five pages with different areas – just click Siguientes to move on a page.
Óptica Downes – on the left as you go up Calle Grande towards the town hall in Adeje. I can personally recommend this opticians for its superb and professional service in an unhurried atmosphere, reasonable prices, and excellent English for non-Spanish speakers.
Saffiedine Oftalmología – for when there is a problem that needs more than an optician, this ophthalmologist is on the left going down the road towards the sea between Compostela Beach and the Mediterranean Palace (Mare Nostrum Resort) in Playa de las Américas. Again I can personally recommend this specialist for his professionalism and very wide range of services. He’s multi-lingual, and has very reasonable prices considering it’s a private practice.
BJ Maintenance Tenerife – cleaning, maintenance and gardening for non-resident property owners.
Estate agents (there are many in Tenerife. The following are ones that I would use myself):
- Woods The Estate Agents
- Clear Blue Skies
- CML Tenerife
- Paul Ruane, Los Gigantes www.tenerifepropertysales.com
- SYS-realestate – an agency established by a lawyer and auctioneer to sell repossessed or judicially seized property
- Morfitt Properties Tenerife
BabyTenerife – baby equipment rental ( strollers, travel cots, high chairs etc.) in south Tenerife.
LeRo – disability equipment supplies, including hire of crutches, wheelchairs etc.
Auditorio Infanta Leonor for international-level concerts and cultural programmes of all descriptions in the centre of Los Cristianos.
Loro Parque a superb day out while contributing to an environmental foundation that does perhaps more good than any other in Tenerife.
Tenerife Museums a range of museums to cater for all cultural tastes, whether science, anthropological, historical, human. Click on the British flag for a full translation of each of the museums, which are listed by abbreviations across the header.
Pirámides de Güímar an “ethnographic park” with an eye to the history, nature and geography of Tenerife. It has a lovely atmosphere, different sections, gardens, a museum, as well as those “pyramids”.
Teide astounding geography, incredible views. The link is to the Teleférico website, with information about the national park, activities, the cable car, getting a permit to go to the very top, and the Refugio Altavista where one can stay overnight. Whether it’s a drive into the crater or a climb to the summit, Mt Teide is an absolutely essential visit.
- To get to the summit, the timetable is 9am to 4pm, last ascent at 4pm, last descent at 4.50. Permits are granted by the National Park administration, and can only be arranged online at reservasparquesnacionales.es. If using the cable car, it costs €12 for a resident adult, 25 for a non-resident. If staying overnight at the Refugio, see the teleférico link just above to book.
- Many people ask about camping around Teide. Since it’s a national park, camping is strictly controlled, and a permit/authorization is necessary every time The following links should help with the options, and how to apply: Cabildo (English); Todo Tenerife.
- PLEASE NOTE: Teide is a staggering 3,718m high, making it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. The caldera, and indeed the national park generally, has an average altitude of over 2,000m. Please note that atmospheric changes start at an altitude of around 2,500m. This can cause altitude sickness, but more specifically, can cause problems for those suffering heart and lung conditions, who can also begin to suffer repercussions at lower altitudes. Such people are advised not to go above the level of the caldera, the average altitude of which is over 2,000m, and so should not go up in the cable car, nor to try to ascend the peak of Teide itself. Those with severe heart or lung conditions would be well advised not actually to go even as high as the caldera itself.
Los Imprescindibles – the essentials: the Tenerife tourism authorities’ list of unmissables.
Regional Government, Tourism Department:
- Infrastructure – 922 473 040
- Organization and promotion (and inspections/fines) – 922 475 477
Insular level – Tenerife Cabildo:
- Dept of Economía, Competitividad, Movilidad y Turismo – 922 239 294.
- Within the dept : Tourism admin – 922 239 585, Technical service of tourism and innovation – 922 531 531
- Tenerife Cabildo tourism website HERE (approved touristic apartment search HERE)
- Tenerife Cabildo website about Tenerife HERE (approved touristic apartment search HERE)
Local Ayuntamiento tourism departments:
- Adeje 922 750 633 can’t find an email but website is www.costa-adeje.es
- Arona 922 725 203, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Granadilla 922 392 037, email email@example.com
- San Miguel 922 738 664, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local tourist information offices (these are the ones I think are the obvious ones, the full listing from the Cabildo is HERE:
- Adeje – Fañabe 922 716 539, Troya 922 750 633, Plaza del Duque 922 750 633, South 922 793 312
- Arona – Las Américas 922 797 668, Las Galletas 922 730 133, Las Vistas 922 787 011
- Granadilla – El Médano 922 176 002, TFS 922 392 037
- Guía de Isora – San Juan 922 138 987
Illegal Letting Situation:
Anyone who has been fined needs to consult a lawyer urgently, and specifically one who is qualified, informed and totally up to speed on this issue. You can check whether you’ve been fined by googling your NIE together with “BOC”: that should bring up any relevant search results specific to you. The BOC itself is HERE: please note that each year needs to be searched individually and I have found the search facility very poor, which is worse than useless because it doesn’t find what’s there to be found, leaving people feeling safe when they aren’t. The best is to use google. HERE is the new law approved on 28 May 2013 and published in the Parliamentary Boletín on 29 May.
There is a directory HERE of all the posts I’ve made about this issue since I originally broke the story in December 2010.
Charities and churches:
The following are either based in, or operate in, Tenerife or the Canaries generally, and are registered “associations”, which is the equivalent here to a “charity” as we would understand it in the UK (see HERE).
AMATE – Asociación de mujeres con cáncer de mama de Tenerife (Association of women with breast cancer in Tenerife).
AECC – Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (Spanish cancer association)
SEPCAL – Sociedad Española de Cuidados Paliativo (Spanish palliative care society)
En Pié – Mental health Fundación
ATELSAM – Asociación Tinerfeña en Lucha por la Salud Mental (Tenerife Mental Health Association)
Alabente – Asociación para la Liberación de la Anorexia y la Bulimia en Tenerife (Eating Disorders Association)
South Tenerife Christian Fellowship – Interdenominational Evangelical Church, primarily used by visitors, based in the Apolo Centre in Los Cristianos.
Callao Salvaje Community Church – a small non denominational Bible-believing church for residents and visitors.
Tenerife Family Church – an evangelical community of Bible literalists.
The Canarian Government has a database of organizations you can search according to municipality, island, and province, and with which you can register to volunteer. The database, HERE, also allows you to filter to find only accredited organizations, and to select the specific area(s) you want to volunteer in, e.g. young people, cultural activities, environmental concerns.