In Tenerife

Illegal holiday-let inspections and fines situation (original post)

Please note that I had to prune this thread because it had become unwieldy. These are the original posts, and there is another thread HERE which contains all posts from 15 December to date.

Update 15 December: There is a public meeting planned for the second half of January in the south of Tenerife. Attending will be the Government tourism department, the chief of the inspection team, and other senior officials of the department. I will post details of this meeting as soon as I have them. Please note that if there is no update it is because I do not have any information to post, so please do not contact me for any details.

Update 14 December: I think that with the absence of any communication about tomorrow’s meeting, we have no choice but to assume it will not now take place. The general view seems to be that they became aware of what they were about to face, and pulled out. The two main lawyers who were co-ordinating the meeting in the south (which doesn’t seem to have crossed Turismo’s mind apart from as a cash cow) say they intend to hold the meeting regardless, but at this stage, we have to assume it will be on a different day. I will update as soon as I know.

Update 9 December: I have just had confirmation that Turismo has been given one last chance to clarify their position, but that in the event that they fail or refuse to attend the meeting, the local lawyers involved in the issue, and who are lobbying the Government to change the law, are going to hold the meeting anyway. I’ll update with further details asap.

Update 25 November: There is to be a public meeting on the 15th December in south Tenerife. It is being held by the Minister of Tourism and the Inspectorate as the public information part of the Government campaign against illegal letting. I will confirm the time and place as soon as possible, but can say for the moment that it will be in the general Adeje area. It is important that people attend not just to hear from the horses’ mouths the information as it appears in these posts, but also to convey to the Authorities the strength of feeling against the enforcement of this legislation. This will not intrinsically have any real or immediate effect, but will be useful background to the lobbying efforts to persuade the Government to rescind or amend the law. The public meeting will be held in Spanish, but an English translator will be present.

With regard to the fines that have been, and continue to be, levied, there are presently 7,000 cases in various stages of process. That is not a mistype for 700: I mean 7,000. These fines have been levied on owners all across the Canaries, on every island.

I have poor news with regard to the six month limit after which the fines were thought to lapse. Whether we call it misinterpretation in the first place, or an evolution of the Government’s view, the six months is (at least now) being taken as the time within which the Government must make its first response to an appeal, rather than the period within which the whole process must be resolved. There is said to be no chance that those who are approaching the six month limit will find themselves free of the process.

I can confirm that the BOC only records those fines which have been returned or not delivered. The wording in the Boletín, however, is that which is contained in the actual official documentation: the letter notifications are merely summaries. This means that the fines are being imposed, technically, for commercial letting administrative failures, i.e. not having notices in apartments, not having a complaints book, etc. This is in large part a mechanism to streamline the inspectors’ work, because this “offence” also covers those apartments which are already touristic, but being let illegally by not going through the onsite agent. By definition, residential apartments cannot have this paperwork, so it covers them too. There are some variations in the wording, necessarily, because not every case is identical, but it is categorically stressed that the specific wording is unimportant. The fines are for “letting in an illegal manner”, however defined. There is no chance that an appeal based on the technicalities of wording will be successful, and there are Court precedents for this. The Government is fully confident in this respect.

In terms of practicalities, the fines are levied on the owner, not the property. If the fine is unpaid, it will be registered against the property. If the property has changed hands, then the fine will remain as levied against the person, and cannot be registered against the property. The Government intends to use an existing mechanism which utilises the reciprocal arrangements between the Hacienda and the Inland Revenue to pursue the case against the individual should it become impossible to register an unpaid fine against the property. This means, in short, that they are going to go after owners in the UK if they have sold up here before the fine was registered against their property. If multiple fines are imposed to the point where the total amount fined exceeds the value of the property (value as determined by the tax authorities), then the Government will undertake repossession measures.

Update 17 November: I would advise any owners of residential properties here who have advertised for commercial holiday lets to check their NIE online to see if they appear in the BOC as a result of a fine. Only today an owner called me after discovering that he was listed on 8 November, which leaves him 6 days to appeal. Clearly, if he had left it another week, then he would have run out of time to do so.

In case it helps, I have been through the last several editions of the BOC, and list below those complexes on which apartments have been fined. Many of them have multiple entries. The list is NOT exhaustive, and I have only mentioned those relevant to Tenerife, but it is intended as a guide. I hope it helps, and if I have time I will go through earlier editions and add to the list:

Dinastia, Los Cristianos
El Mirador, Los Cristianos
Sur y Sol, Los Cristianos
El Marqués Palace, Puerto Santiago
Balcón de los Gigantes, Puerto Santiago
Los Geranios, Playa de las Américas
Mirador del Sur, San Eugenio
Port Royale, Los Cristianos

Update 16 October: One case has come to light of an accountant informing an owner of a fine that he was otherwise unaware of. Please note that any fines issued will go ahead even if they cannot be delivered in Spain because there is no-one here to sign for them, and no British address has been supplied. In this case, the accountant noticed the fine published in the daily Official Boletin. This is an official Government publication which lists any debtors or the like: THIS, for example, is Monday’s edition.

In such cases, the official publication of the fine and the owner’s details are legally sufficient: this equates to delivery. The 15 day period within which to appeal counts from the date of publication. Owners’ details are published in the form of name, complex, and NIE. If anyone needs to see if they are included they simply need to google their NIE (in the form X1234567A, i.e. no spaces or other characters).

Update 12 October: President Rivero in reply to a question in Parliamentary session yesterday said that the Government intends to renew the moratorium on touristic licences. Despite the madness of the current situation, there is a clear intention to continue on this road. El Dia

Update 25 September: The Government has announced the tally for the first 8 months of 2011 in its campaign against illegal lettings. The deputy tourism minister, Ricardo Fernández de la Puente, said that between January and the end of August, 7,000 inspections have been carried out on hotels, apartments and houses suspected of being used for illegal lets.

Fines have already been initiated on 76 illegal touristic establishments, with hundreds more in process. Sr Fernández de la Puente said that the Government expects these fines to raise 2.3 million Euros. He specified that of the 7,000 inspections carried out to date, 2,757 establishments are considered to be in violation of the law. Currently, 959 cases have been sent to the fines department to initiate proceedings, while a further 346 are awaiting owner details before files are opened.

The Director General of Ordenación y Promoción Turística, Rita Hernández, said that there are another 1,452 establishments for which Turismo is currently checking or awaiting confirmation of details. Sra Hernández said that there are also 42 cases initiated against agents who lacked the necessary licences to practice. All fines are classified in the “serious” category, which comprises sanctions of between €1,500 and €30,000. DA

Update 7 September: In respect of the private villa situation, I have had another meeting this morning with José Escobedo. The upshot is not good news.

Firstly, the Ayuntamiento has rejected any proposal to change the classification of land to mixed or touristic. Secondly, however, it wouldn’t matter if they had agreed because Turismo has said, explicitly and emphatically, that under Ley 19, 2003, there is a moratorium on touristic licences which prohibits the grant of any licence other than to 5 star hotels.

This means, categorically and from the mouth of Turismo itself, that no private villa in the Canaries can be legalised for commercial lets. Long-term residential or temporada lets of 3 months or more are legal, but not holiday lets. If an owner is in the position of being unable to afford to do this because of mortgage committments, as is the case with this particular client, then the formal legal advice is to sell the villa.

This owner is now going to put the villa on the market. Whether or not he continues to risk a fine by letting commercially in the meantime is his own decision to make: legal advice is that it is highly inadvisable because the inspectors have been and continue actively to investigate sites like Holiday Lettings and Owners Direct, which is where the majority of private villas are advertised.

With regard to the fines already issued and appeals in hand, nothing has been heard throughout August, but we expect to start hearing soon now that the holiday period is over. I’ll update as soon as I have any information on how the first stage of the appeal has fared.

Update 4 August: I’ve focused so far on the law as concerns apartments, but I had another meeting yesterday morning with José Escobedo to discuss the law as concerns private villas. As a result, I can report some specific details and general legalities, as well as our start of a complete process of attempting to legalize a private residential villa that is used purely for commercial lets. Hopefully, I will be able to end up providing a definitive and comprehensive account of the procedure, and its outcome.

It is important, first, to note that I am talking about an individual private residential villa, not a villa on a complex. Complex properties are governed by the same regulations, whether they are apartments or villas. This is a private house on its own particular plot, and not part of a community.

At present, the owner is letting commercially, and is aware that this is being done illegally. He already pays all taxes on all income, declares fully, and wants to be fully legal. Without a licence, however, he cannot let to tourists: it’s that simple … even if he were to register with the tourist board, his lets would still be illegal prior to the issue of a licence.

The problem, of course, is that any application will immediately make his identity, and that of his property, known to Turismo, so the first stage involves a general enquiry, without any specific details, to the Government to see if, in principle, a licence could be awarded to this type of property in this type of area.

If a positive response is received from the Government, an application can be made for a licence in his own name for his specific villa. One key part of the Government’s permission, assuming we don’t just get a rejection on principle, will be the classification of the plot of land itself with the local Ayuntamiento.

This municipal classification could be 1) residential, 2) touristic, or 3) mixed (residential with touristic use), and if touristic or mixed, there is no problem with the Ayuntamiento end. If it is residential, however, then application must also be made to the Ayuntamiento for it to be reclassified as mixed so as to allow touristic as well as purely residential use.

The situation at present, therefore, is that we start by heading simultaneously in two directions: first, enquiries with the Ayuntamiento as to the classification of the plot of land the villa is on followed up by an application, if necessary, for its change of use; and secondly, a general enquiry to Turismo as to whether a licence application would be favourably received if the land classification were correct, and if there was compliance with whatever general requirements the Government might specifiy.

At that point, assuming a correct Ayuntamiento classification for the plot of land, and an approval in principle for the general enquiry from the Government, we will proceed to a formal application for a licence … I will keep updating as and when we have any further information.

Following this meeting, I can also now clarify some points and principles … not just in this specific case, nor even just for villas, but in general terms:

  • A private residential villa that is not part of a community cannot be commercially exploited without being in possession of its own individual licence. This licenced exploitation applies regardless of whether the owner himself is doing the letting or employing an agent to do so. Each property let commercially must have its own licence.
  • The application for licences for private residential villas also requires, as a prerequisite, the correct land classification in the PGO of the local Ayuntamiento.
  • The biggest problem in such rentals, AND in rentals of apartments as well, is actually insurance. Although an owner is far likelier to be fined than to be on the receiving end of a claim for serious injury in a property that is being commercially let, the actual claim for such an injury could seriously outweigh the amount of any potential fine. However rare it might be, an insurance claim could run into millions. The problem is that hotel insurance would be invalid if taken out on a property that is not a hotel, and commercial insurance policies will not be valid if claimed upon for properties that are being illegally used for commercial purposes. To be explicit: even if an insurance company issues a policy and takes payment for the policy, it will not be valid if the property is being let illegally.

Update 20 July: The following article is a review of the current situation. I have written it after consultation with José Escobedo, a highly respected local abogado with considerable expertise in this field, who has also confirmed and approved the text.

Fines have now started being issued to owners of residential apartments in some numbers, and on more than just one complex, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to move the discussion on from whether they will happen, to the issue of what happens now.

There is a three-stage system involved, the first stage of which is the issuing of the notification. The second stage requires a response to be lodged with the Government within 15 days of receipt of the notification. This will essentially be a statement of justification or defence. The third stage comes into play if the Government refuses to accept the response, and comprises an appeal to the Courts. Whatever fine remains imposed after that appeal is charged against the property concerned if unpaid.

The most plausible defence might be that the Government cannot prove it was the owners themselves who placed the advertisements; or alternatively that the owners placed them, but had been unsuccessful in getting the hosting website to remove them. Ignorance of the law is no defence, nor is mis-selling by agents. There is also the possibility that any advertisements the inspectors have gathered from the internet are corroborated by evidence gained by knocking on doors: this is no longer a rumour, but a fact. Indeed, it is a required part of the inspectors’ job.

This might also explain suspicious telephone calls to apartments very insistently asking who and where is the owner: “knocking on doors” does not necessarily require a real person outside a physical door. Naturally, there will be no defence whatsoever available if the inspectors have both an internet advert and evidence that whoever answered the door or phone were not the owner nor knew owner details off the top of their head

Given the above, I would recommend anyone implicated in this to contact José Escobedo. He is an abogado in the San Eugenio Commercial Centre who speaks English superbly, and who is already dealing with a pile of notifications (literally a pile) from more than one complex. The more he has, the bigger the lobby he himself will be at the head of to try to get access to the higher levels of government to make them understand the implications of what they are doing. These implications are threefold: one is the sheer scale of problem the Government’s action is causing; another is that it could have a serious and negative effect on property values here; and a third is that it would give the message to the wider world that the Canaries are not a safe place for financial investment.

None of these implications is to the Government’s advantage. For the moment, however, the problem is the Government is in dire need of money, and this action is being headed by bureaucrats. This is why the fines are unlikely to be lifted, though it possible they might be reduced. In the longer term, though, such a lobby will hopefully make it possible to get the government to see the bigger picture. This doesn’t help individual owners right now, but it might help the Canaries, and the investment those owners have already made here.

Once the dust settles, owners and communities need to decide how to face their future, and it is in fact possible, within certain constraints, that residential communities could engage in touristic letting. These constraints would make it difficult to achieve, but not necessarily impossible. Providing that a community’s statutes do not expressly prohibit it, and a vote was legally passed by the community and achieved the required percentage, then the community could set up a commercial entity – either an SL company or an Asociación – which would apply for a touristic licence. Any bookings would be through this entity and managed by it as in the case of a touristic complex. Providing that the community complied with every requirement for touristic complexes, the government could not in law refuse to grant a touristic licence. The government could not even drag its feet, because under the Administrative Silence Act, it has six months to respond, or the licence is awarded by default. All this would not necessarily be easy for a community to achieve, but it is theoretically possible.

Finally, I have said that mis-selling by agents is no defence, and it is not. There is, however, something that theoretically, and in some cases practically, can be done about mis-selling, namely taking legal action for negligence against whoever was responsible for misleading the buyer. Naturally, the agency (or individual agent depending on where the information or guarantee originated), would need to be still in business otherwise there would be no point in suing, but the avenue exists for anyone who feels aggrieved and can prove mis-selling with evidence in writing.

Update 6 July: Over the past six or so months, there has been the usual range of rumours and denials, together with calls for evidence that the inspectors were real and actually doing something, and I can now say that I have in my possession a fine of €18,000 imposed by the Dept of Tourism on a private residential apartment owner for commercial holiday letting. This is one private owner of one residential apartment who was advertising on a website.

This is NOT a post of gloating. I am desperately sorry for this owner, because others have done far “worse”. One can imagine that in due course their fines will also be far worse. I am just relieved at last to see with my own eyes, and have in my own possession, this evidence that has been called for by those who would still deny what was actually happening.

The fine is for “touristically exploiting a residential apartment without the authorization of the competent touristic authority”. This is, in fact, what the law forbids. The definition is something that so many get hung up on because they try to tease meaning out of “commercial letting”. The reality, however, is that the law forbids making a residential property openly available to the public. The owner doesn’t actually need to accept a let to demonstrate that he is making it openly available .

There is also a misperception that the Inspectors need to prove something in Court. They do not. The fine is imposed. It can be appealed with submissions being required within a fortnight, but the fine is imposed. It is now the unfortunate owner who has to decide whether to appeal, which will cost him money and which is unlikely to succeed given the evidence the inspectors have, and it is also the unfortunate owner who has to prove the fine should be lifted or reduced. The inspectors have to prove nothing beyond submitting the evidence they already have.

I repeat the advice I have previously and repeatedly given: if you are advertising, STOP NOW.

Update 1 February: Just to clarify the law after several concerned readers have emailed me, the situation is the following:

Commercial letting is defined in Ley 7/1995, updated 1998, as when “temporary accommodation which will not require a change of address is openly offered to the public.” “Openly offered to the public” is any mechanism which presents the accommodation to people with whom one could not have otherwise come into contact. This is why “friends and family” are allowed, though that specific term is not included in the legislation. Clearly, though, such contacts would have been possible without an advert or website for enquiries.

Commercial letting of privately owned property is permitted in apartments that are defined (in their original statutes from the licence granted for construction, or as subsequently amended after approved application) as touristic. In touristic apartments, all such commercial letting must be done through the sole on-site management agent, in accordance with whatever scheme that agent operates. Touristic apartments can be let on a long-term residential basis, or be used by friends and family, independently of the agent because such use does not qualify as commercial holiday letting. By the same token, residential apartments cannot be let out commercially, and there is naturally no on-site agent, but there is nothing to stop use by friends and family, nor long-term lets.

Private villa owners can, in theory, apply to the Tenerife Cabildo to register their property as touristic. This would require, however, the granting of a touristic licence, and since the moratorium on touristic licences has been in place over the last several years, the only licences granted are for the construction of high-end hotels. A lawyer with connections to the tourist board has this morning confirmed that the Tenerife Cabildo will not issue such licences to private villa owners, though this situation may change in a couple of years … presumably when it begins to dawn on the authorities that villa holidaymakers are in fact going elsewhere for their holidays rather than using the top-end hotels.

Update 31 January 2011: Apart from the fact that this was officially announced in any case, there are now the first clear proofs that this campaign is underway. Several complexes have been visited by inspectors armed with sheafs of adverts culled from internet sites, no doubt gathered by the inspectors’ foot soldiers, the new Canarian Police force. I myself know of complexes in Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes that have been visited, both touristic and residential complexes. In one case last week, the inspectors gave 10 days for owner details to be produced, and had clearly received them within 5 because within that period one owner received an email requesting accommodation which gave no phone number and required an e-mail answer. For anyone who was in any doubt that this was actually finally happening, it is.

Original post 15 December 2010: Rumours have been circulating for months about the new Canarian Police trapping residential apartment owners who offer commercial lets to holidaymakers, but now the Canarian Government has committed itself to identifying the 400,000 or so “illegal beds” and around 650,000 “clandestine” ones thought to be available in the Canaries.

Seventeen inspectors will be charged next year with finding and fining owners of residential apartments in the Canaries who let commercially, the Minister for Economía y Hacienda, Jorge Rodríguez, confirmed yesterday in a Parliamentary session. Sr Rodríguez said that the strategy has been designed by the regional Tourism Inspection council to control and diagnose holiday placements which have no authorization for touristic use.

There are some 430,021 official tourist beds in 3,033 establishments in the Canaries, 645 of which are hotels and 2,388 self-catering premises. Clearly, the “illegal” beds roughly double the available official accommodation, and more than triple it if one takes the “clandestine” ones into account. As hoteliers have been complaining for years, this has an ongoing impact both on their revenue and the image of the Canaries in the international travel market.

The Canarian tourism law permits commercial letting only in touristic complexes, and in those, only through the sole agent on site. The definition of commercial letting has never been tested in court, though it is generally taken to mean the letting to holidaymakers who are neither friends nor family. As a result, “friends and family” is the one exception granted by the law to residential apartment owners, and many have previously defined the phrase very loosely. From next year, however, any owner who manages to secure a let through a holiday website or advert will be hard pressed to claim the holidaymaker is a friend if it turns out to be a tourism inspector or Canarian police officer.  PV

107 Responses to Illegal holiday-let inspections and fines situation (original post)

  • This is a good article explaining the letting laws which are being enforced in the Canary Islands. In the long term this will have a devastating effect on tourism, and many property owners will be selling up to purchase elsewhere.

  • Hi
    Does anyone know of any person who has been caught and prosecuted for illegal letting recently? A few concrete examples would be very useful as otherwise it could be that the stated clampdown is merely window dressing to pacify the hotel owners. I have not come across any examples in Lanzarote but perhaps the information is not being broadcast widely.
    Paul

  • I have not known any outside Tenerife, but I wouldn’t. I do, however, know of actions in Tenerife. Apart from that, I don’t think they feel it necessary to give concrete examples to anyone, to be honest, why should they. It is the law, as it has been the law since 1985, just like speeding. You don’t get the police parading victims of fines and points to prove they’re taking action. Why should they with this. The announcement was made in Parliament, and the inspectors appointed in January. If that’s not enough for people, then no other “evidence” will be.

  • i have recieved a e mail today from tourist board threatening me with a 15000 euro fine if i dont stop letting the e mail came via owners direct the villa is in Lanzorote, carol

  • Are you sure it really comes from the tourist board? It seems an unusual way for them to behave. Could it have been a fellow owner who doesn’t approve of your letting?

  • I think we all know that visitors to private accommodation won’t simply switch to bog-standard tourist accommodation if the private accommodation becomes unavailable. They will simply switch to Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey or Dubai.

    If the hotel companies and Canarian government think that they can increase the occupancy of hotels by making private accommodation unavailable, they are very misguided. It is the high standards and flexible arrangements of the privately let apartments that attract new visitors to the islands. It certainly isn’t the case that private letting takes guests away from the hotels.

    The Tourism Ministry needs to get real. The old models of the 1970′s don’t work anymore. Mass tourism brought in by tour operators is history. The new visitors are informed, particular about what they want and have the means to find accommodation that suits them, whether it is hotel or private. Distorting the market in the Canary Islands simply means cutting the islands off from about half of the visitor traffic.

    Enforcement of the 1995 law is clearly bad for everybody. Even existence of the law has been highly detremental to the islands’ economy as owners have been unable to declare income on privately let properties.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • I cannot totally get whats happening I blame myself not finding out regarding the law when we purchased back in 2003. We were sold ex timeshare property made it quite clear from the outset it was for investment to rent. Sale company said no problem coupled with the purhcase there was going to be rental agent to rent out on our behalf, no prob we signed up. The complex was advertised in Tenerife paper full page for sale holiday lets good rental income. I had other business and did not want to manage a rental business. Within 15 months the company folded we were left high and dry, everyone else was doing it themselves so advertised on normall webs and received booking. As the property was breaking even I decided to purchase again in 2005. This however was on a hotel complex with 3 year garanteed rental agreement we could have use for 2 weeks per year this suited me because it was for investment and as long as it paid the mortgage and taxes I was happy. After the 3 years 2008 due to the down turn they no longer required our apartment to rent so they did not renew the rental agreement, once again left high and dry had to revert advertising direct and controlling rentals. At every stage we have tried to abide by the law but have been forced to rent direct. We declared all rental income through our accountant every quarter in Tenerife also to tax office in UK yearly. I am classed as illegal letting but have been on the tax reg out in Tenerife as we have to declare apartment names and numbers so I cannot understand why we have not been pulled in as we are already on the radar. I myself don,t need the hasel I,m out end of Aug and putting them both up forsale. I believe everyone should just put forsale signs up to let the Tenerife aurthories know what would happen. We have sent thousands of euros improving the apartments we have excelent reviews. We use registered cleaners not miss mop and her bucket. We put everything back into the apartment for our guests. I love the country but I just want out I,ve had enough of the politics when it suits them is OK when things get tough pulli in the drawbridge and look after ourselves. I,m sure if enough people got to gether and went to europeen courts I,m sure some thing could be done.

  • Hi, We are having the same problem in Lanzarote.I bought in a tourist complex with a guaranteed 3 year rental income if I rented back to the management company running the place. I did this for the first 2 years and then they dropped the income. They also put up the monthly maintenance charge to €367. Many of the apartments in the complex have been repossessed by the banks because pressure to pay mortgages and the exorbitant fees. Most of us private owners rent through the Owner’s Direct and Holiday Lettings websites. We now have to take the ads down and our families when they stay in our apartments and guests are being asked to sign forms stating that they realise they are participating in fraud !!!

  • Well, how interesting!
    With this law, they are basically saying goodbye to tourism. With just the hotels full, they will lose restaurants, cafes, bars, facilities like Siam Park, bus services will be cut back, planes will cut back. Unemployment will be around forty percent. supermarkets will not survive.
    And the holidaymakers that pay the hotels for 5 star service will find everything shut, with higher levels of crime etc.
    Wow! how interesting!

  • In response to Dave, I agree totally, except that it’s more frightening than interesting. I’m thinking about taking a loss and selling up, then re-investing in Scotland where the local and national government bend over backwards to assist those providing visitor accommodation (and where, incidentally, there is a boom in visitor numbers).

    Janet: please keep the news from Tenerife coming. I’m visiting Gran Canaria next week and will do the rounds of friendly estate agents and lawyers. Last time I saw them, in March, they were unaware of the enforcement drive. One estate agent still had private holiday lets advertised on the outside of his window. It will be interesting to see if that has changed or whether the enforcers haven’t made such an impact in GC.

  • i spoke to a letting agent and he was of the opinion they could nto touch him as his compnay was based in the UK woudl this be correct

  • They might not be able to touch him, but the property is in the Canaries and the owners would be in jeopardy.

  • As I´m vaguely interested in buying an apartment in Tenerife, I have done a lot of research into the current state of the market. However, I have the impression that the issue of illegal lettings is not a priority for the estate agents in Tenerife i.e. they do not mention in their ads whether short-term letting is allowed for a particular property or not, so I would certainly welcome more transparency here. Interestingly enough, I have noticed a considerable increase in the number of properties being offered for long-term lets recently, which is no doubt a result of the clamp-down on illegal lettings. I forecast a continuing decline in prices in the Tenerife property market, also owing to illegal lettings. Would you recommend buying now or waiting a year or so? Thank you, Janet, for throwing light on this issue – you´re doing a great job, so please keep it up!

  • Thank you for your comments. Agents are perhaps wary of being too vocal about the issue for fear of losing a potential sale in what is a terrible time for them. It doesn’t remotely excuse the lack of transparency, but it might explain it. Having said that, some agents are still advertising apartments for sale “with good holiday rental income potential” on complexes where owners are already being fined for just that activity. It is disgraceful practice.

    As far as whether to buy now or in a year’s time, no-one can really tell. Prices will almost certainly drop more, but if you find something you really like at a superb price, why wait a year and risk perhaps not finding something you like as much, even if what you do find might be a bit cheaper. The general view is that we’re at the bottom of the market, and my own view is that we’re likely to stay there for a few years yet.

  • Very good article if a little scary, I have friends here at the moment who have received notification of a fine. It is very distressing for them and albeit you may think they had their head in the sand not realising the consequences of letting. I can in all honestty see how they have fell into the trap as a lot were sold to let by Unethical sellers, plus any feedback from those supposed to be in the know over the years have lead owners to believe that this isue is never polioced.

  • Janet, thanks again for keeping us updated. The information about the BOC is very useful. For anyone who wants to keep an eye on it without having to google themselves every day, you can set up an alert at alerts.google.com so that you will get an email as soon as google spots your NIE.

    I had a look at the BOC and see up to 10 of these fines on a single day (though many days had fewer or none). The size of the fine seems to be about 18,000 Euros (though the wording indicates potential). Elsewhere I’ve heard 2,000 Euros. Does anyone know the actual level of the fines?

  • I advertise an apartment in Tenerife on Owners Direct website and I have just received a notice of fines for 18,000 euros. The advert has now ceased.
    It appears on the face of it I am culpable. Does anyone know if there is a defence. Or any way of getting the draconian size of the fines reduced to a sensible level? The fines are out of all proportion to the gravity of infraction.

  • I’ve just sent you an email

  • Hi Janet, I advertise an apartment in Tenerife on Holiday Lettings website and I have just received a notice of fine for 18,000 euros. The advert is about to be ceased.
    It appears on the face of it I may be culpable. Does anyone know if there is a defence. Or any way of getting the size of the fines reduced to a sensible level? The fine is completely out of all proportion as I have never ever covered the mortgage and bills.

  • I’ve just sent you an email outlining what you need to do now. For others’ benefit, there’s not much of a defence when you’ve been caught, effectively, red handed breaking the law, but there is certainly an appeal system which you need to utilise. Please read my email for the information.

  • It seems that 18,000 is the “magic number” as I too have been fined the same amount. I also advertised on Owners Direct and Holiday Lettings. So it would also appear that thay sites are / were targeted.

  • Yes, 18,000 is the standard amount for fines on private individuals, and those sites were indeed specifically targeted … and continue to be so. I’ve sent you an email about what you might do now.

  • I have read that there is to be a public meeting in Adeje. Has it happened yet. How can I find the details?

  • Yes, you would have read it here first. Please read what I posted yesterday HERE.

  • Hello. In your December 2,2011 reply, you write: “I’ve sent you an email outlining what you need to do now”.
    If that e-mail is not personal, could you please sent me a copy?
    I have just discovered your site. Congratulations and thank you!
    xavier Dereppe/Belgium

  • As you suspect, it is evidently personal to the person who has been fined, so naturally I cannot copy. The general advice to anyone affected is to contact a lawyer. I have mentioned previously José Escobedo, based in the CC San Eugenio whom I recommend, and who is one of the two lawyers who are lobbying the Government for changes in the 1995 law.

  • I have been following the illegal lettings information posted for just over a year now. Last December we purchased an apartment in a Touristic complex. Although we decided not to rent it out commercially we were aware of the requirement to register with the onsite letting agent if we were allowing our family to use the apartment. However after looking at the Cabildo listing have noticed that the telephone number listed as the contact belongs to another agent. I have since been told that the other agent is the one officially listed despite them not having the magic 50% + 1 number of apartments, However the agent on site does,. When we purchased the apartment we made sure we bought on a touristic complex and the estate agent gave us this information when we asked. However at no point was the illegality of letting residential apartments mentioned by them. We have done everything we can to make sure we are within the law but we are now worried that the on site agent is in fact illegal. I am wondering how buyers are supposed to know about this law if nobody is telling them and also is it safe to assume that just because you touristic complex has a letting agent whether they are indeed legal.

  • Hi Mandy, I appreciate the problem because the Cabildo listing is not all it might be. It seems, indeed, that they sometimes just retain the accrued list of agents, without deleting past ones, so one just sees several agents listed for a complex. It is likeliest that the on-site agent is legal; indeed if the “other” agent does not have the required numbers they simply cannot be the legal agent. It is possible they were once the registered agent but are no longer so.

    The point is that whoever is the legal agent will be able to show you up-to-date registration papers and forms from the Tenerife Cabildo; these must be openly displayed, indeed, so there is no question that you won’t be able to see easily if they are the legal agent. Just ask to see valid paperwork proving their agency is registered with the Cabildo.

    You can assume nothing about an agent or an agency’s legal status without seeing this paperwork for yourself.

  • Janet thanks for your reply. I asked the on site agent via email and did not get the information requested. We are back out in Tenerife in 5 weeks so I will go in the office and ask them directly. Interestingly the other agent has apartments on our complex advertised on their web site as well. Very confusing! At the moment we have my grandparents staying in our apartment, so I’m hoping everything will be ok. Thanks again.

  • Hi, How can I identify which complexes are tourist and which are private. Is there an official list? I live in Gran Canaria. Thanks.

  • If you look at the GC Cabildo site, you can do a search on complexes HERE. This will give you the touristic ones. If it’s not there, then it is almost certainly residential. I’ve set the page to English.

  • Is there a website to check which complexes are residential and which are classed as tourist ?.

  • Yes, you can search the Cabildo site HERE. By definition, if they’re not listed as touristic, they are almost certain to be residential.

  • I’ve been reading with horror of the ridiculous attack on residential letting. Reading between the lines it appears that ” long term residential letting” is acceptable. Can anyone detail what constitutes such a let? I also want to allow family and friends to use our apartment but am concerned that this might be mistaken for commercial letting. What can I do to protect myself from being accused of letting commercially?
    Thanks for keeping us informed and connected with the Island while we suffer the British weather between our long awaited visits. Ray.

  • Well, of course the government would say that it’s more an attack on “illegal” letting, because the 1995 law restricts lets to those properties which have a touristic licence. What is important, however, is to protect yourself.

    The law allows an owner to do anything with their private residential property … other than “exploit it commercially”, i.e. holiday let. Residential lets are totally legal, and are considered to be anything over 3 months. There are short- and long-term residential contracts, and Turismo themselves have confirmed that as long as a minimum 3-month contract is in place, with NIEs of owner and tenant quoted in it, then they will not consider this use as touristic.

    As far as family and friends are concerned, you are not safe doing this. If people are staying in your apartment without a contract then you are at risk of being deemed to be “commercially exploiting” your apartment. The key question you need to ask yourself is whether the use is “personal”. If you can show that it is “personal use” for yourself or your guests then you will be fine. Evidently if there is a range of several different people in your property for a couple of weeks or so over a period of time then it will be difficult for you to argue that this is “personal use” by yourself as owner.

    The main thing, of course, is that you don’t advertise!

  • Hi Janet – I understand there is to be another meeting in January. Has the date been set yet?

  • I have heard nothing. Of course I will post immediately I hear.

  • thanks for all your valued information Janet
    We had been duped by an english agent over here, she told us it would be fine(!?) to let the property we were buying, but failed to mention that we would need a license to do this- obviously we now know that thats impossible – on top of all that, we’ve learnt that she herself is letting property illegally as she doesn’t have a license either!-when my partner challenged here about the need for a license,she didnt want to know and said the law had recently been changed!!!-NOT THE CASE!-so people, beware of an english woman (name removed for legal reasons)

  • I am so sorry to hear of your predicament. It really is essential to carry out independent checks beforehand, but this particular issue has never really been at the top of anyone’s list of checks. It always has been whenever I’ve done a conveyance, so as to advise prospective purchasers as fully as possible, and hopefully it will be far more widely known in the future. I do hope it hasn’t caused you insurmountable problems.

  • Thank you for all you are doing I feel totally stressed as this law has not only fined me 18000E but also taken away my only income over & above my gov pension

    Do they have to prove that money changed hands or is sight of an advert sufficient to prove letting?

    I would like to ask whether there is any hope of proving that letting is being conducted under UK law if the money is banked there, tax paid there & contract issued there?

    Alternatively my complex has timeshare properties in one phase & the other half of my semi detached house is in fact timeshare —can I claim therefore that this part of the complex is touristic even if the earlier phases are residential?

    Very many thanks Ruth

  • I’m afraid that sight of the advert is sufficient to fine owners. You can appeal, of course. The Uk doesn’t come into it at all, because it is under Canarian law that commercial letting is forbidden and the property is in the Canaries. It is irrelevant, I’m afraid, whether the letting complies with another country’s laws or not.

    I’m not sure that I understand what you mean by half of your property being timeshare …

  • Dear Janet,
    I’ve been following your info for some time now and would like to give a different point of view to the imposition of the letting law.
    My wife and I bought an apartment on a newly refurbished complex (Matagorda Bay) in Lanzarote 3yrs. ago. We paid above average for it as it was to be, and is, a residential complex.
    Unfortunatly, we are now subject to the noise, abuse and the disregard of privicy and facilities, by holiday makers, due to illegel lettings. It has gone so bad that we do not use our apartment during the peak summer season due to the atmosphere and activities that prevail. We, and many more residents,(some who are permanent) have complained to our Administrator and President to have short term letting stopped but to no avail.
    Some people bought on the complex with a view to let their property for pure profit. They knowlingly bought on a residential complex and have little or no concern for Spanish law and for those who permantly/semi-permantly live here. Surly there is enough acccomidation available in legitimate, licenced, tax complient hotels and apartment complexes to accomidate the tourist industry.

  • Yes, this is a frequent problem. If you are having no joy with the administrator or president of your complex, then you can get directly in touch with the inspectorate. You need to speak to the Dirección General de Ordenación y Promoción Turistica which for the eastern islands is based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Within that department, you need the “Servicio de inspección y sanciones” section, whose phone number is 928 899 565.

  • Thanks Janet. Hopefully, the inspectorate will not be involved and that common sense and respect will prevail.

  • Dear Janet,

    I understand everybodys stress & I can add another to the can of worms this letting problem has caused. We purchased our apt direct from the developer in 2000 with the intention of been able to take my mother in law on holiday with us who suffered from Parkinsons, only on our first holiday there she suffered a heart attack and died by the pool.This apt was bought for this reason only but as time went on we were asked to rent it, even by our admisistrator who became our complex president. No mention of tax to be paid in Tenerife was ever mentioned even by or advisors who have done our legal returns in Tenerife since 2000.
    Not untill our AGM in 2009 when it was surgested that our complex was not legalally touristic although it is a GOLD CROWN RCI complex, because it is 51% timeshare & 49% outright owners did we ever belive we were not legal.
    We did ask by email & in person at our 2010/2011 AGMs but we infomred by our president and complex developer at these meetings (that there was nothing to worry about) we along with other owners have now been finned 18000.00 euro.
    We have been put in a position of being illeagal through no fault of our own but the Tenerife Govt dont care all they want is to drive tourism away from the Canaries to obtain money in the short term.

  • Timeshare complexes with residential components are something of an oddity, because they can be simultaneously touristic and residential – the timeshare part being touristic, and the privately owned apartments being residential. Timeshare is not something I have any knowledge of really, but I do sympathise with your position. The best I can suggest is that you, with other affected privately-owned apartments, seek joint legal advice. You really must appeal, though, and I do wish you luck with it, and hope you get the fine reduced.

  • Hi Janet
    I have been reading numerous articles regarding illegal lettings in Tenerife and the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and extremely confusing There are many owners on complexes who do rent, want to be legal and do not class what they are doing as illegal, as the law has never really been explained to them and these owners do pay tax on the rentals but the tax due is paid in the UK – if you are deemed to be illegal how can you possibly pay tax to the Canarian Government they would just slap a fine on you for letting.
    The Government will destroy Tenerife if they do not stop what they are doing – why not allow private owners to merely pay a yearly fee for a licence to permit them to rent legally and also pay tax to the Canarian Government on the rentals, this would generate massive revenue to the Canarian Government in permit fees and taxes and also revenue for bars, shops etc year upon year.
    Bars, restaurants, shops etc would all benefit as there would be numerous tourists staying in self catering accommodation who require there services, if these tourists were only permitted to reside in half board or all inclusive hotels they will not use the bars and restaurants and they would suffer – possibly even close. They would not even use the Country – they would merely go elsewhere, most holiday makers want value for money and cannot afford to pay hotel prices.
    Do you think the Government have not thought thoroughly about what they are doing, if owners are being fined they would probably sell there property as they cannot rent and there would be an influx of property being sold which nobody would really want because the property cannot be rented and as there are only so many residents in Tenerife there would be more property than residents -property prices would certainly fall – the whole thing is an economic disaster happening before our eyes – do you thing they will put a stop to there lunacy soon.
    Kindest regards

  • I do agree with you, but they do seem to be following a plan. Not only do they see a lot of income from fines at the moment, they also have a vision of the type of tourism they want, and this involves 5* accommodation. So they’re not doing this without a vision, but I don’t think they’ve really realized the full effect this will have, nor the numbers of people that will be affected.

    I understand what you’re saying, but it’s not a question of tax. Any tax paid for rental income is paid to the national exchequer, whereas these fines go to the regional Canarian Government. They don’t get the tax, but they do get the fines.

    I know many people who don’t see what they’re doing as illegal, but the law has been in place since 1995, and although many people were under- or mis-informed when they bought their properties, it doesn’t alter the fact that it has been illegal here since then to rent out residential property commercially, or to rent out touristic property without doing so through a registered on-site sole agent. The problem is that not knowing the law is no defence, and in Spain, the onus is on the individual to find out what is permitted. It will be of no avail to say that the law was never explained – and since, as I say, any tax in Spain goes to the national government, it will also be of no avail to say that they pay their taxes, and this is even more so if the tax goes to the British government.

    Another problem is that of “they’ll sell their properties” if this continues. As the government well knows, the property market is flat-lining, and purchasers are very thin on the ground indeed. If everyone tried to sell, there would be no buyers anyway. An influx of properties onto the market would just result in an even more depressed property market and even further falling prices – but the fines would continue to come in to regional government coffers.

    As to whether they’ll put a stop to this lunacy (and I agree, that’s what it is) soon, I have no idea. I think they’ve underestimated the scale of the issue, and will therefore have underestimated the effect on the property market, let alone the touristic one. One can hope they listen to legal and political argument, but these are politicians who are interested in votes and revenue, and they are heavily influenced by an extremely weighty hotel lobby. One can hope, but for the moment, all property owners here can do is protect themselves by not making it easy for fines to be imposed.

  • Janet
    What a common sense reply you gave to the payment of tax on property lets. My friend has told me that as they pay their taxes in the UK the Canarian Government cannot chase them for any tax.
    Could you please clear up an issue we have on our complex. The complex is a Residential complex but there are a lot of owners who let their properties.They are not happy that other owners are going to raise the issue of letting at the AGM and are saying they will push to get the complex returned to a Tourist Complex. This has upset a lot of owners who do not rent out their property and feel that the owners who are renting out their apartments are causing trouble/problems for legal owners.

  • Hi Bill,

    Regardless of the actual status of the complex, whether it was once touristic or not, it is residential now, and for a residential community to gain touristic status the situation is the following:

    Providing that a community’s statutes do not expressly prohibit it, and a vote was legally passed by the community and achieved the required percentage (which I understand to be 100% unanimity) then the community would need to set up a commercial entity – either an SL company or an Asociación – which would be the formal applicant for a touristic licence. Any bookings would be through this entity and managed by it as in the case of a touristic complex. Providing that the community complied with every requirement demanded of it, the government could not in law refuse to grant a touristic licence – though evidently they could make the demands unaffordable. And this in any case assumes that there has already been a unanimous vote in favour of trying to get touristic status. All this is clearly far from easy for a community to achieve, but it is theoretically possible.

  • sorry my previous point about timeshare was not clear.

    My house is on the end of a block of townhouses which are timeshare and the one joining mine is timeshare. Can I claim to be in a turistic phase of the complex therefore?

    thank you. Ruth

  • So is yours not timeshare as well? You can’t just claim it’s timeshare, it would need to be defined as such in the documentation, but if you’re on the end of a row, why would yours be defined differently? In the first place, do you have a notarized escritura for it?

  • Ruth, you need to find out if you can piggy back on the timeshare companies registration and then get your place registered with the Cabildo. Then you could legally have tourists staying in the property.

    John

  • Dear Janet,
    The last posts from Ruth & especially John are very worrying, as I stated in my last post our small complex was built in 2000 and we purchased an apartment outright in that year. It is a GOLD RCI COMPLEX, but not untill 2009 did we find out that it did not have a TOURISTIC LICENCE the statement from John appears to say that if it is Timeshare it is legal this is not the case, Reference our 18000.00 euro fine. Any help in the position I find myself in would be most appreciated as it appears nobody knows what the LAW means

    Regards Mervyn

  • Timeshare is a specific area of the law, Mervyn, and I’m afraid it’s not one I’m versed in. You really need to contact a lawyer. I’m really sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Yet another “anomaly” in the ridiculous holiday letting saga. I have an apartment in a legitimate holiday complex that has a touristic license. The Managing Agent (the magic 50+1) is the owner of the timeshare & hotel accommodation that shares the complex with the outright owners. BUT the company “decline” to operate as a Managing Agent for owners to let their apartments. So: a holiday apartment on a touristic complex, with the required managing agent, still cannot legally let because that agent refuses to act for owners! Talk about heads they win and tails we lose – we are all trying to do everything legally but are completely thwarted. Apparently there is no possibility of forming a new management company because it would not have the 50+1 requirement. How can this be fair or right? I heartily agree with Grahame (19 Feb) the hotel/timeshare is only interested in “all inclusive” and already many of the local bars, restaurants and tourist shops have closed. Can the authorities not see that this nonsense is affecting not just the “illegal letters” but killing the livelihoods of ordinary Canarian tradespeople?
    Regards, Anne

  • This is a simply outrageous situation, Anne, and I hope you and your fellow owners are taking legal advice on it.

  • Hi Janet
    Hope you are well
    Hope you can answer my question, i have a holiday website and i advertise for owners and complexes worldwide. Due to all this controversy over illegal lettings in Tenerife,I have reluctantly removed the entire privately owned one and two bed roomed apartments as I am not the sole agent for these particular properties.
    I advertise for some large complexes / hotel groups in Tenerife where I personally approached the sole agents / owners and they gave me there permission for us to advertise on there behalf, basically I secure a booking for the agent in the UK and pass the booking to the agent /owner where I receive a commission for finding the booking. As I am dealing with the complexes / hotels direct is this classed as legal.
    Thanks Graham

  • Yes Graham, this is legal. If they are legal and you are carrying out advertising on their behalf, you are doing nothing wrong at all.

    For what it’s worth, I think you’ve done the right thing in removing the privately-owned ones. I’d have done so myself to ensure that I wasn’t hosting any adverts for so-called illegal or clandestine lets. If, however, you have any private owners of touristic apartments who have permission from a sole agent to acquire lets on their own behalf, you will be legal doing this too.

  • Thanks Janet – I thought it must be legal as I am only assisting them, but the way this law is portrait, who knows.
    It is a real shame that the authorities are doing what they are doing, private owners are actually contributing to the economy, simply by the volume of people travelling to the island and using the bars, restaurants, supermarkets etc.
    Places like Scotland actually welcome and encourage holiday rentals; they too have many hotels but also see the need for private accommodation- there does need to be a balance. You mentioned in an earlier reply to me that the authorities have a vision of a 5* accommodation – that’s all well and good but it will drastically reduce the numbers of people travelling to the island
    Let’s just hope they shelve this ideal soon.

  • Hello Janet,
    Thank you for your comments on the refusal of our Management Company to act for us – It has given me hope and I will endeavour to get some of the other owners together and seek legal advice.
    One other point, reading your 25 February reply to Graham, am I correct in believing that IF I can get permission from the official Management Company for the complex to let out my apartment then this would be legal? If this is the case then it is certainly might be worth writing to them and could be a start to solving our particular problem.
    Thank you again, Anne

  • It all depends on the actual designation of your apartment. If it is touristic then you could let legally, providing it was registered with the on-site sole agent.

    The complicating factor (for me) is that it is a timeshare complex – at least in part. This is the area of this whole situation that I am just not fully informed about and I really do not want to give you the wrong advice. It is possible that, although a touristic/timeshare complex, part of it, including your apartment, is designated as residential. If so, then you wouldn’t be able to let.

    I’m sorry I can’t be any more definite than this, and it’s where you need to see a lawyer, particularly to see if your apartment is residential or touristic, and if residential, as John said above, whether “you can piggy back on the timeshare companies registration and then get your place registered with the Cabildo.”

    Good luck!

  • Thank you Janet, I will get the correct legal advice as I certainly don’t want to fall foul of this one. Many thanks for your help, so much appreciated.
    Kind regards, Anne

  • Hello Janet,
    I have been a frequent visitor to Tenerife for over 30 years and I was a property owner for over 20 of them. I have been following events for some time and feel that the need for some retro-specie legislation is required to sort out what is a difficult situation for all concerned, be it owners, hoteliers, and those working in the associated industries, such as shops bars and restaurants as well as their suppliers .not forgetting of course the tourist/ holidaymaker.
    I imagine the total probably amounts to about 90% of those working in the South of Tenerife and quite a high % of those living elsewhere on the Island. It therefore seems that thye moves being made at the moment are edging towards that of a kamikaze nature, and will present nothing short of financial and economic tragedy for all concerned
    I would imagine the worst scenario would be.
    Tourism would drop dramatically
    And ironically there would insufficient rooms in Hotels and Officially Touristic Board Registered Apartment Complexes to meet even the limited demand in relation to the number of visitors to current ly visiting Tenerife. This would be due to private owners of apartments in both commercial and private complexes no longer letting out apartments primarily because of them being wary of being fined and having to pay taxes at such a high rate, mostly when most were not informed by agents when buying the property of their liabilities and restrictions and are usually trying to offset the annual running s and mortgages they might have, which increased dramatically with the fall in the value of the pound £. All have already seen what they thought would be an investment decline dramatically and rapidly in recent years losing many thousands of pounds, with some finding themselves in negative equity.
    Being unable able to rent out and being afraid of punitive fines and heavy taxation both here and in the UK, would I am afraid make even more put their properties up for sale at even more reduced prices and therefore damaging the already suppressed property market even further.
    Within a relatively short period if the authorities continue their vendetta which I imagine is mainly at the behest of the Hoteliers the availability of private property available to rent would dramatically reduce and the self-catering market would almost disappear as it is probably the biggest market for tourists to Tenerife.
    This would push up the prices of Hotels as supply could ironically exceed demand. I would then imagine that hoteliers would then do away with the low price ‘all inclusive’ deals which they have had introduce to attract holidaymakers for which they make little profit and which is generally a poor to mediocre standard of service at best, as one always gets what one pays for or even less.
    No holiday makers, means the shops, restaurants and bars as well as all the other services such as the various attractions which have required huge investment , like the Siam Park will be substantially lacking in visitors would ultimately have to close down too.
    All in all, an absolute recipe for disaster.
    There be no winners and the island would be in a state economic of crisis, and it would ultimately get even worse, it would become almost derelict. It may sound a bit farfetched, but even to be half as bad as I have projected it would still be a major economic disaster.

    Well l what could be the answer?
    I have given this some thought and have given this some thought and I comeback to retrospective legislation, so we can undo what and where it went wrong.
    First of all as the island is so dependent on tourism I would especially in the South of Tenerife, any properties between the Motorway and the sea may have a Touristic licence, as this would be the main area the tourists would want to be. Those above the motorway would be able to apply if they wanted to. Most local residents tend to live away from the main resort areas anyway.
    The regulations should still be in place regarding the practical running and safety measures of each complex but albeit it must be more flexible than at present. For example a number of complexes may share the same 24 hr reception, certain swimming pools with lifeguards may be used by a number of complexes where children may swim, the cost being shared by the complexes.
    Management companies must be up for re-election at any time, so that those taking advantage of owners and using restrictive practices can easily replaced, they should also be none profit making.
    Financial answers.
    It would be to everybody’s advantage for the Cabildo to introduce an Exit Tax of say 10 euros, tjhis would raise about 60,000,000 euros per year , which is a lot of money in any language.
    This could be used in various ways, it could be used to give a tax refund to those hotels who would be willing to do away with the dreaded “all inclusive” deals, which could help revive local businesses again, and which is long overdue
    It could also reduce the amount of Rental Tax payable by Owners, to say a straight 10% of an amount agreed with the Owners, taken on agreed rental over an agreed period. This would encourage owners to make declarations, over 75% do not at present, it is likely to say be treated by the Owners as a type of VAT. It is more than likely a lot more taxes might be collected.
    This would satisfy Hoteliers who have always griped of private Owners not paying tax, and the Owners would be more willing to be to pay the tax if it were at a greatly reduced rate and for a fixed amount, it could be treated by way of an increased Plus Valia tax or patrimonial tax, maybe a current tax disc could be put on a window for display, this could also be required for the Qwner meet fire regulations etc.
    The only problem raised by this would be those owners who want to live on residential complexes, but maybe increasing the vote required be increased to 75% would be more representative of the wishes of the owners in general.
    Maybe a grant to cover the cost of moving, and say the property sales tax on both sale and purchase may be excluded to encourage this, however the new purchaser has to accept that the property can be used for renting.
    I think that overall it would be a “win win “ situation, the only ones to whom would “suffer” would be those in residential complexes who are against others renting out their apartments in the same complex. However giving a financial incentive to move to a more suitable complex might do the trick. This way you can get the right type of owners in the type of complex that suits them better.
    The hotels who have been offering all inclusive would find it to their advantage not to so, and therefore local businesses would prosper again.
    Arrangements for rental complexes could be re-organised in such away to make matters more practical both for administrative and safety purposes.
    Owners would be more likely to pay their taxes.
    Properties would be more likely to be more of an investment due to less taxes and restrictions.
    The possibility of the beautiful Island of Tenerife going into decline would be avoided al because of a minor 10 euro exit tax which would almost nothing to collect and of little meaning to the visitors.
    Malta has been doing it for 40 years, nothing to get in and 10 Euros to get out.
    May be what I propose should be voiced to the Tourism dept and the Cabildo.
    Tenerife depends on Tourism Let us keep it that way.

  • Hello Janet,
    I have been a frequent visitor to Tenerife for over 30 years and I was a property owner for over 20 of them. I have been following events for some time and feel that we may require the need for some retrospective legislation to sort out what is a difficult situation for all concerned, be it owners, hoteliers, and those working in the associated industries, such as shops bars and restaurants as well as their suppliers .not forgetting of course the tourist/ holidaymaker.
    I imagine Tourism directly or indirectly employs most of the working population and the total probably amounts to about 90% of those working in the South of Tenerife and quite a high % of those living elsewhere on the Island. It therefore seems that the moves being made at the moment are edging towards that of a kamikaze nature, and will present nothing short of financial and economic tragedy for all concerned
    I would imagine the worst scenario would be.
    Tourism would drop dramatically
    This would be due to private owners of apartments in both commercial and private complexes no longer letting out apartments primarily because of them being wary of being fined very heavily and having to pay taxes at such a high rate, mostly when most were not informed by agents when buying the property of their tax liabilities and renting restrictions and are usually trying to offset the annual running s and mortgages they might have, which increased dramatically with the fall in the value of the pound £. All have already seen what they thought would be an good investment turn into sudden decline which happened both dramatically and rapidly in recent years losing many thousands of pounds, and with a lot of properties dropping by as much as 50% in value making a lot of those with mortgages finding themselves in negative equity.
    Being unable able to rent out due to rules regarding property renting restrictions and being afraid of the punitive fines and heavy taxation both here and in the UK,(yes you are liable for tax in the UK as well, especially those paying the higher rate of tax) would I am afraid make even more put their properties up for sale at even more greatly reduced prices and therefore damaging the already suppressed property market making prices drop even further, yet again bringing on more miserary for all concerned.
    Within a relatively short period of time if the authorities continue with their vendetta, which I imagine is mainly at the behest of the Hoteliers; the availability of private property to rent would dramatically reduce as Owners increasingly refrain from renting and the self-catering market would almost disappear and as it is probably the biggest market for tourists to Tenerife so too will the tourists.
    And ironically there would insufficient rooms in Hotels and Officially Touristic Board Registered Apartment Complexes to meet even the limited demand in relation to the number of visitors to current ly visiting Tenerife. An easy calculation is to look at the total number of official beds available on a seasonal basis, and the number tourists arriving at the same times, and low and behold you have a substantial shortfall. So where will they go, elsewhere I would imagine.

    This would more than likely push up the prices of Hotels as supply could ironically exceed demand.
    I would then imagine that hoteliers would then do away with the low price ‘all inclusive’ deals which they have had introduce to attract holidaymakers for which they make little profit and which is generally a poor to mediocre standard of service at best, as one always usually gets what one pays for, or even less.
    No holiday makers, means that the shops, restaurants and bars as well as all the other services such as the many various attractions which have required huge investment , like the Siam Park will be substantially lacking in visitors would ultimately have to close down too.
    All in all, an absolute recipe for disaster.
    There be ultimately no winners, and the island would be in a state economic of crisis, and it would continue to get even worse, it would become almost derelict. It may sound a bit farfetched, but even to be half as bad as I have projected it would still be a major economic disaster.
    All started by Hoteliers wielding their influence in Government to get a bigger share of the pie by getting the government to use laws that had been largely ignored over the years to the satisfaction of most of us others.

    Well l what could be the answer?
    I have given this some thought and I comeback to retrospective legislation, so we can undo what and where it all went wrong.
    First of all as the island is so dependent on tourism I would, especially in the South of Tenerife, allow any properties suitable between the Motorway and the sea able to have a Touristic licence, as this would be the main area the tourists would want to be. Those above the motorway would be able to apply if they wanted to. Most permanent local residents tend to live away from the main resort areas anyway.
    The regulations should still be in place regarding the practical running and safety measures of each complex, but albeit they must be more flexible than at present. For example a number of complexes may share the same 24 hr reception, certain swimming pools with lifeguards may be used by a number of complexes where children may swim, the cost being shared jointly by the complexes.
    Management companies must be up for re-election at any time, so that those taking advantage of owners and using restrictive practices can easily replaced, they should also be none profit making, being that their operating services being more of contractual nature and they would be responsible to the community rather than the community being held to ransom by them, which is often the the case.
    Financial answers.
    It would be to everybody’s advantage for the Cabildo to introduce an Exit Tax of say 10 Euros, this would raise about 60,000,000 Euros per year , which is a lot of money in any language.
    This could money could be used in various ways to support tourism generally.
    It could be used to give a tax break or refund to those hotels who would be willing to do away with the dreaded “all inclusive” deals, which could help revive local businesses again, and which is long overdue
    It could also reduce the amount of Rental Tax payable by Owners, to say a straight 10% of an amount agreed with the Owners through say an Association, this could be taken on agreed amount fixed amount over an agreed period. This would encourage owners to make declarations, of which over 75% do not at present, it is likely to say be treated by the Owners as a type of VAT. It is more than likely a lot more taxes might be collected therefore reducing the overall cost of implementing various ways of encouraging tourism.
    This would satisfy Hoteliers who have always griped over private Owners not paying tax, and the Owners would be more willing to be to pay the tax if it were at a greatly reduced rate and for a fixed amount, it could be collected by way of an increased Plus Valia tax or patrimonial tax. Maybe a current tax disc could be put on a window for display, this could also be required and used for the Qwner meet fire and safety regulations etc.
    There would still be a of those owners who want to live on residential complexes, but maybe increasing the vote required be increased to 75% would be more representative of the wishes of the owners of each community in general.
    Maybe a financial incentive of a grant to cover the cost of moving, and say the property sales tax on both sale and purchase may be excluded for such a move may encourage this, however the new purchaser of the property would has to accept that the property can be used for renting.
    “Win,Win”
    I think that overall it would be a “win win “ situation, the only ones to whom would “suffer” would be those in residential complexes who are against others renting out their apartments in the same complex. However giving financial incentives as mentioned earlier ,to move to a more suitable complex for them; might be the answer. This way you can get the right type of owners in the type of complex that suits them better.
    The Hotels who have been offering “all inclusive” would find it to their advantage not to so, and therefore local businesses would prosper again.
    Arrangements relaxed rules for rental complexes could be re-organised in such away to make matters more practical both for administrative, safety and security purposes by way of increased use of flexible resources between complexes.
    Owners would be more likely to pay their taxes.
    Properties would be more likely to be more of an investment due to less taxes and restrictions, this could help an otherwise depressed market..
    The possibility of the beautiful Island of Tenerife ceasing to a paradise for tourists and going into decline would be avoided.
    All this could be achieved by collecting a minor 10 Euro Exit Tax which would almost cost nothing to collect and of little effect to visitors, but a major positive effect on the Tenerife’s economy by using the proceeds possibly as suggested and wisely.
    Malta has been doing it for 40 years, nothing to get in and 10 Euros to get out.
    May be what I propose should be voiced to the Tourism Department and the Cabildo.
    Tenerife depends on Tourism, so let us help it all we can….

  • Hi Janet
    In reply to all of Johns comments – there are some really good ideas / proposals here. Could these proposals be forwarded to the Tourism Department and the Cabildo.
    Thanks

  • i agree with all johns comments – a lot of sense there.
    But £10 exit fee for all seems a little much. maybe not children, nor residents nor people with NIE numbers.
    if not an owner with 2 children who likes to visit all school holidays could find themselves with quite a hefty annual expense. or maybe cap it to once per annum for all?
    still a lot of money to be raised in this way.

  • I’m afraid there is not much chance of them adopting John’s suggestions – they have pretty fixed ideas about what they’re doing, and want to do, and although we’re lobbying at a high level, they aren’t very receptive to such suggestions. I can assure you, though, that they, or similar, have been suggested repeatedly, and will continue to be put on the table.

    In particular, I’d comment on the following points:

    “allow any properties suitable between the Motorway and the sea able to have a Touristic licence.” This is already technically possible. As I’ve posted, a complex needs 100% agreement, and then to set up an asociación which would do the rentals. The asociación would be the entity applying for a licence – which must be granted if conditions re standards are reached. The problem is that these conditions will be onerous, and expensive … and that assumes total unanimity on a community to go in this direction, which I think would be almost impossible to achieve.

    “The regulations … must be more flexible than at present.” This would require the retroactive legislation, particularly in respect of sole agencies, that John mentions – and they appear completely averse to this.

    “Management companies must be up for re-election at any time.” They’re not really elected, but appointed, by having a certain number of owners register with them. If a community wants to change agent, owners need to de-register and then that agent will not have the percentage needed to operate. At that point a new agent, with the requisite percentage of owners registered, can take over.

    “It would be to everybody’s advantage for the Cabildo to introduce an Exit Tax of say 10 Euros, this would raise about 60,000,000 Euros per year!” They would argue, and do argue, that the fines will raise much more. They aren’t receptive to the idea that they’d raise more money if everyone paid a fee of some sort because they don’t want mass registration. They have a vision of 5* tourism.

    “It could be used to give a tax break … “. Tax is a red herring. Tax is a national government/treasury issue. This is a Canarian regional government tourism issue.

    “However giving financial incentives as mentioned earlier ,to move to a more suitable complex for them; might be the answer. This way you can get the right type of owners in the type of complex that suits them better.” This will be fiercely resisted, I can assure you, by those who want to live below the motorway and who bought legally on residential complexes in which they live legally. The Government argue that it is those who rent out touristically on residential complexes who are the “wrong type of owners”.

  • Hi Janet,
    It was nice to see people voicing their opinions in regard to my posting, as it does need to be discussed.
    My main overall point is that of finding an answer to a very difficult problem i.e. trying to avoid the ever increasing possible economic demise of Tenerife.
    The Island’s survival depends predominantly tourism, so things have got to be done to increase it not destroy it.
    If practical low cost measures are not taken to avoid the problems previously mentioned I am convinced it will happen, and I am sure the Government and it’s Hotelier cronies are quite willing to shoot themselves in the foot to do it, and then shout foul.
    In these times of austerity any moves to do would have to of a low cost to do it in order to succeed.
    It is to nobody’s advantage to have thousands of apartments which are empty all year except for a few weeks as and when owners decide to stay a few weeks. Who would want to visit lifeless 5* a ghost town.
    Financial incentives would have to be in place to encourage changes such I have mentioned.
    The practical of money saving ideas such as Apartment complexes sharing arrangements for the use swimming pools use by children and therefore reducing the prohibitive cost of life guards. This could also be the case for security guards looking after more than one complex. Maybe a form of neighbourhood watch’s could be organised. Less bills reduce the cost of maintaining an apartment which usually costs about 3000 euros per year and increasing.
    There are many ways to tackle the variety of problems that evolve in this very difficult situation.
    One thing for certain is the course taken by the Cabildo is that of economic suicide, they cannot even solve their own financial problems, so what chances have they in sorting out this mess. They want to create a 5* island when they have well over 25% unemployment and relatively low paid jobs in the leisure services industry. What planet are they on?
    Maybe they should take note in the various aspects of British logic and open their minds to alternative ways of getting things done. A lot of Owners have vast experience, many being of an entrepreneurial nature and I am sure have many good ideas.
    I am confident that the contributors to this forum could figure out a system from all the ideas put forward that would sort matters out in a manner agreeable to most people.
    As for the 10 Euros exit tax, the amount required would need to be enough to raise the sum required to cover the recommended financial incentives I mentioned earlier to kick start recovery..
    I think that the Government should take seriously the very high percentage of ex-pats and resident property owners in Tenerife who increasingly have the right to vote. Maybe they should start a political party like the recently formed association of their own in order to be treated fairly and not just for milking money from.

  • They don’t have the right to vote, though, John, not in Government elections. They can vote in local ones, but not national ones. And it’s the regional Government, not the Cabildo, that is doing this. To them, we are not voters. Moreover, in their eyes, those who are letting residential apartments are breaking the law and need to be punished.

    The thing is that in their eyes they are not causing a problem, the illegal letting owners are. In their eyes, they are providing a solution. They don’t see the problem in the way you define it. They have a completely different view of the current situation, of the outcome of their clamp down, and of the vision for tourism in the Canaries in the future.

    I’m not trying to be negative about your suggestions, but they arise from someone who sees the Government doing something wrong and causing a problem. In their eyes, that is what they think about foreign owners who break the law!

  • Hi Janet,
    Thank you for clarifying those points and the attitude of the regional government.
    I think time will show that if nothing is done that “the Law is an ass” , and it will ultimately have to changed. Too many properties and too many tourists are involved. which will mean too much money will be lost and too many people will suffer in too many ways.

    Perhaps if they do the simple calculation of counting the “official” number of beds available against the total number of visitors, allowing for seasonal variations and the fact that a lot of tourists cannot afford to stay 4* or 5*, I would imagine there is likely to be a large discrepancy, especially in the south.

    Multiply the amount of money the average tourist spends on a holiday in Tenerife and I am sure that it will come to an awful lot of money which the economy cannot afford to lose. As a result the locals will suffer.

    It took donkeys years for them to realise that most people go on holiday for the sun, hence the long delay in creating holiday resorts in the south of the island.

  • Hello Janet

    The following is a statement made on a managing agent’s website
    advertising their services in relation to the letting of property on a tourist listed complex.
    “Each owner has to give their express written consent to the sole agent allowing them to let their apartment (this doesn’t mean they have to accept bookings from the agent, it also doesn’t mean you can’t still let it yourself – you can!). ” (word for word extract)
    In view of all the concern being experienced by property owners in Tenerife re the problems in letting their accommodation this seems unlikely. Can you advise if this information is accurate or not?
    Regards
    Jan

  • Yes, it’s accurate. At least, it’s accurate for that agent.

    On touristic complexes, owners MUST be registered with the on-site agent for touristic lets. Residential lets (of 3 months or more) are a different thing and don’t come within the scope of touristic legislation. Given that all touristic lets must start by registration with the sole on-site agent, different agents operate different schemes. Some of these agents are very tight, insisting on doing all the lets themselves and giving the owners a pittance while creaming in hundreds per week. Other agents are very relaxed, allowing owners to have the final say on lets the agent finds, and sometimes even allowing owners to find lets themselves – the only requirement they have seems to be that the property is actually registered with them. There is a range of schemes between these two extremes, and owners must abide by their on-site agent’s scheme, so whoever is on this agent’s complex has struck lucky.

  • I have been following the comments with great interest. We have recently bought property on a residential site near Adeje. Unfortunately the promotor sold various flats to Spanish companies who rent out illegally. We never know who is on the site as often there are many more holidaymakers than owners. Parents are not watching their children by our (unguarded) pools and the obligatory safety gates are always left open by holiday guests. Young people bring beer etc to the pool area, use the pool outside of opening hours, party all night and we can only call the Police.
    We (owners) are getting really fed up and are trying to get together to denounce this illegal situation. Our British president is not helping as he says that these letting companies pay the monthly charges. As you see, there is also this side to the situation. We (owners) have all paid more for our flats on a beautiful residential site, only to have it spoiled by unruly guests and their children.

  • At least being companies they should be able to pay the comunidad without letting illegally and destroying everyone else’s peace. I posted the details for the Tenerife turismo inspectors HERE, in case you should need them. Good luck!

  • Hi Janet
    I am aware you have started a new thread announcing the public meeting on 15th March. I hope this is the correct place to post my question.
    Aside of the issue around ‘Illegal Letting’, we have received information in the past few days on another issue that looks at changes to the actual tax that is paid to the Spanish authorities when renting them out. We have owned our property for the past 8 years, initially we were informed that we had to pay a ‘non-letting tax’, which we duly did for 3 years, we were then informed that as we declared our property on our UK tax return this was no longer payable.
    The authorities have now realised they are missing out on income from rented property and are now demanding that tax is paid in Spain – it is therefore possible we could receive a letter advising us of this and requesting we pay them the missing years (4 yrs).
    We have no issue in paying back taxes if this is the case – we have been informed that we run the risk that they will write and ask for the back tax and this could also come with a fine and they can go back 5 years.
    Grey area as to what was meant by ‘non-letting tax’, we never asked (stupidly) and just paid what was asked of us – we now understand that the authorities are saying for example, if we rent our property for 20 weeks (we pay tax in the UK on this), then we are obliged to pay ‘non-letting tax’ on the remaining 32 weeks. It also seems that even if you do not rent your property, you are still obliged to pay a ‘non-letting tax’ and the authorities are putting every owner of property under the microscope?
    It seems, we have two seperate issues that have arisen, back taxes and ‘Illegal Lettings’ – our main concern now is that by being very honest and paying the back tax, we run the risk of alerting the authorities to us renting out our property (no-win situation I guess!)

    We are due in Tenerife at the end of April and will be meeting with a lawyer and Spanish tax advisor. We will of course report back with information we receive. Has anyone else been made aware of this problem and do they have any information prior to our meeting with the lawyer?
    Best Regards

  • Hi Beverley, it’s quiite a well known issue, and one that’s independent of the illegal letting situation. It’s true that all non-resident property owners here are assessed to a “notional” rental income tax. This is on the assumption that properties that are not lived in full time do not stand empty for the rest of the time. I don’t know whether you’ve seen my page HERE – scroll towards the bottom. Please bear in mind that the assumed rental income is not necessarily (nor deemed necessarily to be) touristic rental income. There are residential properties that are used for several months of the year by owners who then put a three or six month residential let in place while it would otherwise be empty. The imposition on non-resident notional rental income tax does not have any implications of illegal letting. Certainly, the tax authorities themselves are waging their own campaign to get in all taxes they can, but this is entirely separate from the Turismo inspections/illegal letting situation. I hope this explains … please do ask for further information if I’ve not clarified sufficiently.

  • Thank you for finding time to respond Janet – I did not think they were linked, but worth highlighting I thought, as you mention the authorities are trying to get in as much money as possible – and we accept that we now owe back tax, it’s just a shame we thought we were doing the right thing over the past 4yrs, only to find we have not been.
    The page you have pointed us to makes more sense now in relation to the 3yrs tax we paid and the documentation we had to submit.
    I’m sure when we meet with the Tax Advisor & Lawyer it will all get sorted out.
    Thanks once again for all your help.

  • Please see HERE for the form to join the lobbying association.

  • Hi Janet,

    Can we get friends & family who have stayed in our apartment to sign, because they could be affected in the future or is it just for people who have a DNI/NIE/ID number.

    Regards Mervyn

  • A NIE is preferable, but weight of numbers is more important, I’d say. The form asks for DNI (Spanish ID number), or NIE, or ID … so a passport number will do (maybe they could put that it’s a British passport number next to the number). They might end up discounting those with just passport numbers, but as I say, weight of numbers is more important. Let’s have them, Mervyn.

  • We have just returned from staying in our apartment in Tenerife on a residential complex. One owner on our complex has received an 18000 euro fine and 2 owners on an adjacent complex have also received smaller fines. I have been told that Ryanair and Easyjet together with the organisation representing taxis have asked for a meeting with the tourist board.
    We have taken our advertising off the web and will not take any further bookings until this mess is sorted out.
    This law will result in Bars, restaurants, shops and taxi’s losing business and property prices falling.
    When we purchased our apartment in 2010 I asked our lawyer if we could rent the apartment this was her reply.

    “The private owners of an apartment can always rent it for a short or long time, signing a rental contract with the tenants. If you were renting a large number of apartments and therefore it could be considered that you are carrying out a professional rental / tourist activity and/or the apartments are used as hotel facilities this would be different, but I understand this would not be the case.”

    So it appears that even lawyers are confused

  • I appreciate it’s a dreadful situation. Many people are being threatened and frightened by vested interests and it is something the lobbying association has high on its list of priorities to stamp out. I agree with the likely effects: highly likely, I’d say. Re the lawyer’s advice, s/he is right: it is always possible under urban legislation to let, short or long term. The problem is that Turismo has arbitrarily decided that anything under 3 months is touristic. There is nothing in either urban or touristic law to warrant this interpretation.

  • The latest official tourism statistics are interesting:

    Overnight stays in hotels fell by 10% in March over the same month of 2011, as a result of a reduction by 8% of travelers staying, which means a difference of 74,392-year travelers less. This drop in the number of overnight stays is not offset by the growth of the average stay of travelers come in, which amounted to 6.45 nights.
    The rate of room occupancy census stood at 79.41%, suffering a fall 6 points over the same month last year.

    Source: http://www2.gobiernodecanarias.org/istac/jaxi-web/menu.do?path=/08022/C00031A/P0002&file=pcaxis&type=pcaxis&L=0

    One frost doesn’t make a winter, but if this trend continues it might become obvious to the authorities that making private rentals unavailable doesn’t result in visitors choosing hotels instead. Tourists do have a choice. They can choose Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and many other places.

    In addition to the proposed petition and lobbying by ALOTCA, which may eventually get results but will take a long time, I am in favour of a media campaign to win hearts and minds. I guess ALOTCA will be doing this too, but so much can also be done by individuals, for example: blogs, tweets, and youtube. I think there’s scope for someone to make a video showing the abandoned and decaying apartment blocks and commercial areas of which there are plenty of examples in the south of Gran Canaria.

    There are other ideas that I’d like to kick around but I don’t want to crowd out Janet’s page too much. Where is the best place to discuss this? Or should I set up a new forum?

  • Please do continue … I can start a whole new page just for your ideas and subsequent discussion if you would like. Would that be a good idea?

  • Yes, I think it would be great to have a page for discussing publicity ideas, sharing sources of information and possibly, plans of action. Though a forum format might be needed as the contributions grow.

  • You have it. It’s HERE, a page under “Owning Property”. Anyone who has once been approved for comment can comment without waiting to be moderated, so the comments will appear immediately.

  • How can we prove that our guests are our family and friends to our reception ? does anyone know what evidence we should be able to provide for example photographs of owners together with friends etc, this is belcoming a nightmare

  • I think the particular problem here is with private residential apartments using a reception designed for touristic ones – this only happens on mixed sites, of course. They cannot stop your private guests using your apartments whether you are there or not but they can say you’re letting touristically if you try to use the reception.

  • Thanks for running this thread Janet.
    I too have received a fine for !8,000 euro for an offence dated 29/06/11. I need it translating as i saw elsewhere that some procedings were dropped due to the time that had elapsed and had a vain hope my communication might be one of those.
    again i need a translation – I have a scanned version – but it doesn’t seem obvious how to appeal or even how to pay.
    It includes a copy of my advert which of course I’m now ceasing.
    Any help appreciated.
    Ed

  • Ed, if you have it scanned, email it to me and I’ll see what it is (help@janetanscombe.com)

  • Thanks indeed Janet for running this page.
    We have only just picked up on this from an email from an organisation called COLA (Canaries Owners Legal Action) warning of dire imminent action I was suspicious of them but it prompted me to do some searching which led me here. I have just asked for my ad to be removed, whilst I do more research, and in the hope that something will be sorted out. It seems strange to be taking such action when the economy seems to be so quiet! COLA make claims of being able to help you hide (for a fee -hence my suspicions). Are you aware of them? Dave

  • Yes, quite a few have heard of them. Our asociación lawyers have also now heard of them. Please have a read of some comments HERE.

  • Thank you, not surprised by the comments . Having said that they did alert me to the issue, so they have served a purpose. Fingers crossed I have found out in time, my own ad was on owners direct but did not name the complex so I hope that will help. Dave

  • I hope so, good luck!

  • For anyone interested, Janet confirmed that I have received an 18,000 Euro fine and am probably too late to appeal as my letter was redirected. There is a question mark over whether proof of delivery exists which might reset the clock if I am eventually published on BOC.

  • Here is an update on the home page’s tourism statistics. Guest nights fell in 2012 compared to 2011 as follows: Tenerife – 4%; Lanzarote – 3%; Gran Canaria – 7% and Fuerteventura – 11%.

    Before anyone attributes this drop to the economic situation in Europe – think again! 2012 full year stats are still sparse, but so far, Cyprus and Malta improved in 2012, as did Egypt (January-November). For Greece, tourist arrivals were down overall 5% in the first nine months of 2012, but British visitors – a vital market for Tenerife and Lanza in particular – were UP 15%.

  • How much of the decrease is the clampdown and how much is caused by the airline’s hiking up the price of the flights ??

  • BobMac, that is an impossible question to answer, I’m afraid. We would need flight prices for this year and last not only to the Canaries but also to the competing markets. Other questions which would need to be asked are about the quantity and quality of marketing efforts for the Canaries and competing destinations. These are all difficult questions, but what is undoubtedly true (based on various governments’ statistical services at least) is that the Canaries have lost market share since 2006.

  • Try these

    October half term Holiday 2012 – 4 adults to Tenerife £2010
    Easter 2012 – 4 Adults to Tenerife £1200

    Also, October half term 2012 – 4 Adults To Lagos inAlgarve staying in a
    4* Hotel on B&B with flights £1800

  • Fuerte has lost a number of direct flights and the price of those that remain has risen considerably. Visitors from mainland Spain are also down due to the recession and the loss of Iberia flights. That is why we are seeing an 11 percent drop. We seem to be being hit much more than Tenerife due to these connectivity issues.

  • Could not the flight increases be due to a lack of holiday enquires & flights to the Canaries because people can not book the apartments they have booked for years, therefore less demand for these flights and airlines cutting back their schedules.

    Which ever way you look at it and now with even worse unemployment figures the Government and the Tourist board are looking after the local peoples and its not their fault visitors numbers are down

  • Diario de aviso, last week, has an article stating the ideas being put forward in parliament by the various parties, on illegal holiday lets,one idea is to give illegal apartment owners, one or two years to legalise their properties and withdraw the fines. Hip hip hooray!!!! At last they are coming to their senses!! Perhaps tourism is down!!!! Also today, saturday, on the spanish news, they mentioned that the self catering option was the most popular with many visitors to the island, particularly in these times of crisis, as many families do simply not have the money to go to a hotel. Perhaps one of the english newspapers will have an english version of the article, it will put many owners minds at rest!! Poor souls, after spending their pension pots or hard earned savings on an investment. Investors have been totally misled by estate agents, solicitors and banks,all stating that tenerife or any of the canary islands was a good place to invest, which we all know now, is completely untrue. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD INVEST NOW!!! ENOUGH EUROPEAN INVESTORS HAVE BEEN LIED TO,

  • The article http://www.diariodeavisos.com/nueva-ley-abre-mano-camas-ilegales-pero-ignora-cuantas-son seems to hold out more hope for promoters of complexes built without authorisation, rather than individual owners as regards fines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930