This is a very complicated issue, so please feel free to ask any questions, even (especially!) those that you think might be “stupid” … they are very rarely that! Please just check that your question hasn’t already been answered below, and if not, post it in the box at the bottom. Click on any question to expand it to show the answer.
There is also an “illegal letting discussion page” HERE for comments or debate.
THE LEGAL SITUATION
What is the actual law on renting out your own property?
Please can you tell me the legal position of the Inspectors, our complex is gated, do they have the power to demand an entrance through the gates to gain access to each apartment.
Can you explain the legal status of friends and family
What happens if an owner of a touristic property doesn't want to rent it out? or wants to live in it permanently?
I want to run a guest house and offer B&B, but I've been told this is illegal. Surely that's not true?
Is there any way of searching for the original building licence online, or finding out whether our complex is touristic or residential?
Is it always the owner of the property who's responsible for illegal letting or would the agent be held responsible instead if there's someone advertising on the owner's behalf and collecting money?
I've heard that a community president is resposible for illegal letting. Is this correct? If so, it seems unfair for our president, who regularly tries to stop it by announcing it's illegal at every AGM
How do we find out if we've been fined for illegal letting?
Our complex was visited by the tourist inspectors last July. If fines are pending, how soon can we expect them?
What happens if I just can't afford to pay the fine?
If an owner is fined would the letter of notification be delivered to the property in question in the Canaries or to your home address in the UK?
If I sell half way through appealing my fine what will happen? Presumably it cant be attached to the property until its finalised—-but will it be attached to me?
People seem to be getting away with it and keeping on renting, and there aren't many fines in the boletin any more. How are they policing this? Was it all just about foreigners? Why hasn't the government used the Land Registry as a base from which to pursue offenders? Surely, someone listed as owning more than one property in Spain, could easily be followed up and if guilty, prosecuted?
As holidaymakers, who can we legally book apartments from? Is there a list of legal touristic apartments?
If holiday makers are in an illegally let apartment on a residential complex, do they have legal rights to access and use communal areas and property?
As renting to holiday-makers is illegal, would the communal insurance be invalid as it would only cover residents and not tourists in the event of an accident so any claims made by holidaymakers would then fall onto the Community of Owners to pay personally?
We have booked a villa for a 2 week holiday at a cost of over 4,000 pounds. I’ve just heard about this fining for holiday villas and am worried that we will lose our holiday. What should we do?
To whom, where and how do I report an illegal apartment letting owner?
If someone has been fined because of a denuncia, is it possible or not to find out who has denounced you? Can they be anonymous?
Do the inspectors need more evidence than Internet advertising such as finding guests in the villa at the time of inspection?
When the inspectors visit a property, what sort of questions might they ask of holidaymakers?
Do the inspectors give you a chance, with a warning, before issuing a fine, if they decide you're illegally letting?
What is the situation with respect to agents who allow owners to take their own bookings. Some owners advertise but bookings go to the agent direct; others advertise and take the bookings themselves, but then put the bookings through the agent.
We have an agent who only wants to rent out the apartments in our building if the owner grants him the 12 months and he is giving back 1 month that the owner can use himselve. Is this legal? We are retired and want to come when we want.
How can we know that the agent claiming to be the sole agent is actually the sole agent? Over the years, several properties have been sold and new owners my not have registered with the management company on site. How is it possible to confirm whether the management company does hold the percentage required?
Does the new 2013 tourism law make any changes to the sole agent system?
Some estate agents (and management companies) assure buyers that they can legally carry out holiday rentals of residential properties with what they call special tourist licences. Is this true?
Does a buyer have a claim against an estate agent who said holiday rentals on a residential complex were legal - which was the reason we bought?