Draft regulation for private letting

The Statute of Autonomy of the Canaries, approved by Law 10/1982, 10 August, article 30.21 grants the Canaries exclusive jurisdiction over its tourism.

Canarian tourism law 7/1995, approved within the framework of exclusive jurisdiction and exercise of legislative power, which in its present form, provides that tourist accommodation services will be offered within hotel and extra-hotel definitions, and that the Canarian government would regulate the types of establishments as so defined. This legal mandate was carried out with the approval of Decree 142/2010, 4 October, approving the Regulation of tourist accommodation.

Subsequently, Parliament approved Law 4/2013, 4 June, of flexibilization and development of the rental property market, which in Article I.2 adds clause “e” to Article 5 of Urban Letting Law 29/1994, 24 November, by which was excluded from the scope of the Act, “the temporary cession of an entire dwelling furnished and fitted for immediate use, advertised or promoted through tourism channels for financial gain, when it is subject to special rules, derived from the legislation of its sector “.

For the above reasons, it has been deemed necessary to develop regulation which determines the conditions and requirements that households must comply with to be touristic.

The Decree comprises a single article concerning the approval of Regulation of dwellings for tourist use in the Canaries, the text of which follows.

The Regulation consists of four chapters:

  • chapter I – general provisions dealing with the object, definitions and scope of application of the regulation, and aspects related to the identification of dwellings for tourist use and information and publicity;
  • chapter 2 – conditions of use, technical requirements and minimum equipment that dwellings must have for tourist use. These requirements are complementary to those already required by Decree 117/2006, 1 August, which regulates habitability and the procedure for obtaining a cedula de habitabilidad;
  • chapter 3 – establishment of initiatory procedures and how the business is conducted in accordance with the system of declaration as per tourism ordenance Law articles 13.2, a) and 24.1;
  • chapter 4 – complaints, inspections and sanctions.

Single article. Approval of the Regulation. The regulation of dwellings for tourist use in the Canaries, whose text follows, is approved.



Article 1. Object.

This Decree is to regulate dwellings for tourist use in the Canaries.

Article 2. Definitions.
1) For the purposes of this Decree the following is understood:
a) Accommodation for tourist use: dwellings of whatever type that are furnished and equipped for immediate use and meeting the requirements of this decree, advertised and promoted through tourist channels to be given in their entirety to third parties for paid tourist accommodation.
b) tourist channels: travel agencies; reservation centres; other intermediary businesses and tourist service organizations including virtual; as well as publicity placed in social media related to travel and stays in places different to those normally used by tourists.
c) Temporary let: any occupancy of a dwelling for a period of time
d) Businesses exploiting tourist use dwellings: individuals or businesses whose professional activity, whether main activity or not, is the provision of paid accommodation which meets the requirements of this Decree.

Article 3. Scope.
1. Subject to this Decree are dwellings for tourist use located in the autonomous region of the Canary Islands.
2. Excluded from the scope of this Decree are tourism establishments set out in Decree 142/2010, 4 October, approving the regulation of tourist accommodation or rules which replace it.
3. It is understood that a dwelling has been let under the terms of this Decree when its marketing takes place through tourism channels.

Article 4. Régimen de explotación
1. Dwellings for tourist use must be let in their entirety to a single user and not shared.
2. In the case of dwellings subject to horizontal property law their tourist use will require in every case authorization of the community of owners.
3. Dwellings for tourist use require the corresponding prior declaration to the Cabildo and subsequent inscription in the Canaries’ General Tourism Register.
4. A document stating at least the name of the owner of the dwelling, the General Tourism Register registration number, the number of people who will be occupying the property, the total price of the stay, and arrival and departure dates will be given to users of dwellings for tourist use at the time the contract is made. This document will be signed by the user and will have probative value for administrative purposes – the owner must keep a copy available for the disposition of the relevant authorities for the period of one year, the document having contractual value for tourism purposes.

Article 5. Prohibitions.
1. The following are prohibited in all circumstances to clients:
a) Accommodate a greater number of people than the capacity of the dwelling allows for its definition on the cedula.
b) Use for purposes other than those for which it was rented.
c) Carry out any activity which prejudices neighbourly relations, hygiene and normal public order, or which hinders the normal rest of other users of the property.
2. Failure to comply with these rules will authorize the owners or their agents to proceed to the eviction of the offenders.

Article 6. Identification of dwellings for tourist use.
Dwellings for tourist use will exhibit at their entrance, in a visible place, a plaque showing their registration number. Format and characteristics for the plaque as per Annex I below.

Article 7. Information and Publicity
1. Advertising, supply and management of dwellings for tourist use will meet the requirements of accuracy, objectivity and good faith, providing users with sufficient information about those services which have been contracted, their characteristics and conditions of use, completely without prejudice to the provisions of existing rules about advertising and consumer rights.
2. Tourist accommodation exploitation businesses must include, in all publicity regardless of media, the registration number allotted to them.
3. Each dwelling will have an information sign in a visible place containing a permanently available phone number where clients can resolve any issues relating to the accommodation, as well as numbers and addresses for emergency and health services. These signs will be in Spanish and English at least.
4. Before confirmation of the reservation, users will be told about access to the dwelling, arrival and departure times, admission of pets, reservations system and prices of services offered.
5. The prohibitions set out n Article 5 must be announced inside the dwelling in a place where they are readily visible, in Spanish and English at least, and must be brought to the attention of clients, either before or at the time the contract is agreed.


Article 8. Conditions of use and safety requirements
1. All dwellings for tourist use must comply with current regulations regarding habitability and safety for residential use, with structures and facilities being maintained in appropriate condition.
2. Dwellings for tourist use must be provided in perfectly clean and hygenic condition for immediate use.
3. Owners or agents must provide the police with information about the occupants’ stay as per public safety regulations applicable to those who provide paid accommodation.
4. All dwellings for tourist use must have public liability insurance.

Article 9. Technical Requirements
1. The design and dimensions of the dwelling will allow adequate provision of furniture, facilities and equipment for resting, dressing, bathing, eating, relaxing, working or studying, as well as storage space and access to telecommunications services.
2. All parts of tourist use dwellings must be equipped with furniture, cutlery, household items, linen and equipment appropriate for the number of occupants.
3. Minimum dimensions and calculation of usable square metreage must be as per Decree 117/2006, 1 August by which conditions of dwelling habitability are regulated.

Article 10. Minimum Equipment
Regardless of the minimum equipment set out in Decree 117/2006, 1 August, tourist dwellings must have the following minimum equipment:
1. General equipment –
a) furniture appropriate to each room
b) internal security door at access points
c) first aid kit.
2. Bedroom
a) reading lights for each bed
b) light reduction system in each bedroom
c) coat hangers of the same style and which will retain their shape sufficient for the number of users
d) double or single beds of the following minimum dimensions:
– single : 0.90 mx 1.90 m
– double: 1.35 x 1.90 m
e) minimum equipment and sufficient bedding per user:
– mattress Protector
– sheets or similar
– blanket
– pillow
– bedspread
If the accommodation is let for more than one week, a separate set of bedding per user must be provided for each week or part thereof.
2. Bathroom :
– Mirror
– Toilet roll holder
– Bathmat
– Shelf for bathing items if there is no basin surround or similar
– Sufficient towel rails, hangers or racks
– Water egress prevention system in bath or shower
– Bath towels per user
– Hand towel per user
If the accommodation is let for more than one week, a separate set of towels per user must be provided for each week or part thereof.
3. Kitchen
– oven
– microwave
– crockery, cutlery and glassware sufficient for the number of users
– Sufficient items and linen for food preparation and consumption
– cleaning equipment
– iron
– coffee maker

Article 11. Prices
1. All dwellings for tourist use must show in a visible place and easily readable a price list stating at least the date on which the prices charged were advertised or announced publicly. Prices must include IGIC.
2.Prices charged may not exceed those indicated in the price lists, nor may any charges be imposed for anything that was not requested or offered.


Article 12. Declaration of starting letting
1. Owners or agents must notify the Cabildo in advance of any modification or alteration of a dwelling for tourist use, providing evidence of compliance with the terms of this Decree, confirming that they have accredited documentation, and agree to remain compliant during the period in which they are letting.
2. The declaration will contain, at least, the following:
a) cédula de habitabilidad
b) details of the owner and any agent, and where there is an agent, confirmation that the agent has authorization from the owner to manage the property
c) permanently available contact telephone number for any communication about the letting activity
3. Once the declaration is submitted, the Cabildo will inscribe the information within 15 working days, and provide the complaints book, the plaque, and the inspection book.

Article 13. Amendments and incidents while carrying out letting
The Cabildo must be advised of any alteration or modification of the details supplied within thirty days of said changes so that registry entries can be amended. The notification will be made via the ayuntamientos local to the property, and the relevant tributary authority.

Article 14. Termination of activity
1. Owners or agents must advise the Cabildo of any definitive cessation of tourist letting within thirty days, surrendering the complaint and inspection books.
2. The cessation of activity can be declared personally with attesting documentation by owners or their agents.
3. If cessation is temporary but more than four months, the Cabildo must be informed within the same timescale, adding the date of resumption within 10 days from the time it occurs.
4. The communications defined in 1 and 3 of this article can be made by any legal medium.
5. Cessation will be recorded in the general tourism register.


Article 15. Complaints
1. Official complaints books will be available to users at all times.
2. In the case of claims concerning prices, users will be supplied with a copy of the price list as well as the complaint forms. This copy should coincide with the list valid at the point of contract, and should be signed by the owner or agent – it must also note the date it was supplied.

Article 16. Inspection and Penalties
1. Failure to comply with any of the equirements and provisions of this Decree shall be communicated to the tourist inspectorate in respect of título VI of Law 7/1995, 6 April without prejudice to the provisions of article 71.4 of Law 30/92, 26 November introduced by Law 25 / 2009 of 22 December.
2. Likewise, other administrative bodies can impose penalties if their own rules are violated.
3. Owners or their agents will be legally liable for tourism infractions.
4. Under no circumstances will the owner of the dwelling be able to allege that a dwelling for tourist use is an habitual residence so as to avoid inspections.

Annexe: registration plaque


  1. Good work, Janet.

  2. Dear Janet,
    Once again you have proved yourself to be an integral part of life on the island of Tenerife as well as the Canary Islands in general, I don’t know where we would be without someone like you to “Keep us all informed and up to date” thank you to you and to Jose Escobedo. Regards & best wishes


  3. Ha, the obligatory items list was written by a real pedant or deliberately to be a pain.

    So it look like providing I can fulfill the requirements above and they give me permission I can rent out my villa.

  4. Author

    The obligatory list matches that which exists for touristic property.

  5. The lists are along the same lines but are not the same and some difference are subtle. For example, the Decree 142/210 calls for beds to be at least 2m long whereas this draft says they must be at least 1.9m long; the latter being a more realistic figure!

  6. how long realistically before a stand a lone villa could apply.
    I did contact Jose,s office many months ago,but it was to soon to
    Thanks very much for all your hard work and dedication its really
    helped everyone involved I,m sure ,Happy Christmas and a peaceful
    healthy New Year.God Bless x

  7. Author

    you’re welcome, thank you, and the same to you! I imagine that you could apply as soon as this regulation goes from “draft” to being passed by the Canarian parliament. That will be a few months, but not too much more, hopefully.

  8. Dear Janet

    Article 4 – item 2 dwellings subject to horizontal property law, does this mean the entire community would have to agree and not just a majority.

  9. Author

    You know as much as I do, Brian – the wording says just “authorization”, and what it actually means at this point is not clear to me, nor do the words themselves help with any interpretation.

  10. Hello Janet
    I assume the new draft proposals relating to a residential complex would need to comply with the Horizontal Property Laws and if so then such authorization would at least need 60% (3/5), however if it was approved and some owner/s was to object then the objector/s could take the community to court. So perhaps it really needs 100% to become fully acceptable by a residential community.

  11. Author

    We’ll need to wait for the clarification from the consultation process – over the next month or so – to be sure of this, Ken.

  12. Janet, I am still so confused about villas. Does this new law mean that my house, which is detached, not on a complex, can be rented short term, as paragraph 3 may imply that such a house as mine is outside these laws. Does the limit of 200 metres from the sea still apply. Are all the smaller islands subject to the same boundaries as Tenerife?

  13. Author

    Maybe … that’s all I can say, Kate. Logically this regulation shouldmean that you can. Bear in mind that this regulation does not undo a single clause of the tourism law they brought in last year, and it was that law that set the 200m definition for some villas. This regulation is for property not covered in that law, so yours might be covered under the initial 200m clauses (with other conditions), or this new additional decree – the “regulation”.
    Remember how I said José Escobedo described law here, like “firefighting”. You pass measures then see where they’re faulty then correct them, and run around solving the problems caused by inexact law which could have been saved by getting the law right in the first place! We will have to see how all this gets put together, but it seems to me that villas will stand a good chance of being able to let privately under this regulation – but even lawyers aren’t interpreting this yet, and we certainly don’t have a legislative interpretation. This is just a draft regulation, which will now be consulted on. Only then will it be written up into a decree, and only then will we expect to have “juridical interpretation”.
    As to other islands, yes, this is Canarian Government legislation. It applies to the Canaries as a whole.

  14. If there was a stipulation of 60% or 100% agreement to lettings on a residential complex, would that be 60 or 100% of ALL owners or only those who actually vote?

  15. Author

    This is qualified administrator territory, Simon, but my (unqualified) understanding is that with a 60% requirement, it is just the votes of those attending the meeting (and note that they are counted two ways as described HERE), but with a 100% requirement, I think that a motion is not automatically carried even if 100% of the people at the meeting approve a motion – in such a case, the minutes are sent out to all owners with a time limit for objections to be registered, silence being taken as assent.

  16. Hi Janet

    Thank you for that translation.

    This looks to me to be a very positive step, as the second paragraph of your translation says:
    “…..This legal mandate was carried out with the approval of Decree 142/2010, 4 October, approving the Regulation of tourist accommodation.” referring to the acceptance into Canarian regulation, in its entirety, of EC regulation 2006/123/EC.
    Rough translation of paragraph 1 of that regulation is:
    “Directive 2006/123 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 (OJ 27.12.06) on services in the internal market, incorporated into Spanish law by Law 17/2009 of 23 November, on free access to activities and exercising, has forced (us)adapt virtually all legislation regulating the tourism sector to a less interventionist regime to facilitate freedom of establishment and provision of services as engines of growth economic and job creation.”

    That regulation is “Bolkenstein”.

    I’m back on the property hunt.



  17. Author

    But Wally nothing has changed in these respects since that was passed four years ago – that concerns touristic property and RUP rules apply, those rules by which the EU allows the Canaries to impose its own protectionist policies. This new regulation concerns any property not previously covered by tourism legislation – not property covered by previous decrees!
    The reason that the second para above is there is to set the touristic background to the introduction of the urban letting decree, para 3 – which is what has caused the problem. Have a read of the second para again. It starts with “Canarian tourism law 7/1995, approved within the framework of exclusive jurisdiction and exercise of legislative power. “Exclusive jurisdiction” as confirmed by the EU. In fact, the very bit you’ve quoted from para 2 says that Canarian tourism law, which it has exclusive jurisdiction to pass, has been done in compliance with the terms of 142 – i.e. despite Bolkestein, which permits it!
    I know there are some who want Bolkestein to topple Canarian tourism legislation in its entirety, but that has not happened! Nothing has changed with regard to existing tourism legislation. This new regulation is purely in response to a loophole in urban letting law, i.e. not tourism law! It is not a response to Bolkestein, merely a response to a national (i.e. Spanish not EU) requirement to “regulate short-term lettings” in their entirety, not just touristic properties.
    If this turns into another Bolkestein thread I am removing it because the word itself now just serves to confuse … as your own reaction to just an indirect reference to the decree’s number shows, even though the actual interpretation is the opposite of yours, and the reference is anyway just there as background to legislative process, rather than in a substantive sense as an integral part of the reason for the current regulation.

  18. Wally, I suggest you actually ask a lawyer for clarification about Bolkestein. I have a friend who is a barrister, as is his wife whose specialism is EU law, and they both say that Bolkestein ALLOWS ANY EU MEMBER STATE to pass additional laws to protect services which they regard as VITAL to their economy.

  19. With apologies to Janet for continuing on the theme, wally, you need to continue and translate the 2nd paragraph of Decreto 142/2010 where they specify exactly why they are claiming the exceptions mentioned in the 2006 EU Directive…

  20. We are none letting owner residents on a community on which the majority of owners let their properties. Regarding regulations, visits from inspectors plaques etc.etc.what is our situation?
    Also are we exempt from any likely charges due.
    Does the whole community have to change to an official letting site or are the none letting resident treated as a separate issue?

  21. Author

    You are not compelled to let out, but assuming you are on a touristic complex, if you do let out, then you must do so through the on-site sole agency. I don’t know what “charges” you mean – but if you are worried about being fined because others are letting out then you shouldn’t be concerned because fines are issued on owners individually.

  22. Thanks Janet for a great blog on private letting. In your reply to len you state that “assuming you are on a touristic complex, if you do let out, then you must do so through the on-site sole agency.” If the agent is a hotel with the majority of accommodation on the site and will not accept you letting through them, have you any way to appeal against this use of the touristic license held by them?

  23. Author

    I’m afraid not, Terry, I don’t know what the solution is in such circumstances, I’m sorry. As far as I know they are not obliged by law to accept owners who wish to rent, but any owners who do so wish must do so through them. A lawyer might disagree, or have suggestions about how to proceed, but that’s the obvious next step for someone in that situation.

  24. Hi Janet
    What would we do without you, thank you so much for all your hard work. I have a quick question, our complex is a 19 house residential complex, is there any way that it can be changed from residential to tourist.

  25. Author

    yes, if you have a look at the Living on a complex Q&A page HERE, it’s answered in the “Alterations” section.

  26. Thanks for your continued help and information. Is there a link to the full draft resolution following this meeting in December 2014? We specifically need clarification on holiday lets which are being carried out in our residential complex by several agents. One of whom has said that as a result of this latest ruling it is no longer illegal to conduct holiday lets by agents on our complex.

  27. Author

    Above IS the full draft! What I have posted is a full literal translation, and so it is all the clarification there is!There is no “latest ruling”. It is a DRAFT regulation which is not yet approved by Parliament because it is in consultation phase. HERE is the Spanish version from the government’s website. What you report the agent as saying is incorrect – and would be incorrect in principle even if this regulation had been approved.

  28. I’ve just noticed Article 8.3: “Owners or agents must provide the police with information about the occupants’ stay as per public safety regulations applicable to those who provide paid accommodation.”
    Does you know what, practically, this means?

  29. Author

    yes, it means that details of legal tourism occupants must be given to the police – this is what hotels, sole agents, and other intermediaries are required to do already … same in France, I believe, and probably elsewhere. It means that if owners who eventually find themselves able to let their apartments don’t comply with the legal requirements that pertain to sole agents and the like, they will still be letting illegally.

  30. “..as per public safety regulations applicable to those who provide paid accommodation.” I assume these regulations already exist. You don’t, perchance, know where I might find these?

  31. Author

    Yes, they do, but no, I don’t, IP, sorry … but any sole agent will know because they’ll already be under their remit. We have at least two on this site to my knowledge, and hopefully one might see this and reply.

  32. Author

    That’s great, Doreen, thank you!

  33. Thanks Doreen.
    I also found THIS …which seems to cover everything from the requirements to the methods of communicating the information to the police.

  34. If the draft bill goes through and the community vote it in. What implications for owners who do not let in relation to extra costs they may have to bare should a complex be classified as a letting tourism complex. Complex liability insurances, life guard for complex swimming pool, and any other additional requirements which may be necessary to conform with letting laws.

  35. Author

    This won’t be an issue as such because it won’t be communities which “vote it in”, but – it appears – individual owners who might be able to let their individual properties if the community approves their request. Again, we are talking specific answers before we have legislation to analyse. Bear in mind that the law already allows for residential complexes to become touristic – if 100% of the owners reqwuest it, and if they jump through all the hoops (detail on this is one of the answers on THIS page).

  36. Thanks for your reply still a bit unclear let’s assume the bill is passed and the community gives its approval to individual owners to holiday let their apartments. Will that inevitably mean that community fees increased for additional requirements under the new law. ie life guard for complex pool. Liability insurance and many others under Health and Safety. I personally can see a major change in community fees from residents which do not let their apartment to cover the additional costs from this new law, assuming it is passed.

  37. Author

    I don’t know, this is something the bill itself (or lawyers) will need to clarify when it is approved. As I say, until we get beyond the draft, we are guessing.

  38. Just to point out> On Touristic complexes, irrespective of whether you let or not, community fees are the same. I would think it would be an administrative nightmare, trying any other method.

  39. Janet, the draft was published in the BOC on 23rd December 2014 and the period for comments was 15 working days, which I guess has now passed. Any ideas how long, typically, it would take for the comments to be reviewed etc.?

  40. Author

    Yes, consultation period has now expired, and I would expect something definitive within a couple of months or so.

  41. Hi Janet in response to Derek post re letting on touristic compex,s where he points out that community fees are the same for all regardless if you let or not. This I fully appreciate however the point I was making was that where owners bought on residential complexes knowing what they were responsible for paying for.When the new law likely is introduced it will mean that residential owners will be responsible for the additional costs involved for bringing the community communial parts to the requirements of the new regulations, and maintaining them to meet holiday letting standards. Therefore additional costs for residents who have never let and have no intention of letting in the future, are inevitable.

  42. Hello John
    I think you are making very valid points. I understand that the community would firstly need to give their consent, but is that just a simple majority, 60% or even 100%. I think owner on a residential complex should strongly object to any moves allowing it to be used for touristic purposes. Would they eventually be required to use a sole agent?

  43. I read Art 8.1 above as meaning that the property (apartment, villa) must be up to the standards existing for residential properties and have the minimum furniture, facilities etc as described in Arts 9 & 10, but nothing regarding updating the common areas or adding lifeguards (those are regulations for touristic complexes). And it is the owner of the property who must have adequate public liability insurance.

  44. Hi Doreen you are quite right owner whom are letting will require to have liability insurance for their apartment or villa. But if a complex votes to except and allow owners to holiday let then I would assume the community would require additional insurances for individuals who are not owners to use the communial facilities. Such as swimming pool etc. Also the community would require a life guard for the health and safety of the holiday makers who will be making use of all amenities on a complex.

  45. I think there are many unknowns still on the actual meaning of the new legislation but it appears to be designed to protect the control of Touristic Complexes under the Sole Agency System, which will keep the all powerful Asshotel happy!
    It then seems to be offering the opportunity to private owners to let their property under a different set of criteria, which I think may put the responsibility for most issues in the hands of the individual owner – once they have the permission of the community to let.
    Surely, the issue of insurance would be no different to someone who is not staying on a complex, but goes in to have a drink etc and then trips over a paving stone whilst doing it.

  46. Author

    That’s how I see it, Phillip, given that we’re inevitably having to second-guess the final regulation at the moment.

  47. Janet, sorry if this has been asked before. I am going to try and get a licence for a villa in the south. Any idea of the costs of the permit itself?

  48. Author

    At present, and until we have clarification on the legislation, it’s not possible to get a licence for a villa.

  49. If our residential complex is granted tourist letting facilities do the authorities insect the properties letting before allowing them to do so. We have a lot of illegal building extensions, my neighbour has built on his Solana on an unsupported wall to convert it to a bedroom. Surely this couldn’t be approved for letting. I do know the complex buildings insurance does not cover this illegal extension although I don’t know if the owner has invalidated the policy for all of his property.

  50. Author

    As I understand it – and nothing can be confirmed until the regulación comes through the process – it won’t be complexes which get tourist status, but individuals. What, if any, effect that will have on facilities in residential complexes is unknown at present.

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