This is a (hopefully) straightforward guide to the several ways that are legally available to owners to rent out their properties.
IF YOUR PROPERTY IS RESIDENTIAL:
- you can let it out long term under urban letting legislation wherever it is, with a long-term residential contract – see HERE for the definition of long-term residential contracts, which are a minimum of one year;
- or you can let it out short term as an arrendamiento de temporada (a contract of between one day and one year for a specific purpose other than tourism/holiday) under urban letting legislation – these are technically not “residential” contracts, and require a home address to be given where the tenant normally lives – an address, therefore, other than that of the property being rented.
- or you can let it for holidays under the Vivienda Vacacional decree which is a a new category in tourism law concerning only residential properties, and is additional to the main 1995 and 2013 tourism legislation. This decree is currently being redrafted, and will probably become less restrictive because the redraft was forced by objections from the Monopolies Commission (see HERE).
- For the moment, the current form of the Vivienda Vacacional decree concerns residential properties only in non-touristic areas as defined in municipal PGOs (ayuntamiento local planning designations). This means that in Tenerife and all islands to the east, eligible property must be residential and in a wholly residential area, not touristic or mixed touristic-residential: in El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera, islands devoted more to rural tourism, any residential property can register regardless of area designation. Eligible residential properties must also not be able to let under the terms of community Statutes if they are on a complex: in other words, the Statutes cannot contain a clause baning letting for holidays; if a community changes Statutes to ban such rentals this cannot be made retroactive to any units that have already registered and have a VV plaque.
- If a property complies with these conditions, owners have to apply for a Certificado de Viabilidad from the Cabildo and, once they have it, then apply to the Canarian Government for the VV licence itself. The application must include a declaración de responsable before starting to let, a formal declaration that the terms of the decree are being complied with. The full requirements are detailed in the Decree HERE. In addition, owners have to register for IGIC and submit quarterly IGIC returns, as explained HERE.
- Infractions of VV regulation are defined as “very serious” and so subject to fines for owners and any of their agents of between €30,000 and €300,000. The Canarian Government is currently redrafting this decree, supposedly to meet the Monopolies Commision’s objections, but how long this will take, or what its final form will be, are unknown. While it is being redrafted, inspections and fines of properties with VV licences are on hold, though the Decree itself remains in force. (NB: all other tourism inspections and fines are still being carried out and imposed).
IF YOUR PROPERTY IS TOURISTIC:
- Owners of touristic properties on complexes cannot let out privately for holiday lets because the 1995 tourism legislation requires an officially registered on-site sole agent to manage all bookings and rentals. Owners of independent touristic properties, i.e. not on a complex, need to check their municipal and insular requirements: the regional Government requirements are very restrictive. Most touristic properties, however, are apartments on complexes, and these can be let out short-term in one of two ways:
- either for holidays through an on-site sole agent,
- or privately with a temporada contract of between three and six months.
Although temporada contracts come under urban letting legislation and are for rentals of between one day and one year for a specific purpose other than tourism/holiday (and with a normal home address quoted for the tenant because the let is not a “residential” one), Turismo deems any lets under 3 months to be touristic and says that fines will be issued for illegal holiday letting in violation of tourism legislation. A one day to three month temporada, therefore, is not safe for owners of touristic properties. Fines for owners and any of their agents range from €1,500 to €30,000 – they are typically around €18,000.
Apart from Turismo deeming contracts of under three months as touristic in nature, tourism legislation requires touristic properties to be made available for tourism purposes for six months of the year. Contracts of over six months, therefore, even though legal under urban letting legislation, would mean that the property would not be available for tourism purposes for the six months required, and so would be in breach of tourism legislation. There are fines for non-compliance in this respect. The only safe window for short-term lets of touristic properties on temporada contracts is three to six months.
All of the above is the legal situation concerning the rental of whole properties, but if you just want to rent out a room or rooms you can do so under the Codigo Civil, the basic law code. Tourism legislation means, however, that you can’t let out a room on a B&B basis nor as a holiday let, and as with whole properties, any lets for under three months risk being deemed holiday lets by Turismo.