Ashotel sets up system for illegal letting denuncias in its own name to both Turismo and the tax authorities

I am grateful to René Campen of Hestria, administrator of complexes, for drawing my attention to Ashotel’s new provision of a means to denounce illegal letting through the hoteliers’ association itself, with all the weight it carries. Moreover, Ashotel will take the information put into the form on THIS page and denounce not just to Turismo, but also to the tax office.

Ashotel itself says its collaboration with the tax and tourism authorities is intended to put an end to what it classes as unfair competition which damages the island’s reputation and its tourism quality, and is directly aimed at inreasing denuncias of illegal letting in the main tourist areas. The form will allow anyone to inform – as owner or concerned person – on any situation where illegal letting is thought to be taking place, either by the property’s owners or by agents unauthorized by Turismo.

Ashotel says that it will only be able to issue denuncias in its own name for those who are its members but will assist fully anyone who is not an Ashotel member who wishes to make a denuncia. It says that both the association and the Agencia Tributaria guarantee informers anonymity and total confidentiality.



  1. Hello Janet Anscombe
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rene Campen of Hestria, for flagging this up, if this is correct this may put the cat amongst the pigeons, so interesting times ahead.

    Regards – Ken Shade

  2. Thx Janet ,
    do you know the adress or email of ASHOTEL ?
    regards ,

  3. Author

    Yes, if you click the link to the form in the post above it will take you direct to their website with all contact information on it.

  4. Well, thats one way to deal with competition. This is what a vested interest looks like folks. Scandalous.

  5. It looks like you can complete that form directly on line and send it automatically to the relevant section in Ashotel by pressing the Send link. (Enviar) A very simple process.

  6. If you are an owner in a residential complex that is blighted by illegal letting all around you, you will not be saying that what Ashotel is doing is scandalous. Many law abiding owners are afraid of issuing denuncias against illegal renters because of the real risk of reprisals. This anonymous process removes the risk of reprisals.

  7. I doubt this is going to be as straight forward as the initial info seems to be implying. The last round of fines issued ( 2010 – 2011) were largely dismissed in court. I seem to recall they were based soley on copies of commercial (internet) adverts giving a commercial rental. IIRC the judgement was this was deemed insufficient and unsustainable in court with more substantial evidence needed.

  8. Author

    The situation has changed completely now, Peter, and is beyond recognition compared to the one you’re talking about. The fines that are currently being issued aren’t even getting to Court because they are issued after inspection and people know they can’t be appealed because the case is clear and solid. You are talking about a time a few years ago, but the inspectorate now inspects fully, and no fines are published in the BOC because none are undeliverable … because home addresses of owners are established as part of the inspection.

    I know several people who have taken this lack of BOC activity to mean that no fines are now being issued but just to be absolutely clear – you are wrong when you say that three or so years ago was “the last round of fines”. There was never “a round of fines” … they have never stopped! The system has changed, however, and what happens now is a direct result of the Courts throwing fines out on appeal in the period you’re referring to – not at all least because of the association Alotca of which I was a founding member with local lawyers and estate agents, and of which I was president one year. Those early fines were indeed based on internet adverts only, and were patently unfairly imposed, and that was why we set up the association to defend owners who were not being treated fairly.

    With regard to what Ashotel is doing, however, it really is very straightforward. Fill in the form and if you’re a member, the hotel association will denounce on your behalf, and if not, they’ll advise how best to get the inspectors straight on the case. I would just stress, however, that this post is not an attempt to push anyone’s agenda, nor incite denuncias, but to inform … and it is those who are illegally letting who also need to know about this because their risk is not only now increased, it is more than doubled because it is not just Turismo who will be on their case, but the tax authorities as well.

  9. So if I continue to allow family members to use the residential apartment (no rental paid) or if friends use it for 3 months on a contract this is legal.

  10. Author

    You are allowed personal use … it is quite clear. As long as money doesn’t change hands and you have guests with whom you would share the apartment, whether you personally are there or not, you are enjoying personal private use. As I have said too many times to count, “family and friends” has no meaning in Spanish law. You are allowed private use, including personal guests, whether present or not. As to a contract, though, why would you give personal friends with whom you would share the apartment a contract?

    As to 3 month contracts for people who are not personal guests, that needs to be a specific use contract … with a normal address other than the apartment. See HERE where I have explained it in detail.

  11. Thanks Janet. Just to be clear I have some « personal guests » mostly family members who use the apartment several times a year but dont pay any rent.

    The friends who want to stay 3 months next year January to March are insisting on paying a contribution to costs hence why I felt the need to fomalise the use with a contract. They are uk based pensioners so the stay would be temporary.

    I dont think they see this has a 3 month holiday but rather a change of residence to avoid the English winter.

  12. Author

    You can give a three-month rental without it being a problem as far as Turismo is concerned, but the contract should state their habitual address and the reason (non-touristic) for the temporada (could be “recuperación” … i.e. recuperation from an illness) … see HERE.

  13. Rest and Recuperation ? many thanks again.

  14. This measure, combined with the new legal obligation (Jan 2018) on sites like Airbnb to advise the Tax Authorities details of their advertisers, may prevent the growth of “illegal holiday renting” it will not eliminate it. There are businesses involved in this activity who ignore challenges and have a lot to loose.
    The disruption and pressure on facilities caused by “holidaymakers” as opposed to residents in and owners of complexes is the reason more action is needed.

  15. The family and friends does not wash anymore.

    Everybody who risks losing lucrative cash in hand is just going to say they are family and friends who do not contribute or pay anything…Really ??..I don’t believe a word of it.

    We had 2 apartments on our complex using this excuse and when various owners questioned the so called renters they were all paying cash in hand.These two apartments were reported and fined and have now both been sold and the dishonest owners who though they were untouchable have left the complex.

    Its easy to report and find out as people who illegibly rent can’t help boasting about how they work cash in hand and don’t contribute any taxes to the island and have very little respect for the communities they buy on.

  16. So what about estate agents forcing people out apartments saying they are up for sale ??

  17. Author

    That cannot happen to anyone with a proper legal contract as I explain HERE. The importance of ensuring you have an appropriate and fully legal rental contract is something I’ve repeatedly tried to warn about.

  18. Hello Janet, is the gathering of personal data ( names, addresses, telephone numbers etc) from internet companies, adverts etc and using such data without the permission of the person involved now illegal under the new GDPR laws?

  19. Author

    No, because they will be following up information supplied about suspected offences, and data protection does not apply when a potential crime is being investigated.

  20. Does anyone have an idea if this will extend to Fuerteventura, we have many problems with tourists on our complex.

  21. Author

    The law is Canaries wide, but Ashotel is the hotelier association for the western province of the Canaries, and so Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. The equivalent of Ashotel for the eastern province of Las Palmas is the Federación de Empresarios de Hostelería y Turismo de Las Palmas (FEHT). That association’s website is HERE but I don’t know that they’re doing a “denounce through us” thing like Ashotel is doing for the western islands. None the less, you can denounce direct without going through any intermediary! I’ve explained how and where to do so HERE … the first question in the section on Denuncias gives the contact details for denuncias in Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Graciosa.

  22. In my apartment block we have an illegal renting through Airbnb. Ours is for residential or long term renting only. The residents are thoroughly fed up with the noise and disturbance from holiday makers! Can we do a denunciation through ashotel ?

  23. Author

    not unless you’re an Ashotel member, as the post explains. Please see THIS page’s section on Denuncias for how the public should do it, though Ashotel will help any member of the public make a denuncia … but it would be in the name of the member of the public not Ashotel.

    Just as a technicality, however, your complex cannot be for long-term rental only. Any owner can rent short-term under urban letting legislation regardless of the designation of their community as long as the let is not for holiday purposes (unless the owner is registered under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme).

    In fact the only rentals impossible are long-term vivienda (residential) contracts in touristic complexes because these properties must be made available under the law for at least six months of the year, and the minimum period of a long-term rental is one year.

    I’ve detailed the full range of rental options HERE.

  24. What I find unfair under the legislation is that in a touristic complex you must rent through a sole agent but if you choose not to rent you still have to pay the Deemed Rental Tax .
    Seems a paradox – does this apply to property on a Residential Complex that is not used all year ?

  25. Author

    Any non-resident owners have to pay deemed rental tax because they’re assumed not to leave the property vacant when not using it themselves. The designation of the property is irrelevant.

    It’s important to recognize that this isn’t a “holiday rental” thing: the rentals that are being assumed are legal rentals, which means long-term residential lets, short-term specific purpose lets, and any other private non-touristic contracts. It is this rental income that non-res owners are deemed to be trying to avoid paying tax on … they’re not being assumed to be breaking the law by letting illegally.

    And it’s not a “racist” or a “foreigner” thing either, as I’ve heard argued before now, because it applies to everyone who is not-resident in the Canaries – which includes other Spaniards themselves, who are in fact the main non-res owning group here and the principal target of the tax.

  26. Hi Janet. Thank you again for this wonderful site.
    For your younger readers, it may be worth their being aware that, here in the UK,bv owner occupiers were charged, as recently as 1963, under Schedule A,, income tax on the benefit they were deemed to have received by living in, rather than renting out, their property. Agreed, that tax has gone now but, in Tenerife, the local Rates are amazingly low compared with the UK. AND all year round sun and warmth. What’s not ;to like?

  27. Thanks for reply Janet .. but..
    ” It is this rental income that non-res owners are deemed to be trying to avoid paying tax on!”
    So individuals are being assumed guilty without proof ?
    Doesn’t seem like natural justice !
    I know several people on our Touristic/Unlicensed Complex that never rent their apartment but just use it as a holiday home – seems unfair !

  28. Author

    assumed “guilty” of tax avoidance, yes. I totally get that it feels unfair, but at least it’s an across the board unfairness!

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