Mail on Sunday article on illegal letting

Mail on Sunday article on illegal letting

The Mail on Sunday has reported on the illegal letting situation. Please see HERE – there’s a scanned copy of the hard paper version below, thanks to contributing commentator Andrew.

 

47 Comments

  1. While it is a start, I don’t think the article explains anything well. It doesn’t explain about residential properties and seems to infer it is only villas affected. It also doesn’t explain about the sole agent system.

    I don’t think the journalist has fully grasped the problems, though that is hardly surprising because of the complexity. It took several patient explanations from Janet before I understood.

  2. I also wonder whether this will have an effect on just reducing demand for private accommodation and so vindicate the government’s strategy. I’m not sure, it’s just a thought.

  3. Author

    I think as with so many of these articles, they have to compress for space. I spoke to the journalist – at length … – and he did understand, so it’s not because of a stupid journalist. It got the message out that there’s a problem, at least.

  4. the message is out now , other media will follow, just like all the holiday homes from hell that have been before, soon it will make tv and a clearer picture will go out around the world. Its difficult for the public to understand what the canary government are doing because people will find it hard to believe that there is any wrongdoing in the renting, its just such a common or garden thing to do , so explaining that there is a massive crackdown with massive fines for something so normal , well people will find it so unbelievable at first. When holiday homes from hell do the story its going to put people off private apartments everywhere as well as self catering aparthotels. They will get confused with mainland spain as well and the internet ad companies are going to come off worse too. People will be confused and back off from private rentals/internet ads everywhere such will be the contagion effect. We have nothing to really grumble about with this first major article, others will follow , the message will become clearer and get out wider.

  5. I’m confused. I was just about to put my apartment up for rent when I’m not using it. What do I do now? Where can I get advice from?

  6. Author

    You can read through all the posts I’ve made on this site since December 2010. Go to the search box, type in “illegal letting” and take it from there. Read the comments people have made under the posts too.

    Is your apartment residential? Or touristic? When you say “up for rent” when not in use, do you mean long term, or short term, i.e. holiday lets?

  7. Its a touristic site and we were intending to rent short term

  8. Author

    Then you can do so perfectly legally! You just have to do it through the on site agent.

  9. Can Janet or anybody else confirm that the person who rents (i.e. pays money to rent a property) is immune from prosecution?

  10. Author

    Yes. Fines are imposed on owners (or agents) for what is deemed illegal letting, i.e. making a property openly available to the public. This is what the offence is. By definition, therefore, the tenant can’t be doing anything wrong. Hope this reassures.

  11. Useful info – thanks, Janet.

  12. Sorry to disappoint many of you, but if you think the average person in the UK that is struggling to pay their way, is going to be the least bit interested in a few thousand wealthier people, having problems paying the mortgage on their second overseas homes, or not being able to make a profit, you are living in a dream world, and the UK media know this, and it is never going to be big news. No one is interested

  13. Clearly “someone” is interested or they would not have publiched the article.

    IIRC the figure for UK ownership in the Canaries is 30,000 so hardly insignificant.

    Many of these will be hardworking working class homeowners who have invested hard earned equity into a second holiday home overseas.

    Hardly the elite “wealthier people” you mention.

  14. and sadley human nature being what it is everyone enjoys someone elses downfall. Thats why the holiday homes from hell programmes are so popular, makes the people jealous of the foreign home owning people happy when the bulldozers begin the demolition. There will be no shortage of interest in our sad story.

  15. Author

    We think that may be the case, but are not sure yet, and even if it were to be the case, what about the many villas that are independent, rather than in complexes?

  16. In answer to Andrew, Yes Buldozing would be a story, but they are not being demolished and they can still be used as your holiday home overseas. The only thing that’s changed is you can no longer make a profit, or get your mortgage paid, and I don’t think that is going to generate a lot of public interest.

  17. Author

    That is what we were told at the meeting with the VC, but as I posted about the draft legislation, “the new law is to be open for proposals to be submitted in around two months or so, and so at the moment its final form is unknown…….. “

  18. Nice to see Derek is still going against the grain with his unsympathetic remarks. Whay on earth are you commenting on here when all you do is rub people up the wrong way? Or is that just the type of person you are in which case you are going to annoy a lot of people on this site! Can you not go and irritate another group of people?

  19. Derek is losing his own argument anyway. He is proving people are interested in the story by commenting on it so much.

  20. @ derek

    When did being jelous of other become a virtue and making a profit become a vice…???

  21. You get some people in the world who just don’t like to see anybody doing well for themselves…….case in point is Derek! Think we have made our opinions clear on this person now. Wonder what he’d be like in a room full of us who are affected by this situation?

  22. In answer to Peejay, making a profit is fine, just think you have a problem getting it over to Mr average in the UK, that you own a holiday home and also want to profit from it.

    Jealous,, no, actually thinking of buying another place in Tenerife if the prices drop another 25 percent.

  23. Author

    Just to say, I know Derek – and jealousy is not actually something I would ever attribute to him. Playing devil’s advocate is, though!

    Derek loves Tenerife and has been involved here for many years in the property market – and as he says, might yet be again.

  24. Yes god forbid anyone should be so vulgar as to want to make a profit from property rental! Profit making goes on all over the world. If it didn’t then nobody would earn a living!

  25. Janet my jelous comment wasnt aimed at Derek directly but was in response to the implication that others would be so jelous of holiday home owners as to have little or no sympathy for their plight.

    As to his intentions to purchase well I suppose one mans misery is another mans gain.

  26. Author

    No, I know that, PJ 🙂

  27. I am really pleased that the Mail on Sunday has run this story and I hope all owners who rent or did rent write to the Mail’s and other newspapers letters page as the more bad publicity the Canarian tourist office get the better. This may start to get them to think about their actions and the eventual consequences.
    The next time I visit Tenerife I intend to take and distribute leaflets in spanish to inform taxi drivers, restaurant and bar owners and workers, shop owners and workers and anyone else involved in the tourist industry to what is happening and how it will effect them as the Canarian goverment will listen if their own people and tax payers start to complain and threaten to lose votes.
    It would speed up the process if other owners did the same.

  28. Thanks everyone for contributing to the spirited debate above. As half of the attractive couple pictured I was disappointed both by the lack of comments on the Mail website and the picture selection – the latter being the one chosen from at least 100 that were taken!
    On a serious note, I do hope that the issue snowballs in the UK and that other media pick it up. I know there is no bulldozer element to it but as mentioned above no one in the UK that I’ve mentioned the issue to really understands or believes the story at first telling as it is genuinely ‘incredible’. My big grouse that I explained to the reporter is not the country’s right to make the laws that it sees fit, (however self defeating they might seem), but the methods chosen to enforce them. A stern letter, and/or a small fine with the threat of escalation would have had exactly the same impact as this €18,000 sledgehammer.
    I feel sorry for the local businesses that were already struggling who now have to manage on even less visitor business thanks to this clampdown.

  29. It is interesting putting these fines into context. Apparently, the most that the police can fine you for speeding is €600, and I read an article about illegal price-fixing in Cataluña. Each driving school received an average fine of just €10,000!

  30. Author

    And Arona council got a fine of 6,000 for knowingly releasing sewage onto one of its public beaches …

  31. Re:

    “Sorry to disappoint many of you, but if you think the average person in the UK that is struggling to pay their way, is going to be the least bit interested in a few thousand wealthier people, having problems paying the mortgage on their second overseas homes, or not being able to make a profit, you are living in a dream world, and the UK media know this, and it is never going to be big news. No one is interested”

    Unless they are looking to rent an apartment, at less than “official rentals” prices. Maybe this will be the reason why they might be interested?

  32. I read this article last week and posted a comment to the newspaper but it never appeared ?
    Was there anyone else who posted a comment and not published?
    Was there any comments published?

  33. I left a comment too, which never appeared. It was in no way critical of the article.

  34. Hi Janet.
    I have an apartment in Tenerife located in a hotel/apartment complex that is clearly demarked as touristic.
    It is run by timeshare mainly but a few of us own apartments outright.
    Therefore I assume our apartment is licensed for tourism as it’s in the same building as the timeshare apartments, but I guess we are caught under the ‘sole agency’ rule.
    So we can only let to friends and relations for free, or rent it out long term (Not sure how long ‘long term’ is – please clarify if you know).
    When I discussed this with the owner of the site, he confirmed this was correct. However, in the next breath he said he was not interested in taking on our apartment into the sole agency he holds as he has so many already that are not rented out he does not want any more.
    Seems ridiculous that as things stand, I am between a rock and a hard place due to an old, unfair rule that surely cannot be equitable these days in EU law?
    In the circumstances do you think I can rent our apartment out myself for tourism on the ground that I have no other realistic alternative available to me?

    Keep up thr good work.
    Anything I can do to help let me know.

  35. Author

    Hi Stephen, I’ve heard of this before, I’m afraid, and as far as I understand it you aren’t left with any alternative. Under the law as it stands you cannot rent out privately to holidaymakers even if the sole agent refuses to take on your property.

    As far as long term lets are concerned, there are long-term residential contracts for a year or more, and short-term “particular purpose” lets for anything under a year. These aren’t residential, but they’re not considered “touristic” either – as far as the Urban Letting laws are concerned. The problem is that the tourism department say they will deem any short-term contract of under three months as touristic – so even though a let of up to three months is legal for urban purposes, it is illegal for touristic ones.

    To be safe, therefore, you should let for a minimum of three months.

  36. I am really pleased that the Mail on Sunday has run a story and I hope all owners who rent or did rent write to the Mail’s and other newspapers letters page as the more bad publicity the Canarian tourist office get the better. This may start to get them to think about their actions and the eventual consequences.
    The next time I visit Tenerife I intend to take and distribute leaflets in spanish to inform taxi drivers, restaurant and bar owners and workers, shop owners and workers and anyone else involved in the tourist industry to what is happening and how it will effect them as the Canarian goverment will listen if their own people and tax payers start to complain and threaten to lose votes.
    It would speed up the process if other owners did the same.

  37. HERE is a link to the “A Place in the Sun” feature:

  38. Author

    Thanks Ed. My post for comments is HERE.

  39. Sorry Janet. Could you add that link to your “Illegal letting in the Canaries” contents page?

  40. Author

    Done, Ed. Could have sworn I’d done it, but I hadn’t! Thank you!!

  41. We frequently holiday in Tenerife and usually rent via one of the popular holiday letting web sites. In an earlier response Janet states that short term,touristic lets are legal. Could somebody define ‘touristic’ for me please?

  42. Author

    Yes, the definition is “given a touristic licence by the Government”. The property should therefore have a “key” rating, and you should be able to find it HERE or HERE, which are the sites where the Government lists the official tourist properties. (The sites contain most, if not all, of those which are registered as touristic).

  43. Hello Janet, i have found your pages of great help and fear also! i now having talks with registered sole agent. do i have to accept their cleaning services? this means sacking a lady without a chance of another job. They are being reasonable, but i need to know where i can find out this problem.

  44. Author

    hi John, it will all depend on whatever system your particular sole agent operates – some require owners to use their services, others don’t. Only they will be able to tell you that. Good luck!

  45. The Catalan government is also tightening up the legislation on
    tourist rental.Basically it is quite simple.Most buyers have bought a house or apartment designated for use as a home and as such can be rented out without problems.It may only be a holiday home for the owner but without the correct permission it cannot be holiday accommodation to a variety of paying guests.If it is rented out to tourists on a weekly/fortnightly basis for a juicy sum it is considered a business.Rather obvious but the usual tax-dodger with money to “invest” has preferred to ignore this and not register with the relevant department of tourism.The extensive abuse of the system has resulted in people opening up business in unsuitable buildings and housing estates.The clamp down on this scam is long over due.

  46. Can i rent my apartment which is in a residential complex on a touristic basis to friends .

  47. Author

    You’ll find there is more than one relevant answer to give you a full explanation on THIS page for Q&As on illegal letting.

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