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230 Plus Properties Denied Tourist Licences

Tuesday May 14, 2013

230 Plus Properties Denied Tourist Licences

The latest chapter in the pursuit of legalizing tourist villas on Lanzarote was dealt a blow at a meeting of the Government of Lanzarote last week, when officials rejected the application by owners of more than 230 villas to give permission for them to become official tourist accommodation.

Many of the properties involved in this submission are based in one of the main tourist resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise or Playa Blanca. These villas are already being exploited as tourist accommodation but their owners would much prefer to obtain a license and have all the paperwork relating to the property legally above board and correct.

But due to the strict zoning regulations which govern the resorts, many of these villas are unable to receive official sanction as they have been constructed as residential dwellings and not for tourist usage. As a result, they have neither the inspection book nor the reclamation form necessary to comply with the rules governing legal tourist accommodation. Which also makes the owners of such properties liable for fines of up to €14,000, should they be caught by an inspector.

The Government of the island is concerned about the repercussions for Lanzarote’s tourist image if there is no control of this type of accommodation and suggested that a rise in the number of properties available would have a downward pressure on prices. However, independent owners and businesses, who have operated in this field successfully for many years, feel that the refusal to grant further licenses is of benefit only to the large hotels that exist in the three main resorts. 

A new law, which is anticipated to be ready by the end of May, will permit the transformation of some residential buildings into tourist villas, according to Rita Hernandez, the Vice-Councillor for Tourist Ordenation. But it is likely that there will be specific conditions that will need to be met in order for a property to qualify for this change in usage, such as having a plot of 800 square metres and a minimum build size of 120 square metres.


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