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HOME RULE New Rental Regs Under Discussion

Wednesday February 28, 2018

HOME RULE New Rental Regs Under Discussion

New regulations for holiday rental properties are on the horizon, after the presentation of a recent study into the market by the Canary Islands government.

The study reveals that there are currently over 6000 properties on Lanzarote offering holiday rentals, a large proportion of which are operating without a licence. This is a situation the government are keen to redress, possibly by insisting that only properties with licence numbers can advertise on rental portals such as, AirBnB and HomeAway – the main players in the marketplace.

The government are also exploring whether an overall limit on the number of rental properties should be imposed, along with a set ratio between rental and residential accommodation.

However, any drive towards regulating the sector must include simplification of the registration process if to prove successful, a point which was acknowledged by the government minister responsible. As currently this can prove to be both time consuming and prohibitively expensive for property owners, who face a variety of bureaucratic obstacles.

Chief amongst these is the need to secure a cedula, or certificate of occupancy, from local town halls as part of any submission. Many older properties do not have this paperwork in place and applying for one requires the services of an architect and sometimes a lawyer to facilitate. Town halls are also notoriously slow to issue the cedula, with applications often tied up for a year or more.

Many locals have clearly made the decision that it is easier and cheaper to pay any fines that arise from renting without a licence than making an official application in the first place. But it is possible that the government will make the process easier and quicker, with some form of online application under discussion.

Demand for holiday rentals grew by nearly 14% last year according to the study and this sector now accounts for over 9% of all tourist visits to the Canary Islands.

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