Business 1ONE of our readers has written to me with a few questions regarding the legalities surrounding the letting of apartments.


Dear Sir,

I have a two bedroom apartment and I’m thinking of letting it out on either a holiday or long-term basis, but I need some  clarification.

*What happens if I use a third party to look after my dealings. *What legal requirements should I look for from a company?

*What happens if they don’t pay me?

*What bank statements do I receive to know they are banking the deposits, or rent, correctly?

You are free to let your apartment according to the provisions of the Letting Agreement Act (or the Civil Code).

If you are renting the apartment on a holiday basis, you must take into account the Tourism Law of Canary Islands (Law 7/1995), which regulates jurisdiction assumed by Article 30.21 of the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands in Tourism matters).

I wrote several articles in Canarian Weekly in connection with this matter and its last amendment (Decree 113/2015 of 22nd May of Vacational Houses, has been active since 29th May 2015).

First question: you can use the services of a third party to deal with your businesses. This legal relationship can be regulated as Agency Contract, Mandatory Contract or Commission Contract.

This third party could be a natural person or a company.

Second question: It is recommended that you have a written agreement to regulate the duties and rights of every party (owner and agency), and that you keep the control of the written letting agreements: who are the tenants? What are the monthly payments? Their obligation to leave the property in good condition, etc.

Third question: if they do not pay you, the renters would be in breach of contract. I assume that you refer to the case when the lessee is paying you directly, and you pay the agency´s fees.

If the tenant does not pay, you can take him to Court, evict him and force him to pay the rent. If you mean that the agency doesn’t pay you (because the agent is allowed to collect your monies), he would be legally binding to give you your payments, keeping his fee (if the agreement states that).

You can also take him to Court and, logically, stop any dealings with him.

Fourth question: I understand that the monthly rent would be paid into your bank account on an agreed date. Bear in mind that there is a tax duty to declare the income in your return tax (as resident or as non-resident).

Regarding any deposits held by the company renting for you, they will have deposited these funds into a separate bank account purely for deposits. This is a legal requirement and gives peace of mind to the renter and the owner.

In any case, to have a lessee is always a risk, especially if you have a rebel tenant who does not pay the rent but remains in the house. It means you have to sue him in order to get him evicted (and recover the monies).

And in the meantime (until the eviction), you won’t even be sure of recovering your money anyway.

The matter of letting agreements in Canary Islands is an extensive subject involving different rules, depending on the cases (Letting Agreement Law, Civil Code, Canary Tourism Law), without taking into account the taxation (for residents and non-residents).

I will be back to this topic in future columns and will be glad to receive readers’ queries.

Mariano Zunino Siri is a lawyer, registered at the Tenerife Bar Association since 1991. Email:

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Posted by on May 27 2016. Filed under Legal Matters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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