Repercussions of tourism law

I HAVE received several emails from readers in recent weeks, and I have picked out a couple, complete with answers, to share with you.

Dear Mariano,

I have read your article in Canarian Weekly, dated 13/01/12, regarding the lettings law, and I would like to know what happens when a landlord does not want to deal with a tourist activity, but wants to rent his/her property on a short-term basis?

These owners can deal with rental agreements according to the Letting Contract Law or Civil Code (in these cases according to Tourism Law, the tenant changes his address)

I am not clear about the last item in brackets ( …the tenant changes his address). I would be grateful if you would explain this in more detail.

What is the definition of short-term renting? Could I privately rent out my property for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks under Spanish Civil Law (separate contract for each tenancy) without the need to register with the Tourist Board under Canarian Administrative Law?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you for your interest in the matter and for giving me the opportunity of extending my article. It is difficult to summarise in a column technical issues of regulations, which are normally very long. That is why is so important that the readers co-operate with queries or suggestions.

In this case, because of the translation of the law into Spanish, the meaning of the article needs special attention. “Changing of address” means “changing of residence” (he moves place to live). In other words, in a tourism renting agreement, the tenant does not change his address/residence. That is why tourism renting agreements are short-termed.

Instead, the Rental Agreement Law contracts are normally long-termed (more than six months, although the definition of long-term is not necessary such period of time).

Hence, the definition of short-term lease would be the one in which the tenant does not move residence because normally, in 2, 3 or 4 months, there is no residence changed.

This answers your second question: 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks letting contract would not be considered long-term lease. The question would be: is this short-term lease subject to the tourism law? The matter is not easy to understand and explain. These types of contracts have two sides:.

1) Irrespective of the duration, one side of these contracts are governed by the private law (civil law) which is the side of the contract referring to the intentions of both parties (landlord and tenant). In private law the parties agree price, duration, deposit and other circumstances in which the Public Law is not involved.

2) On the other side, the Public Law regulates other aspects of the letting contracts. For instance, taxation rules or tourism law rules. The Authorities do not intervene in the private agreement, but they check that the said contracts are not in breach of law.

It is completely feasible that you rent your property for less than a month (from the private law point of view) but you have to consider how this contract affects the public law.

Bear in mind that Tourism Law also mentions the unity of operation (unity of running letting agreements). This means that there should be only one company per complex dealing with all renting agreements. The question is whether this Tourism Law is fair or not, or whether it is in breach of other rules exceeding the contents of this column.

Dear Mariano,

I have read your article regarding renting in Los Cristianos, where I own a private apartment but live in England. I was proposing to let it out with short-term rentals. Your article explains the complications and, to a layman, seems very complicated.


Although I have answered you privately, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you through this paper. Your situation is very common in Tenerife.

In fact, many non-resident owners with a property here use it for only 3-4 months and rent it out for the rest of the year to cover part of the maintenance costs.

In my opinion, it would be very important that the competent Authority explained the law and the future court of action so owners can make their own decisions.

This is my opinion based in the law and my expertise. I would be happy to receive your comments, queries or suggestions.

Mariano Zunino Siri is a lawyer registered in Tenerife Bar Association since 1991. His office is in Los Cristianos at Edificio Valdes Center Torre A, oficina 1, piso 2º. Phone: 922 794 412. Email:

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Posted by on Jan 27 2012. 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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