More about Tourism Law

I AM returning to the Tourism Law regarding letting agreements, having received many emails from people concerned about the matter of (fines and penalties etc.

I have most of them, and have found that there is a common pattern in all of them. I have chosen one email which, I consider, would be helpful for all readers and, as usual, I do not mention the name of the sender.

I have read all your articles in the Canarian Weekly on law associated with letting apartments in Tenerife/Spain. They are mainly in the defence of or advice for those who are carrying out short lets.

However I am on the receiving end from having to put up with neighbours’ lettings. I live for 4-5 months each year in Tenerife on a residential complex.

Some of my neighbours rent out their apartments perhaps illegally and perhaps paying no tax to the Spanish authorities on their rental income.

Obviously with short holiday lets, the comings and goings of these people cause noise and disruption, and giving little consideration to other resident owners.

Is there any way I can contact the authorities who are issuing fines, to inform them?


Thank you very much for your email. I would like to point out that I am not defending or advising the short-let agreements in my column.

My idea is to explain how the law works, or affects the rights of the owners. In many cases, the readers are also landlords asking for advice.

Sometimes there are many questions that I consider should be heard, and Canarian Weekly is the best way to make this possible.

I assume that you own the property and that your neighbours rent their apartments “perhaps illegally”, and “perhaps paying no tax to the Spanish authorities”.

Firstly, I would likd to clarify (in my opinion) that renting an apartment is not illegal from the “civil right point of view” (with exemptions, such as renting for illegal activities).

I have explained that in my previous columns. From the “administrative law” point of view, the matter is different. You can be renting for holidays (short term) which is completely legal from the “civil law” position, but can be “illegal” (or “irregular”) from the “administrative law” position because these holiday rents have to match the Tourism Law.

Consequently, the Tourism Board (Consejería de Turismo) of the Canarian Government is the authority which controls these activities. Secondly, regarding the payment of taxes, I have previously explained about all the taxes non-residents have to pay. Among them is the personal income-tax due for owners or property in Spain.

You have to distinguish between “property for own use” and “property used for rental”.

In both cases, there is a personal income tax to pay every year. In the second case, the tax is a percentage of the total sum received from the tenant.

The authority controlling these taxes is the “Inland Revenue Office” (Spanish State). As you say “perhaps” it could be the situation that your neighbours are not in breach with administrative law or tax law.

I agree with you that it is not fair that many non-residents pay taxes and some others do not. I do not completely agree when you say: “Obviously, with short holiday lets, the comings and goings of these people cause noise and disruption and gives little consideration to other resident owners.”

That’s because it does not happen in all short holidays lets. Of course, those short-term lets (and also long-terms lets) sometimes cause problems to other residential owners and also damage the tourism image.

It is why the Tourism Board (Consejería de Turismo) is the authority which must control such misbehaviours.

I would like to add that the “Consejería de Turismo” is nowadays known for the fines of short-term letting contracts, but there many other activities conducted by this authority to control the tourism quality in hotels, restaurants, bars, etc.

Bear also in mind that the “Tourism Law” not only refers to short-term letting contracts but also to many other issues as important as this one.

Mariano Zunino Siri is a lawyer registered in Tenerife Bar Association since 1991. Office in Los Cristianos at Edificio Valdes Center Torre “A”, oficina 1, piso 2º. Phone: 922 79 44 12.

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Posted by on May 4 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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