ASCAV applauds the investigation to fine owners of illegal holiday rentals

ASCAV applauds the investigation to fine owners of illegal holiday rentals

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Social Rights and Consumer Affairs announced that they have opened an investigation to combat the online advertising of illegal holiday rental properties. Pablo Bustinduy, head of the ministry, said that the investigation into major accommodation rental platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo for "possible unfair commercial practices" linked to unlicensed holiday homes advertised nationwide.

ASCAV, the Canary Islands Vacation Rental Association, has welcomed this initiative aimed at penalising unlicensed or ‘illegal’ holiday rentals, as according to official information from regional and municipal authorities, a significant number of holiday homes are being rented to tourists by owners without a license.

Illegal Practices Under Scrutiny

The General Directorate of Consumer Affairs has sent inquiries to the main accommodation platforms to gather data on the listed properties. There is a particular focus on the activities and responsibilities of major landlords or companies managing large numbers of holiday rental properties as they may be engaging in "unfair commercial practices."

However, ASCAV admits that the issue of illegal holiday rentals is not as pronounced in the Canary Islands as in other regions of Spain, but this does mean that it will be easier for the authorities to find those responsible. Nevertheless, they acknowledge that “any properties advertised without being registered should indeed have their listings removed by the administration and be sanctioned.” They added that “the first victims of illegal holiday rentals are the owners of legal rental properties with licences.”

Potential Sanctions and Next Steps

Using the information collected through these inquiries, the Directorate of Consumer Affairs will assess the possibility of initiating sanction proceedings for these practices. Such violations are now classified as severe, carrying fines of up to €100,000, which could be increased to four to six times the illicit profit gained by the owner of the property, not forgetting that all these owners have a tangible asset to pay the fine… the property itself!