Clavijo: ‘Local Councils can stop issuing VV licences whenever they want’

Clavijo: ‘Local Councils can stop issuing VV licences whenever they want’

The President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has stated that the government has not suspended issuing new permits for holiday rentals while the law regulating the sector is being processed, as this decision is up to the municipalities.

“What we have put forward is the draft law to regulate holiday rentals, but it is the municipalities that issue the licenses, and subsequently, the municipalities can establish that moratorium whenever they want,” Clavijo explained.

Surge in demand for VV licences:

The demand for VV licences in the Canary Islands has skyrocketed since 2023, resulting in a 40% increase in holiday rental properties within just ten months.

This surge has raised concerns among social sectors who argue that initiating the law's processing without any interim measures has led to a spike in licence applications for such properties.

Since the announcement of the draft law, requests for holiday rental permits have increased by up to 40%, with approximately 70 applications being submitted every day.

Government and Municipal Responsibilities:

When questioned about why the regional government has not taken a similar approach to that of Madrid, which unexpectedly suspended new holiday rental permits to regulate the sector, Clavijo emphasised the role of local governments.

He reiterated that the forthcoming law will regulate the sector, but decisions on issuing more licenses or implementing a moratorium are the responsibility of the municipalities. Clavijo also reminded that the 2017 Land Law allows municipalities to reclassify land “for free,” without facing “multi-million-dollar compensations.”

The president stressed that the regional government should not overstep municipal jurisdictions and that different areas have varying needs. For ecxample, Los Llanos de Aridane in La Palma may not benefit from suspending new permits as it seeks to recover lost tourist accommodations due to the volcanic eruption. In contrast, a municipality in Fuerteventura might find such a suspension necessary as they do not need additional tourist beds. “It’s not that simple; it’s not black and white,” Clavijo added.

Increasing Number of Vacation Rentals:

Between June 2023 and April 17th, 2024, the Canary Islands saw an increase of 15,319 holiday let properties, averaging 50.22 new licenses per day. From April 5th to May 2nd of this year alone, 1,890 new licenses were registered, raising the daily average to 70.

Currently, the Archipelago has 56,173 legally registered holiday homes, equivalent to 400 hotels with 500 rooms each. Nueva Canarias has called for a moratorium on new licenses until the new law is passed, which is expected by the end of this year at the earliest.

Luis Campos from Nueva Canarias, warned, “We risk that by the time we have regulation, we may no longer need the law!” Campos urged the government to approve a decree law to immediately suspend the issuance of new permits, a proposal that has been repeatedly rejected in Parliament.