New draft law on regulation of holiday lets will be ready this month

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 18-06-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: Gobcan
New draft law on regulation of holiday lets will be ready this month

The Canary Islands Government's Minister of Tourism, Jéssica de León, has announced that the draft law regulating vacation rentals (holiday lets) is expected to be completed by the end of June. The law will incorporate "improvements," such as reducing the minimum required area to 25 square metres and additional equipment requirements for legal holiday accommodation properties.

During a forum organised by Cadena Ser on "The Challenge of Regulating the Tourist Use of Housing," the tourism minister said that changes have been made to the regulation. Consequently, the final text will reflect these suggestions and comments. De León expects the draft to be ready by the end of the month to begin the internal processes and declare the draft urgent.

Key Updates:

One of the "main updates" involves lowering the minimum “useful” area from 39 to 25 square metres. This criterion aligns with the requirements for extra-hotel establishments, rural houses, and emblematic homes, and meets the minimum space needed for a habitation certificate.

The new regulation will also include "certain quality standards for these accommodations." Homes that want to remain in the holiday let market must meet at least one of ten additional equipment requirements.

Participation-Driven Changes:

De León mentioned that the regulation takes into account whether the property has features such as on-site parking, private or communal swimming pools, sustainability certifications, electric vehicle chargers, or the ability to generate employment.

These inclusions are the result of a participatory process that received 3,003 suggestions from the public and organisations. The regulation aims to be flexible while maintaining sustainability as a core principle, considering economic, environmental, and social aspects.

Balanced Approach:

The minister emphasised the need for "order, balance, and planning" in holiday rentals across all municipalities in the Canary Islands. While the draft does not set a limit on the number of holiday rental properties, it specifies that 90% must be dedicated to residential use, as required by Article 40 of the Constitution, with the remaining 10% allowed for tourist use.

Currently, there are 59,000 legal holiday rental properties in the Canary Islands. De León dismissed concerns of a "call effect" raised by some organisations and political parties during the consultation period. She acknowledged that the rapid growth of holiday rentals necessitates revisiting the 2015 decree, which is inadequate for current needs.

The government aims to ensure the new regulation is well-participated and carefully considered before presenting it to Parliament.

Timely Regulation:

At the same forum, Manuel Domínguez, Vice President of the Canary Islands Government, stated that the new vacation rental law is "timely for regulating and organising" an essential part of the economy. He argued that tourism, the main income source for the region, must be perceived as compatible with daily life, stressing the importance of orderly development in the sector.