PSOE calls for suspension of new VV licenses as it is affecting locals’ quality of life

PSOE calls for suspension of new VV licenses as it is affecting locals’ quality of life

The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has requested a temporary halt on issuing new holiday rental VV licenses in response to what they describe as a "distorted growth" resulting from the new proposed vacation law by the Canary Islands Government.

In a session of the Canary Islands Parliament on Monday, PSOE's Rosa Bella Cabrera presented a motion urging the government to "immediately and temporarily suspend the issuance of new VV licences in Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote until the new law is fully approved."

The party's statement attributes this to a reaction by landlords to the new regulations developed by the regional government, which is jeopardising local residents' access to housing.

Impact on Housing Market:

Cabrera emphasised the need to halt the speculative growth driven by the government's proposed law, which has significantly impacted the local housing market. She noted that the Canary Islands rank fourth in Spain for the number of tourist accommodations.

She went on to criticise their approach, highlighting that "from 2015 to 2023, over 40,000 new vacation rental properties were authorised, and since the announcement of the draft law in September 2023, an additional 15,000 have been added."

This represents a year-on-year growth of 42.6%, contrasted with a 1.2% decrease in vacation rentals in the Balearic Islands over the same period.

Proposed Solutions:

Cabrera proposed that the government needs to implement a temporary moratorium on new licenses through a Decree Law while the legislative modification is processed, similar to the previous government's suspension of new gaming licenses.

She warned that the current growth is uneven across the islands, with Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura experiencing the most significant negative impacts, and the biggest problems with housing.

Regulatory and Enforcement Measures:

Cabrera also stressed that once the new law is passed by the Canary Islands Parliament, it may be too late to implement effective limitations due to established legal situations, and suggested that the legislature would need to address the new reality once the bill is introduced referencing the 2001 urgent measures law that successfully curbed hotel and apartment growth as a precedent.

The motion calls for strengthening the workforce of inspectors to accurately determine the number of illegal vacation rentals in the Canary Islands, and to evaluate those that already have a licence which could be revoked upon inspection.

It also advocates for creating a management dashboard to monitor accommodation trends across the islands, ensuring a consistent quantification criterion.

Balancing Tourism and Local Impact:

While acknowledging that holiday rentals can distribute tourism across the region and benefit low-income families, the PSOE stresses the importance of curbing disproportionate growth driven by speculative expectations. They conclude that the current trajectory adversely affects the local quality of life, necessitating immediate regulatory intervention.