Pressure growing to change holiday-rental laws in the Canaries

Canaries landscape with housing in tourist area
Canaries landscape with housing in tourist area

The Socialist Party in the Canary Islands says it is in favour of reforming the regions restrictive holiday-rental laws.

The PSOE (Socialists) say they want to modify the regulations to take into account “the general interest without forgetting the need to comply with the social function of housing.” The PSOE keep the regional government in power, so their opinion counts.

The PSOE, whose support is needed by the Coalición Canaria party in power, have recently commissioned three reports on the state of the holiday-rental market on the islands, analysing supply, demand, the number of homes advertised for rent and the marketing and sales channels used. They also interviewed professionals in the sector, and benchmarked the local regulations against other regions.

As the PSOE’s spokesperson in the region Iñaki Lavandera acknowledges, one of the problems with holiday-rentals is they drive up the price of housing for locals. This is also problem for other regions with big tourist industries and a limited supply of housing, like Ibiza and Formentera, and even big cities like Barcelona.

On the other hand, the rights of owners to do what they please with their private property, and get the highest investment return possible, also has to be taken into consideration. He explains they need to reconcile “the legitimate interest of homeowners to get the best return possible with the phenomenon of rising rental prices in tourist destinations.”

Regulating holiday-rentals is not easy. There are competing interest to balance and trade-offs to make. The debate about holiday-rental regulations in Spain, both at a national and regional level, is still heated. We can expect to see more changes in future. Unfortunately, for the time being, the overall picture of holiday-rental regulations in Spain is a bit of a mess.

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