Municipalities may exclude vacational rentals

The new regulation of holiday rentals in the Canary Islands takes shape and does so through two channels: a new decree – which replaces the one approved at the end of the last legislature, partially annulled by the courts – and the modification of a law, the Renovation and Tourism Modernization of 2013, which establishes the general framework in which this activity will have to move.


Both norms confirm the essential role that councils and town halls will play in order to organize tourist housing, to such an extent that local corporations will not only have to determine the areas in which this type of accommodation can be implemented, but they can also decide on their ” eventual exclusion “, either” in part or in the whole of a municipality “.


This is reflected in an article added to the Law of 2013, whose modification is closer to being approved after yesterday the Tourism Commission of Parliament – with the rejection of the PP – gave its approval to the opinion of the paper that has discussed your review. By approving by law the holiday rental, the Chamber intends to “set a minimum” for the island and municipal administrations to specify and develop, as well as to give more “consistency” to the regulation of this activity, said yesterday to this newspaper Nereida Calero, deputy of the Canary Coalition.


The norm attributes to the instruments of territorial and urban planning the faculty to “establish the requirements, criteria and standards of implementation of the tourist use of the dwellings”, in accordance with the guiding principles and criteria of sustainability foreseen in the law and its development regulatory.


The insular planning will arrange the “conditions of admissibility, requirements and standards” for the installation of holiday homes, depending on the load capacity of the different zones, which means deciding their maximum standards, something that is even clearer in the new draft decree.


Within the framework derived from the insular instruments, the municipal planning plans will establish “the concrete consolidated urban, tourist, mixed or residential areas or the rural settlements where the tourist use of the dwellings can be implemented, as well as the” conditions and standards “to which they must hold.


The law contemplates that the insular and municipal planning that fulfill this function may be definitive or, if these are not approved, provisional, through ordinances. If they do not include these aspects, it will be the Government of the Canary Islands that foresees the requirements and even that imposes “maximum limits” on the tourist use of the houses or “specific urban conditions” for the development of the activity.


The Law on Tourism Renewal and Modernization – in its new wording, pending approval by Parliament – provides that, in the case of holiday homes subject to the horizontal property regime – in residential buildings – the responsible declaration that allows them to be commercialized will have that include an agreement of the board of owners.


This agreement must have “the favorable vote of three fifths of the owners who, in turn, represent three fifths of the property shares”, accepting “expressly” the possibility of tourism marketing of the homes. Instead of this document, “the constitutive title or the statutes of the community of owners” may be provided if they include such acceptance.


Both the Law and the draft decree that the Autonomous Government deals with allude to some “guiding principles” to which the municipal and municipal planning must adhere to regulate the tourist use of the houses in the different territories. These include respect for the environment, protection of the soil, social cohesion, quality of life and the effectiveness of the right to housing of the resident population.


In fact, the decree argues that fragility of the insular territory or the right to housing constitute the “overriding reasons of general interest” that -according to what EU regulations require- would justify the limitation of the freedom to provide services.


The keys of the decree


The right to decent housing


The new project of decree of the holiday rent warns, in his exhibition of reasons, of which “the admissibility of the tourist use of the houses like compatible use in all the floor of the Archipelago can suppose an alteration of the principles” of balanced development, respect to the environment and right to housing. This unlimited extension of the activity would have, according to the text prepared by the Ministry of Tourism, an “obvious impact on the real estate rental market.” This justifies, continues, “a regulation that favors the option of safeguarding the right of the local population to decent housing at reasonable prices”.


Also allowed in tourist areas


The project -that Tourism presents these days to the island and municipal administrations and to the business and professional groups affected- eliminates the exclusion of the holiday rental from the tourist areas that was foreseen in the previous decree -as a consequence of the recent Supreme Court rulings- and that also contemplated, as a starting situation, the first draft of the new norm, presented a little over a year ago. In this sense, it states that the admission of holiday homes in these areas implies the coexistence of different types of establishments with different requirements, “notoriously more attenuated in the case of holiday homes, by virtue of their origin as residential building”.


Those that fail, outside the platforms


Among the contents of the new decree is the obligation of marketing platforms to remove information about homes whose data are declared unlawful.


Likewise, the regulation establishes that the operators of the houses must include in their promotion the registration number in the General Tourist Register of the Autonomous Community, as well as send the Police information about the users and make available to the community of owners. an incident assistance telephone with a 24-hour schedule.


Source: El Día, February 28, 2019