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Finding a Property to Rent – Residents & Tourists

The following article covers those looking for both Tourist and Residential rentals:

A:    RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES (Long lets of 3 months minimum duration or longer)

Renting, as opposed to buying, is by far the most popular (and safe) way for new arrivals to test out island life and decide if it is for them before taking the plunge and buying a property. It also provides the opportunity to try out a couple of different areas. What looked like a great area to live during your last holiday may be totally different when you actually move here and suddenly have to factor in availability of parking, supermarkets, schools etc etc.

However, as of 2017, finding medium to long term rental accommodation is a particularly challenging endeavour in the more popular areas of Tenerife. There are undoubtedly far more tenants searching for medium to long term accommodation than there are apartments and houses available. Some property owners are also very wary of renting out properties that they do have sitting empty, due to the notorious legal difficulty in removing bad or non-paying tenants when problems arise. The result is that there are many tenants chasing few properties, which has substantially driven up prices. Some landlords are also demanding extensive references and even bank guarantees (AVALs), which is obviously a problem for new arrivals to the island.

Many tenants now have no choice but to look further afield in areas slightly outside of the main tourist drag (e.g. Palm Mar, Playa Paraiso, Callao Salvaje, Costa Del Silencio, Las Chafiras etc) where there is likely to be more availability and prices are slightly more affordable.

As an example, in 2016 a typical one-bed apartment on a respectable residential complex in Los Cristianos or Las Americas might have rented for €550 – €600 per month. Now the same apartment is likely to command €700 – €800 per month or even more, perhaps with 2 or more tenants entering into a bidding war over the price. As a result, landlords can now be more discerning when it comes to rent deposits and references too.

The best advice is ‘persistence’. Ask everybody you meet if they know of anything available. You might just get a head start on something coming up for renewal that the landlord hasn’t advertised with an agent yet. Also check the English speaking newspapers and radio stations regularly, which are often sources of properties or other relevant useful information. Social media may also be helpful in exhausting all options. And above all, be flexible! You might have to compromise on accommodation for the first 6 months of living here, after which point you will have had time to look for something more suitable or to move up a rental agent’s waiting list.

Residential Rental Contracts

A growing number of Landlords will only offer rental contracts of 3 or 6 months duration with the right to repossess the property at the end of the term. However, where a contract is for more than 12 months, or specifies no period, or which runs to over 12 continuous months via rolling periods, then the tenant gains substantial additional legal rights over the standard form of contract.

The majority of rental properties in Tenerife tend to be furnished (or at least part-furnished). Those moving over from another country with ‘all but the kitchen sink’ may have to think about renting storage space for additional furniture or personal effects that won’t fit in an already-furnished apartment.

For each valid rental, the landlord should provide you with a written contract, which must include:

Name, address and DNI/NIE for the landlord;

Name, address and DNI/NIE for the tenant;

Full address/description of the property;

Rental Start date;

Details of any rent deposit paid;

Amount and frequency/date of rent payments;

Length of rental term (1 year is the default if nothing stated);

Who must pay the various bills on the property (IBI, Basura, Electricity, Water, Community etc).

Bear in mind that a landlord may terminate a rental contract early and apply for eviction if:

You don’t pay the agreed rent deposit;

You use the property for a primary use other than residential use (e.g. business);

You sub-let the property to others without the landlord’s express permission;

You willfully damage the property;

You carry out, or turn a blind eye to, illegal, dangerous or noisy activities in the property.

During the first five years of any rental contract, the landlord is only permitted to increase the contractual rent in line with the official government rate of inflation.

Young Person’s Rent Assistance from the Canarian Government

The Canarian government currently offers an initiative to youngsters (between 18 – 35) whereby a contribution towards rent can be claimed by individuals who qualify under the scheme.

The rules are fairly complex and frequently updated, but can be found here, together with the application form:  www.gobiernodecanarias.org/vivienda

B:   TOURIST RENTALS (typical apartment/villa holiday lets / rentals of less than 3 months duration)

Although also in high demand at present, tourist accommodation is somewhat more readily available in all areas of the island than residential long lets. Whilst hotels are always an option, the majority of independent travellers now prefer to rent self-catering accommodation. Prices are generally more competitive than hotels and provide a more flexible option in terms of coming and going, eating out, cooking your own meals, interacting with the locals and contributing to the local economy. There is also far less chance of being woken up by an over-eager maid at 7.30am!

With self-catering accommodation, money spent by visitors tends to go directly into the local economy via the private property owners, taxi drivers, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, rental car companies, cleaners, gardeners, pool cleaners, maintenance men, suppliers, insurance companies, accountants…. the list goes on, all (or most) of whom pay taxes and in turn pump their own money back into the economy. Whereas with the larger hotel chains, the sad reality is that most of the profit finds its way into the pockets of shareholders whilst local staff and suppliers are often paid the minimum possible.

Regardless of the above factors, the reality is that self-catering tourists generally spend more time than hotel guests outside of their accommodation exploring, sampling the local cuisine, interacting with the locals and experiencing real Tenerife culture, which is surely one of the main reasons the more discerning of us travel abroad in the first place.

There is a bewildering array of websites and businesses offering tourist rental accommodation, ranging from international sites such as “holidaylettings.com” or “Ownersdirect.co.uk” to small independent agents and even private owner websites. A Google search for what you are looking for will bring up hundreds of results.

Good luck in your search. We look forward to seeing you on the island soon!