There are two distinct categories of rented properties in Tenerife, namely ‘Residential’ and ‘Touristic’, both of which are subject to different laws.
‘Touristic’ lettings are basically defined as stays of less than 3 months, whilst ‘Residential’ lettings basically cover stays of more than 3 months.
Owners of Residential status properties are free to rent them out on lets of longer than 3 months as they please and they do not need any licence or permission from anybody.
Pursuant to local Town Hall regulations, each community/complex of apartments or villas will be designated as either ‘Touristic’ or ‘Residential’. Some complexes have dual status, but each specific property should be designated as one or the other. If a particular complex does not have ‘Touristic’ status, then under no circumstances can Touristic short term lettings be carried out. Fines for infractions can be severe.
As a result, those looking to buy a property specifically to rent out to tourists should carefully check that their chosen property does indeed benefit from ‘Touristic’ status. Some unscrupulous sellers or estate agents may fail to highlight this information, or may even mislead buyers as to the true rental status of a property. A qualified lawyer can quickly ascertain the true position.
For complexes that do have a valid Touristic status, the situation then becomes more complicated. Tenerife Solicitors have kindly produced a Tourist Rental Law Update (correct as of December 2017) which will explain both some background history and the latest position for those wishing to rent to tourists on Tourist designated Complexes. LINK TO RENTAL LAW UPDATE ARTICLE
In conclusion, the current legal interpretation from TENERIFE SOLICITORS is that owners of properties on Tourist designated complexes are free to rent their properties to tourists as they see fit (subject to other generic legal requirements) and are not compelled to use the designated ‘sole’ agent. However, individual circumstances vary, so readers should not interpret such commentary as direct legal advice. We strongly advise obtaining tailored legal advice in respect of your own circumstances.