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use law housing tourist

The law on the tourist use of housing
Radio Sintonia:

Jéssica de León: "The law on the tourist use of housing will protect small owners".

The Ministry of Tourism and Employment has announced that it will lead in the coming months the drafting and approval of a law that will regulate the tourist use of housing in the Canary Islands and will give a legal basis to holiday rentals. This was confirmed on Tuesday in the regional Parliament by the minister responsible for the area, Jéssica de León, who explained that this initiative will be articulated between different departments of the regional government, as it addresses not only tourism competences, but also housing, territorial planning, environment or consumer protection.

De León has appeared before the plenary session of Parliament, at the request of the popular group, to explain the situation in which the holiday rental regulations are on the islands, a phenomenon that, he stressed, has experienced "a remarkable takeoff in its offer" and already represents 33% of the accommodation offer on the islands, with more than 42,000 homes and 179,000 beds, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) corresponding to 2023.

"These figures place the Canary Islands as the second autonomous community with the highest percentage of tourist housing in Spain, only behind the Balearic Islands," said De León, who showed his concern about the growth that has occurred in municipalities such as La Oliva (Fuerteventura) or Yaiza (Lanzarote), in which 30.78% and 17.68% of homes are destined for tourist use. respectively.

According to the minister, despite this increase, which has stressed the residential market, holiday rentals are still regulated in the Canary Islands by a regulation that is more than eight years old (Decree 113/2015) and a "very limited" content that was reduced by several judgments, such as the one issued in 2018 by the Supreme Court, which eliminated part of the text. In addition, De León said, the decree did not contemplate any planning, neither tourist, nor urban, nor territorial, and the conditions it imposed were "minimal", without distinction of categories, modalities or any other qualitative standard.

This regulatory deficiency, clarified the counselor, is not exclusive to holiday rentals, but affects tourism legislation as a whole, since the decrees and laws that regulate this activity in the Canary Islands have between eight and 27 years of validity. "They were useful at the time but in 2023 they have become obsolete and do not respond to the demands of a society that asks for changes and defends a tourism model that advances more and more towards sustainability," said De León.

In his opinion, this scenario justifies the promotion of a new norm that is not limited only to updating the decree of holiday rental, but that is more ambitious and orders, with the rank of law, the tourist use of housing as a whole. According to the ministry of the area, this initiative will make the Canary Islands the second autonomous community in Spain to regulate this accommodation modality by law -after the Balearic Islands-, since in the rest of the country it is regulated through regulations.

"There is a reality that we must address head-on, with regulation, without demonizing anyone. Acting with a scalpel, with great care not to leave anyone out," De León explained.

Protection of small entrepreneurs

The Ministry of Tourism and Employment will be in charge of the drafting of this law, which will have a marked transversal character. As part of the first works, this Thursday, September 28, a study commission will be held in Gran Canaria in which the seven Cabildos, regional and municipal public administrations, experts in the sector, representatives of universities and professional associations will intervene.

De León took advantage of the appearance in Parliament to make it clear that the rule will protect small owners who have in this type of accommodation a supplement to the rent. In addition, he pointed out that among its objectives, the new law marks "putting an end to irregular supply."

"Our sustainability, the protection of the urban environment, the right to decent housing, the quality of life of citizens or employment in the tourism sector are at stake and we can no longer look the other way," concluded the counselor.
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