The Canary Islands Tourist Licence Law

UPDATE 2019: This blog post was first written in 2015. The law regarding tourist licence in The Canaries changes frequently. In December 2018 the Canarian government ruled that the restrictions on letting are contrary to the Free Enterprise principle contained in both the Spanish Constitution and European Rules and, furthermore, that the imposed restrictions were a non justifiable discrimination among owners. Which meant that property owners could succesfully apply for a tourist licence from that point on. Please check the latest status and apply for a licence if possible before renting out your property.


Disclaimer: Your Property Abroad is in no way affiliated with Lanzarote Lawyers and cannot be held accountable for any wrongful information in this article. Always consult independent legal advice.


Here at Your Property Abroad we have been contacted many times over by people wanting to buy property to let in the Canary Islands. Most people have little to no idea that there are very strict rules to renting out property short-term in Lanzarote and the rest of the Canary Islands.

Short-term holiday let

Because of the decree issued by the Canary Islands regional government in May 2015 that shocked many, short-term holiday letting to tourists is now illegal within touristic areas. As you can imagine, these touristic areas include holiday hot-spots within the Canaries such as Playa Blanca, Los Cristianos, Playa del Carmen and many more. However, each communidad (community) has its own rules. Basically, letting of private property to tourists is illegal unless your property is within a complex that has a tourist licence and the property is supervised by a management company. The exception is for property in a residential or rural area. In this case you can let to tourists on a short-term (often min. 3-6 months) basis.

The legal paperwork

As the owner of a legal tourist rental property you will need to sign a document where you state that you will take care of the health and safety standards that apply for the property as well as advertise it honestly. You will also need to sign other documents to show you own or are responsible for the property and that it is registered as habitable.

  • an occupation license
  • certificate of occupancy
  • or declaration responsibility for occupation of buildings or facilities

In the last few years the Canary Islands has increased the amount of Tourism Inspectors working against illegal holiday letters. Fines may go up to €60,000 if owners aren’t careful. Be sure to check the general plan at the city hall (ayuntamiento) in the area if your property is located within a touristic area or outside it, as only properties outside touristic areas are allowed tourist lets.

Find Your Property in the Canary Islands

At Your Property Abroad we have a large network of agents in the Canary Islands. If you would like to know which properties have the tourist licence, make sure to make an open enquiry on through our website form, and we soon start looking for a property that ticks all the boxes.

We will get you in touch with a reputable and experienced native English agent in the area who knows which restrictions apply to which properties.

Disclaimer: Your Property Abroad cannot be held responsible for any errors or outdated information in this article. Always seek professional legal advice before deciding to buy a property in the Canary Islands.

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