More flexible, this is how the Holiday Housing Law will finally be, which will probably be approved in the autumn in the Canary Islands Parliament. This was stated by the Minister of Tourism and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Jéssica de León, who announced this Monday that the draft Law on the Sustainable Management of Tourist Use of Housing, after the hearing and public information period, will introduce a series of proposals that will make the technical requirements for allocating a home to vacation rentals on the islands more flexible.


The regional official made these statements within the framework of the forum “The challenge of regulating the tourist use of housing”, held at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where she recalled the transversality of future regulation and described it as “essential and priority to organize the phenomenon of vacation housing, a reality that we live and that must be balanced through municipal planning tools.


Likewise, he highlighted that this law is a commitment of the regional Executive on which his department has been working intensively, through the General Directorate of Tourism Planning, Training and Promotion, since the beginning of the legislature.


While waiting to finalize the final document, De León indicated that “although the initial idea and scheme remain, many contributions have been incorporated that will improve the regulatory text.” Thus, one of the main novelties foresees that the minimum useful area will be reduced from 39 to 25 square meters, a criterion comparable to that which non-hotel establishments, rural houses and emblematic houses must have and which coincides with the minimum meters that must be arrange a home for the granting of the corresponding certificate of habitability.


The new standard contemplates certain quality standards that will be established for these accommodations. “Homes of 25 square meters that want to remain on the market must meet at least one of the ten complementary equipment requirements,” said De León. In this sense, “it will be taken into account if the property has parking for use linked to the holiday home on the same plot, private or community pool, sustainability certifications, electric vehicle charger or, its owner certifies the generation of employment “.


Regarding the planned transitional regime, the general director of Planning, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, pointed out that “it is a process that is still ongoing and for which we are seeking consensus, but, as stated in the preliminary project, the “Housing subject to any public protection regime (VPO) will also not allow complete buildings intended for vacation rentals nor will they be able to be implemented on special protection lands.”


Rodríguez pointed out that the singularities of the Green Islands of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro will be addressed. “In this case, the transitional regime will be adapted to the Green Islands Law itself, but also providing guarantees of sustainability,” he stressed.


Furthermore, he explained that “other autonomous communities and cities have also faced this task of organizing this tourism modality that has come to stay, but making it clear that what must prevail is balance.”


According to the latest data updated in the Canary Islands as of June 17, there are 59,007 holiday homes registered, which represent 242,685 places.


An open and participatory process


Jéssica de León specified that the Ministry of Tourism and Employment held open meetings with citizens; town halls; councils; unions; professional colleges; universities; political parties, associations and other groups to present the objectives of the law and invite them to present their proposals.


“The participation process began without a preliminary phase and with information sessions on all the islands to explain the public consultation process prior to drafting the text,” said the counselor. Subsequently, the public information and hearing phase began. Once this period has concluded, the general management is analyzing the 3,033 allegations made and those that are estimated will be incorporated into the document.


The bill is expected to be submitted to Parliament next fall for final approval.