I.- GENERAL OBLIGATIONS
Independently as to whether or not you have registered the property at the Council “Cabildo” for holiday lets (which is to say independently as to whether or not the property has a “license” to let, anyone who takes holiday lets over their villas or apartment has the following obligations:
- To register for payment of IGIC (local Canary Island VAT) and include this tax when billing holiday lets. Every three months an IGIC tax return needs to be filed and the IGIC received paid to the tax authorities (currently levied at 7% of the amount billed).
- To declare all income received from holiday lets to the State tax authorities: Non residents are obliged to make a quarterly tax declaration for this purpose and residents are obliged to include the income from lets on their yearly income tax declaration.
- There is tax relief on any expenditure duly verified by invoices (it is important that all invoices presented are correctly made out with the corresponding IGIC tax and that all personnel employed, such as cleaning assistance or for repair or maintenance work are able to issue a correct invoice).
- To notify the Police of all arrivals over the age of 16 staying at the property: This has to be done within the 24 hours following arrival. For this purpose the holiday villa has to be registered with the Police who will provide an access code to the corresponding website. All details that the owners are obliged to give are on the National Id card or passport of guests.
- – PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF TOURIST VILLAS
Apart from this and it order to let the property to tourists on a short term holiday basis the property had to be registered in the Tourist Registry of the Cabildo. The type of registration required will depend upon the characteristics and location of the accommodation, but I can advance to you that the Cabildo of Lanzarote systematically turns down 90% or more of all applications, for different reasons, most of which, from my point of view, are illegal. This unfortunately obliges applicants to take the matter to Court. Therefore, and except upon very rare occasions, if you intend to make an application you need to be prepared beforehand for it to be refused and to know that you will eventually probably have to take the matter to Court.
We are able to assess your particular case and situation.
Current law establishes that letting activities for tourist villas can commence 24 hours after presenting the application and declaration of responsibility “declaración responsible”. Although this is not expressly established for holiday homes, it should be understood that it is the same
Therefore it is important to at least submit the declaration of responsibility in order to be covered in the event of a tourist inspection.
The Cabildo tends to be pretty slow in replying and can take a year sometimes more, and generally in the meantime can request various clarifications.
The different types of application are the following:
Tourist villas: Applicable only to detached isolated family villas located on land classed as being for tourist use, circumstance that is quite rare. The following documents need to be presented: A copy of the title deed of the property and details of the accommodation and the owners.
Current position adopted by the administrative authorities: They are currently turning down applications alleging that a different procedure of application for letting permission is applicable, just lately they have been requesting four different kinds of authorizations/permissions.
We have had 100% success in all Court Judgements resulting from our appeals against resolutions of this nature received from the Cabildo, the last of which have been received recently this month, although I need to advance that in view of this success rate they may try to change their tactics and use different types of arguments.
Holiday homes. – This is applicable to all kinds of establishments (such as villas, semidetached or terraced properties, apartments etc.) but the large obstacle is that it excludes properties of this type in tourist “areas” or mixed tourist and residential areas, which the Cabildo considers includes: The whole of Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, nearly all of Playa Blanca (with the sole exception of sectors R21 and R2 of Montaña Roja).
The article of this law that prohibits tourist letting in tourist or mixed tourist and residential areas (article 3.2) we consider illegal as it contradicts many other superior laws and in these cases my advice is to make the application and if is refused, and it will be refused, to appeal the resolution at Court.
The reason we advise this is because various Associations have already appealed the law itself (as an individual person, this is not something I can do) and at least three Court judgements have been passed accepting these appeals and declaring this law to be null and void. These Court Judgements however have been appealed before the High Courts by the government and the results are pending.
On the other hand the Government is currently due to pass another act regulating holiday lets, but from all the information I have that has been advanced about this act, this particular article of the law is not going to be altered, so unfortunately this is going to leave us in the same situation we are now.
Apart from the place where the property is located, another impediment exists which is that one of the requirements is the dwelling license or “cédula de habitabilidad” of the property in question which is a certificate normally handed over when the building of the property is finalized by the promoter.
Properties frequently don’t have this document and the time passed since the property was built can frequently make it an impossible document to obtain.
Our position is to try and obtain the dwelling license by applying to the Town hall for it, but if it can’t be obtained, to substitute it with a technical architect’s certificate of inspection of the property certifying that the property fulfils all dwelling conditions and is fit for living.
Our overall view in this matter is that it is clear that the administrative authorities put forward all possible hindrances to make legalizing holiday lets as difficult as possible and the past four years have unfortunately shown us that the only solution is to take the matter to Court for the law to be correctly applied. This is the way in which we have achieved registration of more than 120 properties for letting previously refused by the Cabildo.
We can assist you ing giving you the precise information for your property and the best way to proceed with the application and we can present the application and follow the matter through until the final resolution is reached by the Cabildo. We charge a fixed fee for this and if the matter has to be taken to Court, this would be a separate figure we would inform you of in due course.