Brits With Island Property Face £15k Fines

  • 12 years ago
  • Uncategorized

A little known law is threatening to cost Brits who own property in Spain thousands of pounds.  Brits who rent out property in the Canary Islands are facing fines of £15,000 while homeowners on other islands such as Minorca and Ibiza could also face fines.

The Daily Mail reports that ‘the regional government is sending out teams of inspectors to check if foreign nationals have written permission to rent out their properties.’  While the regulations have not been enforced for over 10 years, Brits are facing thousands of pounds in fines, as we explain here.

Law requires prior authorisation to let out a property in the Canaries

Up to 20,000 villa owners in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife, who have rented out their properties in order to generate an income are being singled out as Spain tries to raise revenue wherever it can to cope with its financial crisis.

The Daily Mail reports that ‘many British holiday home owners are unaware of the fines as they have been sent out to their Spanish addresses.  If they fail to respond, their properties could even be sold at auction to pay the fine.’

Santiago Saenz, an overseas property lawyer who is representing 60 Britons in Tenerife, said: “The law the authorities are using to fine people is obsolete and unfair.”

However, the Canary Islands government tourism chief Rita Emma Hernandez said: “The simple fact is there is a law in the Canary Islands which says you can’t rent your property out to tourists without prior authorisation.

“And those who seek this authorisation for their villas or apartments won’t get it right now.”

The newspaper also warns Brits who own property elsewhere that they could be next in line for a fine.  Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe tough line could also soon apply to foreign owners of villas on Majorca, Ibiza and Minorca where the fines could be up to £32,000’ it added.


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