The Spanish news is full of reactions to Spain’s new property rental rules which cap the amount property owners can charge in rent.

The new rules are either a sensible reaction to rising rents caused by excessive speculation by wealthy investors, or an outrageous attack on people’s property rights, depending on where you sit on Spain’s political spectrum. The reality of the situation, as always, is rather different from the headlines…

The new rules have not been published yet

The overall measures were announced by Spain’s central authorities but each Autonomous Community has to decide how to implement them. We therefore have to wait until the Canary Islands authorities publish their rules before we know how they affect Las Palmas property owners and investors.

Until the rules are announced officially, treat all press and social media speculation with caution. 

The new rules are based around the idea that certain areas of Spain’s cities and tourism zones are “zonas tensionadas” where rental prices are rising much faster than local incomes. The centre left government has responded by allowing regional authorities to designate these zones as official “zones of tension” and cap rental prices and annual rental rises.

The rules mostly affect “grandes tenedores” or landlords (people or companies) that have more than 10 rental properties, or five in zones of tension. The aim is to make zones of tension less attractive to investors and large commercial landlords. At the moment, no areas of Las Palmas or Gran Canaria have officially been declared as zones of tension.

A summary of the provisional rules within zones of tension

  • Landlords with more than 10 residential properties rented out (five in tensioned zones) will have to apply a rental price cap. The price cap has been published here and you can check it here.
  • All landlords will have the amount they can raise existing rents each year, and between tenants, limited as of 2025. We don’t know what this limit will be or how it will be calculated (it is 3% in 2024).
  • As the draft rules currently stand, a small  landlord would be affected by the rental price cap when they buy property that hasn’t been rented out in the previous five years. They will also have to follow the the rules about annual rental price increases.
  • The new rules only affect residential property and don’t affect parking places or store-rooms. Can you spot the loophole?

Once the Canary Islands rules have been published, we will know a lot more and will publish the details.