Renting out your Las Palmas property on a long-term residential basis can generate reliable, long-term income. However, choosing the right tenant is vital and not always straightforward.
As a Las Palmas estate agent, I get lots of questions from property buyers and owners asking about long-term rentals. Here are a few tips for anyone considering residential rental in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city.
Spanish rental law favours the tenant
The first thing to bear in mind is that the law in Spain favours the tenant over the landlord. Rent increases are capped, deposit amounts limited, and sitting tenants have a lot of rights. Contracts extend automatically for five years (seven if the property is owned by a company) and the legal eviction process takes time (several months minimum). You are also legally obliged to register the rental contract and place the deposit in a government account (although nobody does this).The owner now pays the estate agency fees (one month’s rent as standard).
You cannot take the law into your own hands and evict a non-paying tenant from your property. If you do, you will likely be ordered by the court to let them back in again. Nor can you cut off power or water supplies if a tenant stops paying the rent.
What this means is that the success of a long-term rental depends on the quality of the tenant. This is why almost all local property owners only want tenants who are civil servants or have long-term (fijo) work contracts.
This article is a good summary of tenant rights from the perspective of the tenant.
Finding a quality Las Palmas tenant
Advertise your property widely, on portals like Idealista, with quality photography and information. Vet your potential tenants carefully, check all paperwork, ask for references from previous landlords. Patience is a virtue: New potential tenants start looking for a place every month so it is better to forgo a month’s rent than take a risk.
- Check all paperwork carefully because while almost everyone is honest in Las Palmas, some people do forge income statements, references, etc.
- You can’t get a background check or a criminal record check for potential tenants because this information is protected by privacy laws. What this means is that you have to make a personal judgement call based on limited information.
- In Spain, you can’t put clauses in a contract that override the signing party’s constitutional rights. If you do, a court may well declare the contract invalid.
I recommend meeting potential tenants, or doing a video interview if this is not possible.
The role of an estate agent in a Las Palmas rental
In Spain and the Canary Islands, estate agents help you to advertise your property, pre-filter potential tenants and prepare documents such as the rental contract, inventory, etc. They do not choose your tenant or manage your ongoing relationship with the tenant.
Your agent should provide the following services…
- Quality photography of the property and social media promotion
- Advertising on Idealista and other portals, and on an MLS database
- Pre-filtering of potential tenants
- Photo inventory of the property, or a walkthrough video showing the condition of an unfurnished property
- A quality rental contract template and any modifications required by either party
- Post signing services such as helping foreign tenants change over bills (as a courtesy)
- Recommend a good local rental management company for long-term security
They should never choose the tenant or influence your decision about which tenant to accept.
This is an important point: You have to be comfortable with the tenant you choose because once you agreed to terms, signed the rental agreement and received the deposit and rent, your estate agent plays no further contractual part. They may help foreign tenants with the finer points of EMALSA’s procedures when changing over bills, but this is a courtesy.
Your estate agent is not a property rental manager, unless it is a service that they specifically offer. Do not expect your estate agent to stay involved in mediating between you and your tenants in the long term.
If you want ongoing rental management, confirm that this is a service that your agency or agent offers. If not, ask for recommendations for a local management company.
I always advise all property owners who do not live in Gran Canaria to employ a letting agency to take care of the property.
What if a Las Palmas rental goes wrong
Even with a tenant that has all the right paperwork and seems plausible at the interview, rentals can go wrong. The tenant’s circumstances may change (loss or change of employment, family problems, etc). There are also cases of tenants who misuse the property, take advantage of the rules and make excessive demands, or stop paying the rent.
In almost all cases, open and reasonable communication is the way to go. If you hardball or threaten your tenant as soon as you have any issue, attitudes will harden immediately and dialogue becomes impossible.
In Spain, treating people without the due respect that local culture requires is a fast-track to making any situation far worse. Almost all problems in Spain and Gran Canaria, even many official ones, are fixed thanks to personal relationships and interactions. Treating people coldly, even when you are in dispute, never gets results.
That said, if you have made every attempt to find a good-faith solution to a dispute with your tenant, the legal eviction route is your next option. Contact a lawyer and start the process as soon as you realise that a tenant is no longer operating with good faith. Any delay at this point just results in a longer eviction process.
Las Palmas Property
I’m Laura Leyshion and I’ve been an estate agent in Las Palmas for over 10 years. I focus on helping sellers and foreign buyers. You can see all the properties I have sold in Las Palmas city on this map.
At this moment I am not taking on any new rental clients because I am focused on helping Las Palmas property buyers and sellers. However, I hope this article is a good starting point if you plan to rent out your property in Las Palmas.