The Supreme Court has annulled the decision of the Canarian Government to prohibit holiday rental homes in areas classified as tourist, considering that this limitation contravenes the freedom of business and only seeks to "favor the offer of traditional accommodation products."
The Supreme Court thus confirms the ruling issued in May last year by the Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC), which had observed the same problem of legality in the decree regulating holiday rentals on the islands from 2015, also designated as such by the National Commission of Markets and Competition.
The regulations that have regulated so far the holiday home in the Canary Islands prevented offering such rentals in areas officially classified as tourist, which in practice vetoed this activity in much of the autonomous community or, as reported by those affected, at least in some of the places most demanded by customers of this type of accommodation.
The High Court fails to establish that prohibition contravenes the freedom of company that guarantees the Spanish Constitution and the freedom to provide services enshrined in the European Directive on Internal Market Services 2006.
"From the analysis of the procedure for the elaboration of this regulation (the decree of the Government of the Canary Islands) it is inferred that the only plausible explanation seems to be to try to favor the offer of traditional accommodation products", remarks the Chamber, which is contrary, in addition, to the principles of necessity and proportionality that the Law of Guarantee of Market Unity requires.
The ruling emphasizes that when the Government of the Canary Islands defended before the Chamber its appeal against the first ruling of the TSJC, it became clear that its decision to expel holiday homes from tourist areas "was due to mere reasons of an economic nature: that the Holiday homes do not compete with the rest of hotel or non-hotel accommodation establishments. "
For the High Court, that argument "can not be included in any of the compelling reasons of general interest" required by Spanish legislation to limit the supply of a service.
The magistrates recognize that the Government of the Canary Islands later tried, in the procedural phase, to provide a new criterion of environmental and urban nature in support of the decree: the need to preserve the rational use of land reserved for tourist developments, according to the planning of the territory.
However, the High Court understands that its reasons for claiming "are insufficient" and "are not convincing".
The decree of the Government of the Canary Islands on holiday homes has received several unfavorable judgments of the TSJC, not only for prohibiting this activity in tourist areas (the matter that has now reached the Supreme), but also for not allowing their owners to rent them for single rooms .
Despite this, the decree has remained in force, because the Government of the Canary Islands appealed the rulings before the Supreme Court.
The sentence known today is the first firm decision on the regulations governing holiday rentals on the islands.
In a statement, the Canarian Vacation Rental Association, which brings together more than 1,400 owners, ensures that "today is a happy day" for its sector, which generates an activity of more than 1,500 million euros in the archipelago, highlights.
"The Association is aware that a battle has been won, but not the war, since all the restrictions that at an urban level are intended to be imposed in a completely unjustified manner and that continue to violate the rights of citizens are still pending", Add.