Mogán seeking to enforce property laws

Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria Copyright

Owners of apartments and bungalows in Mogán may need to be alert.   The town council have reportedly been looking at ways to apply the land laws that came into effect back in 2013 governing legal use of properties built within tourist areas and which were specifically classified as for tourist use as opposed to residential use.

Regular readers may remember extensive coverage last year regarding the neighboring town hall of San Bartolomé de Tirajana passing plans to enforce the laws by utilising controversial fines and sanctions which, it was feared, could lead to properties being confiscated from owners who fell foul of the rules and either couldn’t or wouldn’t pay the fines in an envisaged process they termed as “owner substitution”

On December 4, according to news site MaspalomasNews, the Platform for those Affected by the Tourism Law (PALT), a citizen’s forum created specifically to represent owners affected by the law, published an article on the owners of small apartments or bungalows in the municipality of Mogán, and the “damage” that could be done to their residential rights, despite their position having been consolidated over many years, referring directly to the Mogán councils own General Management Plan (PGO) supplementary to the tourism land laws.

The owners of properties in the municipality of Mogán should be on alert, and certainly need to take the time to educate themselves about the law and the possible repercussions. Experts spoken to by The Canary have said that trying to apply the new laws retrospectively would, in practice, be very difficult indeed, however if  Non-Spanish-speaking owners do not understand their rights, and work together as a community, then they could find themselves in difficulty and having to conform to decisions made regarding the rules governing each complex, their Comunidad de Propietarios and their response to town hall planning laws and enforcement.

The owners of apartments or bungalows in the municipality of Mogán, which includes popular tourist resorts like Puerto Rico, Patalavaca, Arguineguín and many others need to be aware of, and included in, the General Plan of Ordinance supplementary that is currently being worked on by the local town hall.

In the Municipal Plenary (council meeting), last November 24, an agreement was made to promote the General Supplementary Plan of Mogán.

It is not yet known what the position of the council will be regarding the owners of apartments and bungalows, although the current mayor, Onalia Bueno, did voice her explicit support last year for enforcing the removal of unlicensed residential users of properties meant for tourist use. It is not yet clear what damage the proposals in this new plan could generate regarding the de facto rights of residents within the municipality, even despite their position seeming to have been consolidated over many years.

It is however becoming clearer that anyone who bought property after the 2013 law came into effect, may indeed be in a much weaker position, regarding residential use, than those who have been living in their property for some time prior.

The PALT aims to be attentive to what happens next, and English speaking representation may be required to understand the various positions that will be argued over the coming months.

What is the approval of a supplementary PGO?

Under Tourist Law 2/2013, complexes and apartments that are currently in mixed residential and tourist use could be forced, or obligated, to cede their properties exclusively for tourist exploitation, under the management of licensed companies set up specifically for the task.

The owners of real estate on lands specifically classified, within the PGO supplementary, as tourist land, would not be permitted to reside in them full time, nor use them for short or long season rentals, nor rent them on their own, nor leave them empty.

If the property was not ceded to the tourism operator, fines could range from €30,000 to €300,000.

Failure to carry out maintenance works required by the operating company for tourist use could put the property up for public competition where another person or entity could take control of the property and carry out the work for some standard figure, – a process know as Owner Substition – as laid out in Decree 85/2015 which further develops the original Tourist Land Law 2/2013

For these reasons, the PALT are asking smallholders within the municipality of Mogán to follow their news and statements through Facebook and their website

The PALT will monitor the actions of the Ayuntamiento of Mogán regarding this matter, in the sense that concerns them most and try to inform citizens so that your rights as owners are not violated.

The Canary will of course do our best to keep you updated in English…