Moving to Tenerife Requires Planning

Five years of planning and organising and eventually, we were living on the beautiful island of Tenerife. It doesn’t happen by accident. It is a strong will, determination and self motivation that bring people to these wonderful shores.

In 2000, my wife and I visited Tenerife and whilst walking through the streets of Los Cristianos decided that this was a place we could live. The charm of Los Cristianos, the old fishing village that exudes romance from every corner, the friendly locals who make you feel welcome, the beautiful port and the boats that invite you to explore this magical island of Tenerife.

As soon as we returned to the UK we started making plans to move here. A five year plan seemed like a good idea. We would clear out any clutter, manage our business interests to fit our plan and tell our family that we would be moving to Tenerife within five years.

We found that it was this focus that got us to where we wanted to be.  Many people talk about moving to Tenerife at some point in the future. Maybe they will retire in Tenerife. Maybe, if they come into some money, they’ll sell up and live the dream.

Our view was that we should move here whilst we were still young enough to make a new life and enjoy the benefits of Tenerife. We wanted to surf, walk up mount Teide, water ski, paraglide and scuba dive! Okay, so most of this we haven’t yet done but we can if we want!

Tenerife View 1

Earning a living in Tenerife

Once you have decided to move to Tenerife, you’ll possibly start thinking about how to earn a living. You will need to give this some serious thought if an income is required. Fortunately, as this is the island of eternal spring, there are many ways to make a good living.

Many people buy a bar or restaurant, some opt for businesses not connected with catering such as a water-sports or other leisure industry business. There are still other possibilities such as establishing a small rural hotel or bed and breakfast. It may even be possible to transfer an existing business to Tenerife as we did.

It is often a good idea to consider what you are good at, what did you enjoy when you were younger? What did you do before making a living in the U.K got in the way? My wife and I ran our own estate agency business in the North West of England and I was the Regional Manager for one of the North West’s largest Commercial and residential Estate Agents. We felt that we had something to bring to Tenerife, something that was not here already, something that we could improve on. This is a good place to start for anyone planning a move to Tenerife.

Finding somewhere to buy or rent

Tenerife offers a wide variety of property for sale throughout the island, so whether you want an apartment, villa, town house or farm house there will be plenty of choice.

Alternatively, you may prefer a long term rental and although demand is exceptionally high, a good letting agent should be able to help!

For information and advice on purchasing a business in Tenerife or for a comprehensive list of property available for long term rent or sale please contact Alan Royles at Canary Islands Property Group or visit our website www.canaryipg.com, follow us on Twitter @CanaryIPG or take a look at our Facebook page: Canary Islands Property Group or email info@canaryyipg.com

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Electronic prescriptions – the “updated” procedure!!!

So, you are sitting in the doctors waiting room ( probably for at least 30-40 minutes past your appointment time), looking for something to occupy your mind with.

Your eyes fall on the notice pinned to the doctor’s door that informs you about the changes they have made to the electronic prescription – good idea! you think, they seem to be getting to grips with automation here… but what the “improvement” notice doesn’t tell you are the problems this change will give you when you go to the chemist to get your monthly prescription dispensed.

Recently, the doctor changed some of my tablets, and introduced another tablet. Unfortunately, the system does not harmonise the prescription dates with the medication already on my “receta”……

SO, now I have to go to the chemist 2 or 3 times in one month to be able to fulfil one month’ supply of tablets!! This is because in the new part of the prescription one packet of pills there are 28, and in the other there is 30, so they don’t appear on the pharmacist’s screen at the same time – you can only go when you get down to 10 tablets, and the system says they are ready for dispensing. The pharmacist thinks its crazy!!!

Now don’t get me wrong…this is all to stop people hoarding medication, and that has to be applauded , but I think there a couple of gliches to be ironed out here!!!!

 

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Driving in Tenerife….

I just had to right this down! The stupidity of it knows no bounds!!!

When I arrived here 3 years ago, I did everything I should do to make sure I did not fall foul of the law when driving my car.

I dutifully photocopied every single piece of official documentation about myself, and then made the trek up to the Jefatura in Santa Cruz to have my licence inscribed.

45 days later, I went back to collect the paperwork to keep in my car.

Because you have to have a licence for each type of vehicle here, they had made the inscription expire in November 2011 for large vans, small vans etc….none of which I ever drive.

I thought no more about this until an AVISO dropped through my letter box telling me my licence was about to expire!!!

What I could not be sure off, was if this AVISO invalidated my whole licence and not just the bits that really didn’t matter to me. I could not just take the risk, as knowing my luck; I would have been stopped by the police the day it expired.

A friend volunteered to ring the Jefatura and check this out. After several days of trying ( and the 11th November was getting closer!!!), she eventually managed to get to speak to someone who would give her no information or deal with a general query over the phone…so will someone tell me WHY the office in Los Cristianos gave me this number to ring.???

So with a couple of days to spare, off I went up to Santa Cruz again. An hour’s journey to get there, 10 minutes in a queue, and the nice lady behind the counter said “no pasa nada” – my inscription was OK so long as I did not drive anything where the licence has expired, then an hour’s journey home again.

All this could have been avoided if the AVISO has been more specific, or the helpline has actually been helpful.

The curious thing is that my husband went through this process at exactly the same time – and his inscriptions expire at the same time as mine…. So why did he not get an AVISO as well??

The moral of this story is don’t bother getting your licence inscribed!!!!!!!!

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Owners – Convert from Holiday Letting to Long Term Letting

Prospective clients may have noticed a drop in the number of holiday rental properties available through the popular lettings sites of HolidayLettings and HolidayRentals.

This is a two fold issue:

  • The upsurge in professional complainers who are using the threat of postings on Trip Advisor to scare owners into compensation for “spoilt” holidays
  • The Tourist Board in Tenerife have clamped down on what they call “illegal” holiday beds – those renting out their own properties instead of using the authorised agent on their complex

Trip Advisor

The upsurge of complaints to Trip Advisor is the bane of every owner of  a Holiday Let property.

Once a bad review is posted, it is there forever – even if it is untrue. It is a sad fact of life that people will very often post a complaint, but would never think about posting for an enjoyable holiday. Perhaps this is true because the client would expect to get an enjoyable holiday, so this is not an exception. On the other hand finding something to complain about  is something they don’t expect, so feel the need to post to Trip Advisor.

However, there is an increase in unscrupulous complainers, who are now using the threat of posting a bad review on Trip Advisor to get compensation from the owners. Such is the power of Trip Advisor as the de facto place to look for comments on locations, restaurants, specific complexes, and specific properties etc. “Pay up or we post a bad review” is nothing short of blackmail, and owners are powerless to control this.

TenerifeTourist Board

There has been quite a lot of publicity in the Local Tenerife Press regarding “illegal” holiday beds. The Tenerife Tourist Board employed an additional 17 inspectors for this year, and many owners have been caught in the net. The fines are heavy, so have scared off a large number of owners.

It is not sufficient to be “legal” in terms of declaring your rental income to the Hacidenda, they will happily (and quite rightly) take your money, and many owners think this is all there is to it. But the Tenerife Tourist Board insists on all holiday rentals being controlled. Your complex MUST be designated as a Tourist Complex, and there should only be one designated agent with the authority to rent out properties.

If you do not live inTenerife, it’s a costly business, and you may not be netting much out of each rental, you may not be happy with your agent, you may be fed up with the damage and destruction wreaked by your guests. So what do you do?

 

Holiday Let versus Long Term Let

 

It is a certain fact that whatever you can gross in a month for your holiday let property is probably halved for long term let.

That doesn’t sound like a good proposition on the face of it, but if you sit down and break down your costs, you could be presently surprised.

If you employ a holiday letting agent, in addition to paying them a fee for managing the property, you may also have to pay for laundry and cleaning if it is not included in their fee. There will most certainly be maintenance costs, as a succession of guests tends to increase the wear and tear on your fixtures and fittings. You may find that you are not letting as many weeks as you would like to.

Your fixed costs of insurance, IBI, Basura and Community fees will not change, but if you employ a Long Term Letting Agent, their monthly management fee will be smaller, you will not be paying for laundry and cleaning, and depending on the contract, you may no longer be paying for water and electricity.

If you are thinking this may be a better option for you, give us a call or drop us an email and we will work through the figures with you.

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The cost of renting in Tenerife

Renting a property in Tenerife can be just as big a mine field as buying one! Who do you trust? What do you need to pay for? Is your deposit safe? By far the safest way to choose an agent … Continue reading
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Rental Prices in Tenerife

It’s a certain fact there is a large amount of property for rent in Tenerife, something to suit every taste and budget. But what do you get for your money? So many people thinking of coming to Tenerife have unrealistic … Continue reading
Posted in Renting in Tenerife | Tagged | 43 Comments

Buying Property Tenerife – Choosing a location – local taxes (IBI)

Be warned – there are 2 bands of council tax (IBI), tourist and residential in Tenerife. You should check out the area you are planning to live in carefully. If the area is classed as “tourist” such as Las Americas and Los Cristianos, your council rates will probably be double what they would be in a residential area.

Many people will tell you it is cheaper to live in Tenerife than in the UK – and they will usually quote you only the council tax costs – where you pay an average of £1500 in the UK, the cost here is the equivalent of £300 – but if you factor in the community fees if you live on a complex, then you could possibly pay the same or more than in the UK. Do your homework!

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Latest News on NIE…..

If you own a property in Spain and have an NIE, then you do not have a problem.
If you are one of those people who bought a property before the law changed, and you do not have an NIE, then this affects you.

The law has changed such that it is compulsory for anyone who owns or buys property in Tenerife or makes large purchases or opens a bank account to have an NIE number. Your passport alone is no longer sufficient identification. You need to apply for an NIE even if you are not planning any other purchase.

If you are registered for your IBI and basura bills with your passport number, some ayuntamientos will stop sending out bills and reminders (not that they do now I hear you cry!!!). But if you rely on the receipt of these bills to trigger either your agent, yourself or a friend to go and pay the bills for you, then this is likely to cause a problem.

Once you have got your NIE (and it is possible that you can only do this in person, but you can apply via the Spanish Consulate where you live), you will need to take the following documents to the Ayuntamiento to incorporate you NIE into your IBI bills:

  • Your passport, and a copy
  • Your NIE document, and a copy
  • The original of your copia simple, and a copy
  • Your last paid IBI bill

You will need to do this in person if you do not have someone here with power of attorney.

I suspect that this is just another way of making you known to the hacienda (Tax Office) – so following this exercise, you can probably expect a letter or two from the hacienda.

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The highs and lows of owning on a complex

You are searching for your dream home here in Tenerife, and you find just what you are looking for on a nice complex. The bulk of property here is contained within a communidad so that’s not unusual.

But what should you check before you go ahead with your purchase?

  • Community fees – these can vary enormously, and when you are budgeting for your annual expenses, be sure to add this in! If it’s a small complex, then there are fewer owners to share the cost of the upkeep of those lovely gardens and that really nice swimming pool.!
  • Debts – It is a sad fact of life that many owners are in trouble. You should check the level of debt by asking to see a copy of the accounts presented at the last AGM.  The communidad may ask owners to pay more to compensate for the owners who do not pay. Does the communidad have sufficient funds to carry out necessary maintenance and repairs, are there debts owing to tradesmen? Are they planning large maintenance projects that will require extra funding?
  • Water – Some complexes have individual water meters and the water company bills each property. However, it is not unusual for the water to be supplied in bulk to the communidad, and then usage by individual properties  is paid for through the community fees.  If the communidad administration do not pay the water company (even if you have paid your bill), then the water company will cut off the supply to the whole complex. So check the community does not have any water debt, ask for proof.

So if you are happy with the finances of the communidad, what else should you do?

Check out the communidad committee:

  • How many owners were present at the last AGM?
  • Who holds all the proxy votes for absentee owners?
  • Who is on the committee, and how long have they been in post? Do they get paid?
  • Who does all the maintenance on the complex – this cannot be a committee member!!

Now don’t get me wrong – a stable and honest committee is an absolute blessing, especially if you are going to be an absentee landlord.  It is a thankless task and some communidades find it hard to put this in place.

But there may be times when you don’t agree with the proposals of the committee, or you would like to stand for a committee post yourself – if all the proxy votes are held by a committee member, then you don’t stand a chance of changing anything – it’s a closed shop. Our advice is to attend as may AGMs as you can.

Happy House Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Owning a Home in Tenerife | 3 Comments

TLL Website

Tenerife Long Lets website has just had an overhaul. One of the end results of this is much larger pictures in which you can see the properties to rent much more clearly.

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