However, you still can't rent private property in tourist resorts on a short-term basis unless the property has a tourist license or is on a complex with a license. These licenses are hard to get because the conditions are strict and were created before the whole online rental market popped up.
Tourist licenses are only given to independent villas, rural properties and complexes in tourist areas and because demand for rental property is high so lots of people in Gran Canaria do rent out their private property to tourists. This is illegal and the government is starting to crack down on private rentals. However, the law is still under review so expects further changes in the next couple of years.
There is now legal way for many south Gran Canaria property owners to get a tourist license. See the Cardenas Real Estate blog for the details.
Can I rent my private property to tourists?
If your Gran Canaria property is in a residential or rural area (anywhere outside the main resorts), you can get a license and legally rent it out on a short-term basis. If your property is in a resort area you can only rent it out if it has a tourist license or if it's on a complex with a license.
Complex properties have to be rented out by a central management company appointed by the community of owners.
You can rent your property on an ad-hoc basis to friends and family. What you can't do is advertise it on touristic portals such as Airbnb.
Alex Says: Do not buy a tourist resort property as a rental investment without talking to a local property expert first.
Planning to rent a private property for your holiday?
You don't break any laws by renting a private property in Gran Canaria. The owner can theoretically be fined, but this almost never happens.
The risk you take is that you don't know if the property you rent is up to scratch if it hasn't been approved for rental. However, since most rentals are advertised online and rely on reviews for bookings the informal system works well. Check reviews carefully and call the owners if you have any doubts.