If you own a Gran Canaria property and want to rent it out, there are three ways to do it and each has its own advantages. 

 Short-term tourist rental in Gran Canaria 

This is perfectly legal if your property is on land classified as residential (everywhere except the tourist resorts). In resort areas, it is more complicated as you have to have a tourist license, rent it out via a central management company, or apply for a license via an association such as ASCAV. Las Palmas has made noises about tightening restrictions on holiday lets and it is not allowed in many new builds. 

You do not need the permission of the Comunidad to rent out a private apartment although a Comunidad can vote to ban all touristic rentals in a building or complex (with a majority vote).

You need to apply for a licence via the Gran Canaria tourist board (El Patronato de Turismo: Headquarters on Calle Mayor de Triana in Las Palmas). 

Rates vary depending on location and property specifications. Cleaning costs are often added as a one-off extra charge for tenants. If you need a management company to handle bookings, keys, cleaning, etc, expect to pay at least 20% of the rent. 

NOTE: Please speak to a quality estate agent before buying a rental investment property in Gran Canaria’s resorts. The law for resort properties is currently in flux and you need expert advice.

Long-term residential rentals in Gran Canaria

Renting out property in Gran Canaria is fairly easy. You can either do it privately by advertising in the local papers or on websites like Segundamano and FotoCasa, or by advertising it via an estate agent. Agencies traditionally charge the tenant one month’s rent, but some are now asking the property owner to pay this fee, or to split it with their new tenant.

Most owners ask for a month’s rent as a deposit and return it once the tenant has left, minus any costs for repairs (reasonable wear and tear cannot by law be deducted from the deposit).

One advantage of renting via an agent is that they handle the contract, but you can download example contracts.

If you are a non-resident, some agencies will manage your property (they arrange for plumbers if there’s a problem, etc) for a monthly fee of around €50.

Renting out Gran Canaria property the middle way

Many owners take a middle road between touristic rentals and residential lets by renting their property to people who spend several months a year living in Gran Canaria. They are often retired Brits and Scandinavians escaping the winter back home (known as snowbirds) but digital nomads are also flocking to Gran Canaria.

The benefits of renting to snowbirds are that you can charge more per month than for a residential let and don’t have to handle frequent keys and cleaning.

To advertise your property to snowbirds, post it on websites like AirBnB and specify a long minimum stay, or post on residential rental portals. 

Renting and taxes

Non-resident property owners pay 24% income tax on rental income of all types while residents have to pay income tax. Residents pay income tax.

Most non-residents use a local Gestoria to handle their tax and paperwork.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

Buying property in Gran Canaria is a relatively straightforward process if done correctly. The island property registry is excellent, property rights in Gran Canaria are clear, and all contracts must be signed in front of an independent notary.

However, there are pitfalls and we advise all buyers to use a quality estate agent and / or a local lawyer to check their chosen property and contracts.

Laura Says: Estate agent services are free for property buyers as the commission is paid by the seller. Take advantage and find a good one to help you buy your Gran Canaria property

Estate agents in Gran Canaria

Estate agents in Gran Canaria vary from the average to the excellent with a couple of outlying dodgy outfits (targeting non-resident buyers in the resorts). Check reviews carefully before choosing an agent. 

Estate agency fees are 5% of the sale price of a property but are paid by the seller. This means that their services are free to buyers; All non-native Spanish speakers should use one when buying property in Gran Canaria.

The risks of going it alone are just too high to bother with as disputes takes a long time and oodles of cash to resolve.

To find a good estate agent in Gran Canaria, look for the following…

  • An estate agency with an office you can visit and a good local reputation
  • An agency that works within the local agency ssystem and shares commissions with other agents
  • An agent that speaks your language and good Spanish
  • Above all, choose an estate agent that cares about you, rather than about selling you a particular property

The benefit using a good estate agency include their ability to value a property accurately (many sellers list their property at the price they’d like to get rather than what it is currently worth), the help they provide with paperwork, and good relationships with reliable local banks.

In Las Palmas and the north of Gran Canaria, the Las Palmas Property website is packed with useful information.

In south Gran Canaria, just go to Cardenas Real Estate; One of Gran Canaria’s oldest and most trusted agencies. The Cárdenas blog is an excellent source of quality local information.

Laura Says: Do not buy a rental investment property in south Gran Canaria without getting expert advice from a good estate agent or lawyer. Holiday let rules are complex.

The cost of buying property in Gran Canaria

The total cost of buying a property in Gran Canaria is roughly 10% on top of the price you pay.

This sum includes:

  • Fixed property purchase tax (the exact percentage varies depending on property type and Municipality)
  • Notary costs (a fixed percentage of the value of the property)roperty registry costs.
  • Property registry costs.

The 10% figure is approximate. It can be up to 12% if you buy a cheapie under €100,000 and lower if you buy something substantial.

Laura Says: Seek expert advice if a seller wants you to pay a percentage of the purchase price in cash under the table. This is illegal and has tax implications as the government knows what property is worth and asks for extra taxes on properties that are bought too cheap. You could end up with a huge tax bill up to four years after you buy a property.

Ongoing costs include:

  • Monthly Communidad fees (if you buy in a building or complex)
  • A small annual tax on the value of the land your property sits on (known as the IBI)
  • Utility bills
  • There are no council tax bills in Gran Canaria but some municipios, such as Mogán, charge for rubbish collection

What you need to buy a property in Gran Canaria

All buyers must have:

A Spanish NIE number; This fiscal identification number, which you will soon learn by heart, is the same number that goes on your green Residencia paper. Getting a NIE is a faff unless you have a job contract or a pre-contract to buy a property (or are a non-EU citizen investing 500,000 euros in Spanish property; Hello Golden Visa).

A local bank account; Opening a non-resident bank account can be a faf. It's best to wait until you have your NIE and then you'll have no problem.

British and other non-EU/ EEA buyers may need a military authorisation if buying a rural property. This is a formality but can take time so start the application early. 

Getting a mortgage in Gran Canaria

Spanish banks learned their lesson rather too well during the crisis and are now cautious about lending money to home buyers. Residents need between 10% and 20% of the sale price as a deposit and a work contract to even be considered (or a long track record of earnings as an Autonomo or self-employed person).

New arrivals often have to wait a year to get a mortgage, even with a permanent work contract. This might seem infuriating, but it’s no bad thing if you consider the number of people who go home after a year in Gran Canaria; not everyone can handle the sunshine and the rum.

Spanish banks currently won’t lend you more than you can pay back with a third of your total income.

Non-residents need a larger deposit (typically 30%) and proof of earnings in their home country going back six months. Spanish banks are unwilling to lend to older non-residents who are due to retire before their mortgage term is up.

Mortgage applications are long-winded (up to three months at some banks) and hampered by top-down management at Spanish banks. Your application is submitted in Gran Canaria but goes to headquarters (always in Madrid) for approval. Any missing documents cause delays that nobody is accountable for. Be vigilant and don’t be afraid to push as silence is often a sign that something needs to be done.

The best advice we can give you is to apply to several different banks; They all require the same paperwork so all you have to do is spend a few hours at each one and feed them with photocopies.

Apply to at least one big local bank such as Santander, BBVA or Bankia, a modern bank such as ING Direct, and a specialist mortgage provider such as UCI (which works exclusively with estate agency clients).

Article written with information from Laura Leyshon of Las Palmas Property.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

With one of Spain’s top outdoor shopping areas and several well-stocked malls, Gran Canaria (and especially Las Palmas), has become a great place to shop. The new shopping centres due to open in Puerto Rico will make a big difference in south Gran Canaria. 

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

Renewing a Spanish driving licence in Gran Canaria is now a simple procedure. All you need is to pass a few simple medical tests.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

If you’re planning to open a Gran Canaria business, the first thing you need to do (after a market study and lots of research) is to work out what type of company or self-employed status is best.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria
Friday, 16 August 2019 12:54

Living In Gran Canaria: Finding A Job

Everyone wants to move to Gran Canaria, find a good job and live the sunny life. It can be done, but we’re not going to kid you that it’s easy. Gran Canaria is a small island with lots of local unemployment. 

This means that there aren’t lots of large companies with middle-management structures and there is fierce competition for the jobs that do come up.

Your chances of getting a job in the local economy are pretty much zero unless you speak excellent Spanish. And you can’t just walk into a job in a hotel either. Most won’t take a candidate unless they speak at least three languages and have a tourism qualification or degree.

That said, determined people find work here every year, and there are several niches where foreign residents can always find work.

So you want a job, read our guides below to see what jobs are available and how to get them.

UPDATE 2022: Remote work, nomads and coworking 

Job prospects for foreigners in Gran Canaria, and especially in Las Palmas, have improved no end in the last few years thanks to the growing remote worker and digital nomad scene. Focused around coworking sites dotted all across the city and beyond, the scene has now grown enough to create its own employment ecosystem. The hope is that ZEC company investment will flow in and make even more of a Gran Canaria a leading remote work and offshoring location. 

That said, the work available is almost all digital; in the programming, online project management, etc. The nerds have arrived, and are taking over!

Spain's tax rules are a little behind when it comes to people residing in Spain but earning their living abroad so talk to a gestoria about how to get your taxes right.

Jobs in North Gran Canaria (Las Palmas, Telde etc)

Once you arrive in Gran Canaria you will find that most English speaking people in Las Palmas are teachers, so logically most of the jobs for English people are in schools. If you don’t want to be a teacher, you’ll probably have to head south to find a job as there aren’t many non-school jobs in the city. That said, the island has now probably reached peak English and teaching wages for TEFL teachers have dropped in recent years. 

Teaching There are four types of teaching jobs each one requiring different qualifications and offering different pay.

English schools – These schools, most of the time, require a PGCE. However, it is not unheard of for unqualified people to get jobs. Send in your CV and see what happens. If you’re lucky they will need a teacher straight away. Monthly salary 1200€-1400€ depending on the school and job.

Bilingual schools – These schools don’t usually require PGCE qualified teachers but a TEFL qualification helps. They pay less and working conditions aren’t as good, but you get the long holidays. Salary approximately €1200.

Language schools – Language schools pay less and the working hours can be quite unsociable however they pay well enough to live a nice life here and can be flexible with working hours if you’re lucky. Salary/hour 9-15€.

Private English lessons – Plenty of teachers make a decent living by giving private English lessons. Either to children, adults or local companies. They key to getting them is to network and hustle like crazy. Pay can be anything from 10-50 euros per hour. Most private teaching work dries up in the summer.

Read our detailed guide to Gran Canaria’s schools and education system for more info.

Saturday Schools All the English Schools and the American school offer Saturday schools for children and adults. They pay very well €60-€80 9am -1pm. If you are interested contact the schools well before the course starts in October as Saturday jobs go fast. TEFL is preferred but it is not uncommon for non-EFL teachers to get work.

Translation If you speak two languages fluently it is worth sending out your CV to the translation companies. However, regular translation work isn’t easy to find and you need a qualification to translate official and legal texts (known as traducción jurado).

Summer schools: Lots of Las Palmas’ academies and surf schools run summer schools so it’s always worth asking around if you want work in July.

Random work in Las Palmas: Non-Spanish speaking work is hard to come by but labouring work can sometimes be found within the English community. It’s not easy to come by, but leave a message on the jobs page and something may come up. Other jobs that English people have had in Las Palmas include STEP / Aerobics instructor and bar work.

There are, of course, lots of foreigners living and working in Las Palmas who aren’t teachers. It’s just that most came to the island with their jobs. In the last few years the digital nomads have discovered the city and now hang out at cafes with their laptops (pretending to work). If you have a tech or design skill and want freelance work, drop in at coworking spaces like The House and Soppa de Azul and ask around. The same applies if you have a killer idea for an app.

How to get work in the north

Assuming you want to teach, the only real way to get work is to get yourself known. Send your CV to all the schools / language schools you’re interested in and then phone them (v.important) to make sure they’ve received your CV. It also helps to ‘just drop in’ to the schools you most want to work at.

If you want to teach private classes put posters up around your area and advertise yourself in the English bookshops Idiomatika and Canary Books and on the Internet at Tusclasesparticulares. Get business English lessons by dropping into to local businesses that sell to foreign clients and asking if they know anyone who might be interested.

Seriously, networking in person works in Gran Canaria while emails are rarely answered.

Jobs in south Gran Canaria

There are plenty of jobs in the South but you have to look for them; as Gran Canaria is such a great place to live there are plenty of other people looking too. Thousands of foreign residents arrive every year without work.

Websites / Press Jobs are not often advertised but before you begin your long trek around the thousands of bars in the south it is worth scouring the internet and resident newspapers and magazines.

PR If you think you’re a good salesman with experience of any kind and you speak English, Dutch, German or any Scandinavian language your best bet is find a job as a PR. These tend to be on the street directly selling to passers-by. You could be selling restaurants, bars, tours or timeshare. If you're good you can earn good money, if you’re not you’ll soon be looking for another job! Salaries can be commission only or with a basic set wage. To find a job, the best thing you can do is go and ask. Try bars and restaurants and for timeshare jobs find a current PR on the street and ask for the personnel office. It might sound unbelievable but timeshare sellers still make good money in south Gran Canaria. The gift of the gab is essential.

Bar work and restaurant work There are jobs for bar staff, waiters, cooks, entertainment, bouncers, and PR – they are rarely advertised and again just go around and ask. Don’t expect to make your millions this way, the minimum wage in Spain is 6.25€ and you’ll be lucky to get more than that. On average workers in the South will earn about 1050€ a month which is plenty to survive on and have a reasonably nice time.

Estate agencies Property buyers still prefer to deal with agents who speak their language and understand their needs. So, there is always work in south Gran Canaria’s estate agencies for go-getting people with sales or real estate experience. Quality south Gran Canaria estate agency Cárdenas Real Estate have been looking for English- and Norwegian-speaking staff.

How to get work in the south

There is work in the south of the island but there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs, so to find work you have to stand out above the rest. Prepare a GOOD cv. Make sure it sells your skills well and is word-perfect. If you want to work in a bar make sure you have all your bar work on it.

Then give your CV to as many places as possible by hand. Speak to the owner and try to sell yourself, it will be much easier for them to call you if they know who you are, so make sure there’s a photo on your CV. If you haven’t heard anything for a couple of weeks visit all the bars again and let them know you’re still looking for work. Also, get to know people in the foreign community as many jobs are by word of mouth and personal recommendation so if you are known you will have more chance of finding work.

Finding a job may take a long time, so prepare yourself financially and don’t blow all your savings thinking you’ll get work quickly. If you have patience you will get work eventually but prepare to print out hundreds of CVs and many kilometres from place to place. While you’re waiting, try to learn Spanish it will really help your job opportunities.

Paying your taxes in Gran Canaria

Most jobs you get will offer you a contract and they will pay your taxes for you (about 20%). However, if you are self-employed or are receiving cash in hand, legally you have to pay autonomous contributions. These are about 270€ a month (less for the first couple of years) and cover your social security. You have to declare your earnings and pay taxes every three months or once a year, depending on the job.

Lots of south Gran Canaria businesses just pay cash. While it is unlikely that the taxman will catch you, be aware that it is illegal.

Getting a work permit in Gran Canaria

It’s become much harder to just arrive in Gran Canaria, get residencia and start working unless you are an EU citizen. In fact, it’s almost impossible. Spain now only hands out residencia and an NIE number to people who have a job, buy a property or have lots of money in the bank. In theory, you can only stay in Gran Canaria for three months unless you get residencia.

This means that if you come without work you need to find a job before you can become a resident and get an NIE (which you need to rent a property, open a bank account, etc). It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation but if you have a work contract, you can get it done.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

Unless you try to drive over, relocating to Gran Canaria isn't really any harder than moving anywhere else in Europe.

Published in Living in Gran Canaria

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