José Pérez, a 30-year-old teacher from Seville, has had to move every summer since she started teaching in Guía de Isora three years ago. Learning that he is a teacher, the landlords only offer him rental contracts from September to June. On summer dates, they either take advantage of the house for family vacations or take it out for vacation rental. to another young man, Carmelo Goya, 29-year-old receptionist in Puerto de la Cruz, gave him pause when the owners learned that his partner was pending to obtain a residence permit. She was not interested in knowing that he came from the United States or that he is a qualified professional. They told him they would answer him. Carmelo never received the call.
The stories of José and Carmelo perfectly represent the ordeal that many young people entail to emancipate themselves and find a decent roof in Tenerife without having to share it like college kids. Either it does not give them the salary to rent a standard home or they do not find conditions that guarantee them a minimum of stability. The situation is further complicated in cases such as that of José Pérez: people doomed to labor mobility and reside in municipalities far from large cities. “I’m so tired of having to face the stress of moving every summer that I’m thinking of throwing in the towel,” admits this Andalusian who teaches at the Teobaldo Power infant and primary education center in Guía de Isora.
It is no longer just that this limitation in the contracts closes all security. In addition, he has run into last-minute slams that have spoiled all his plans, his and those of people close to him who wanted to visit him on the Island and who had even bought tickets. It happened when he reached a pre-agreement with a landlady to extend the contract to August and at least be able to receive family and friends in his Tenerife home. “After saying yes, he suddenly tells me no, that he can’t because he’s going to use the flat all summer. Then he tells me yes but until August 21 and he raises my rent to 700 euros. I was left without a flat again, with the obligation of having to search again and on top of that the plans of the relatives who were going to come to see me had gone to waste. A disaster”, recalls José.
The inconvenience of having to change homes permanently is combined with the very scarce supply in municipalities far from large urban centers and the rise in prices. “There isn’t much to choose from. And what is there is very expensive. For a small attic they charged me 600 euros per month in a course. The house did not meet the appropriate conditions, something that I transmitted to the owners, “says this young man. It is not the first time that he came to Canary Islands. Already in 2017 she went to Fuerteventura to work. He liked the Islands and he came to Tenerife as an interim teacher.
José Pérez does not know if the different proposals that have been proposed to regulate the real estate market can have an effect, because sometimes the attempts to intervene end up generating the opposite effect and adding difficulties. What he is clear about is that the main problem is that “everything depends on money.” «It does not matter if you are young, that many salaries are not even enough to face the cheapest rents, that the stability of a home is a vital factor to achieve minimum levels of well-being… Only money matters, earning more and more» , complaint. “No one is going to take away the stress of this coming and going, this inability to access something as basic as a stable roof,” he concludes.
Carmelo Goya fared no better except for a stroke of luck. Renting has also been a headache for him. He returned to his native Tenerife a few months ago after spending three years in Germany and was saved thanks to a relative who gave him a cable and rented him a home at an affordable price. “If he wasn’t I’d still be looking,” he says. “The rental real estate market is completely crazy, out of the slightest control.” He gives the example of the impact that those tenants so coveted by public administrations and landlords have in his opinion: digital nomads. “Now everyone wants a digital nomad as a tenant. They contract for limited periods and in remote places, and are willing to pay exorbitant amounts, even over a thousand euros, for homes that would not cost locals more than 500 a month.
The intense search for Carmelo Goya went a long way. In Icod they offered him a small house without ventilation for 500 euros a month with characteristics that did not fit him, such as the fact that it was a rural house limited to the tourist market. Then he tried it with another offer in La Victoria for which they asked him for everything. «They asked me personal questions, if he had an indefinite contract, how much did he earn… They asked me for three pay slips when I had just returned to the Island and I did not have three pay slips. Then they asked me if he was going to live with someone. When I told them that with my partner and that I was waiting to get the residence papers, the problems arose », he narrates.
Refusal without explanation
Carmelo understands that “the landlords would think that he could be a clandestine immigrant or something like that.” The truth is that when he told them that his partner, an American national, was in the process of regularizing his situation, they stopped calling him. “They had rejected me,” he says, not fully believing it. The inconveniences did not end there. In Aguagarcía they demanded that he earn more than 1,200 euros a month and also sign insurance. In Puerto de la Cruz, where he got a job, he barely tried it because the prices are way above his means. «For a 40-square-meter cubbyhole they ask me 700 euros, electricity and water apart! One madness after another.
This tourist accommodation management professional had to pull contacts to find a solution. After learning about his adventures, a relative offered him a well-equipped apartment in Los Silos for a special price. Of course, it is 36 kilometers from his current workplace in Puerto de la Cruz, that is, 45 minutes by car. “My partner and I have thought about buying but the prices are also through the roof and for an apartment you can ask for 120,000 euros,” he says. It is the reality faced by José, Carmelo and so many other young people on the Island.