A small revolution has occurred on the island over the last five years. Anyone, anywhere who had a flat or a house suddenly woke up to the possibility that they could make some extra cash during the summer months by renting out their property. I would say that the practice was widespread. It was easy money. Everyone wanted to come on holiday to Majorca and even homes in the rather less glamorous parts of the island were starting to be attractive for people looking for a break in the sun. I remember a taxi driver told me that he had taken an Italian couple to one of the more downtrodden Palma suburbs: they had rented a flat there for a week. Unfortunately, they had been promised plenty of half truths on the holiday website. Sooner or later something was going to upset the apple cart. The Balearic government introduced tough holiday rental laws and actively went after holiday websites which offered homes for rent which did not have the necessary paperwork. Many home owners got the message.
Now, whatever your views on the illegal letting debate, at the end of the day property owners were breaking the law: earnings were not being declared to the tax authorities and of course it was an "industry in the shadows". The lack of affordable rental housing in many areas has been blamed on the fact that many people elected to rent out their properties by the week during the summer rather than searching for a long-term tenant. The small revolution is coming to an end. It was nice while it lasted for some. At least now you know that your neighbour is not going to change every week.
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