It is a bold move and in some ways a gamble. Palma council has decided to ban apartment holiday rentals in the city. In other words landlords can no longer rent out their property by the week or day to visiting tourists. The upside of the move is that it should mean that there will be more apartments for long-term rent in the city and costs could even fall as well. But the downside is that the city economy could be hurt because obviously holiday rentals bring plenty of cash for restaurants, shops and bars.
Something had to be done. The shortage of long-term rental homes in the city and the price of rents had meant that many people were thinking twice about moving to the city, which was causing an employment crisis for some local businesses. It is a complaint I have about Palma at the moment, especially the centre of the city. Prices have risen dramatically meaning that some local residents can't afford to even have a drink in some of the fashionable spots. The council should even consider a measure of price control, publishing a list or guidelines on what can be charged for drinks and food. It is outrageous that a small coffee can cost almost three euros in some parts of the city and in others just a euro.
The council has taken a step in the right direction with the rental ban but I suspect that many local businesses will not be too impressed. If they have fewer customers as a result, they will be laying the blame firmly at the council's door.
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