I sincerely hope that Palma city council haven't scored an own goal with their announcement that they will ban holiday apartment rentals. The story made headline news across Europe yesterday with the international media underlining the fact that Majorca was attempting to limit tourism. I do not really think this is the case. The city council is trying to ensure that there is enough housing for the resident population and it is not seeking ways to reduce tourism.

As I have said in this space, a large number of people had jumped on the holiday apartment rental bandwagon. This meant that there were few or no flats to rent in Palma at a reasonable rate. But I doubt that homeowners who had been renting out their properties will be too impressed. They had been making a very nice living renting out their flat for as much as 1,000 euros a week. They will be lucky if they get this sum per month with a long-term rental. But something needed to be done.

However, I still believe that a total ban could be counterproductive. Perhaps the council should have allowed some holiday rentals in given areas. The concern is that everything is rosy in the garden of tourism in Palma at the moment. However, if there is a fall in the number of visitors and prices continue to rise then the city might have a problem. The message has to be broadcast loud and clear: Palma obviously wants tourists but the resident population needs housing. Something had to be done.

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Henry James / Hace 11 months

The ban won't solve Palma's housing shortage,far from it,I think that most owners will now put their apartments up for sale rather than rent them out on long-term lets with all the legal ramifications attached to long-term lets and the prices the apartments are sold at will still be beyond most locals. Palma and other towns and cities should have been building apartments at affordable rents years ago,now a crisis is looming which knee-jerk regulations will not solve.

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