Holiday Rentals
Dear Sir,
Just returned home to Scotland after spending a month in Puerto Pollensa where we live for about 4 months each year in our apartment.
   Yet again this year the Bulletin carried frequent articles and letters on the subject of renting private apartments. I can appreciate that hoteliers and owners of “legitimate” commercial touristic apartment complexes feel unhappy that they are subject to strict controls, regulations and inspections of their premises, which incur significant costs to them, while “private” renters do not. I also understand the frustration of private owners who feel that it is their right to rent the property which they own and maintain.

In our community, 3 owners rent, and we are well aware of the tensions created by owners who rent their apartments. While most of the clients are very considerate of the residents, some can cause annoyance and aggravation to greater or lesser degrees.
There is no need to rehearse these I am sure. Sometimes, of course owners can also be as much a source of frustration, with their reluctance to abide by the rules of the community.

It is the health and safety aspects of uncontrolled and unlicensed renting of private apartments that give me cause for concern.

- If a fire does start in an apartment block, the owners generally know each other and when they are in a residence, but no one knows who or how many people there are in the rented apartments.

- If the electricity fails during the outbreak of a fire, people unfamiliar with exit routes are in danger.

- Are apartments fitted with smoke detectors/alarms?

- Are all apartments supplied with fire-fighting equipment and instructions on where to find them and how to use them?

- Are renters, in a foreign environment, aware of how to use gas and electrical appliances safely (cookers, ovens, heaters and central heating boilers)?

- Are renters aware when there is no life-saving attendant at the community pool when they send their children, unaccompanied, for a swim?

- Have the gas central heating boiler, ventilation system, electrical appliances and electrical circuits been inspected on a regular basis?

All of these issues make for an unsafe environment for the renters and of course for the residents who have no control over those in the rented apartments.

Commercial (licensed) renting places an onus on the proprietors to ensure that their clients are in accommodation that meets certain standards of safety.

For example;

- 24 hour concierge and support for clients.

- Clear fire evacuation routes, fire prevention measures and fire alarm systems.

- Regular inspections of gas and electrical equipment.

- Inspections of the general state of the accommodation.

So, is a solution to the problem of renting and the government’s complex and confusing legislation, to put “illegal” renting on the same footing as licensed touristic renting with mandatory regulation in place;

- A licence requirement.

- Regular inspection and regulation of rented properties – health and safety issues especially. 

Formal agreement of the community of owners (where renting of apartments is concerned) to agree to commercial renting of apartments. The owners who wish to rent commercially be responsible for the set up cost and maintenance of adaptations necessary to meet the requirements of any licence to rent.

A set percentage of rental income be levied to cover the increased wear and tear of community fixtures and fittings caused by renters.

Iain Duncan
Puerto Pollensa

Political Correctness

Dear Sir,
Regarding the well written article re PC-ness from Gerry Mulligan I feel I must take issue with the sub-title “American Culture”. I would have this to be a prime example of oxymoron - especially as, during my life time, The USA, in some states (which also required acquiescence of the Federal legal system) practised a system of apartheid not dissimilar to South Africa even though, at the same time, heavily criticizing it.

Alister Bottomley
Puerto Pollensa

All inclusive

Dear Sir,
I am staring to wonder about the sanity of some people in Majorca. First of all you make renting illegal, turning away thousands of tourists who don’t like hotel holidays. The very people who do spend considerable amounts of money in bars shops and restaurants. This was done to appease the hoteliers who judged it to be unfair competition
Now you are against all inclusive because the only people to make a buck out of this enterprise are the hoteliers, not always Spanish companies by the way.
When we read these crazy statements in the UK press we laugh, but sadly it’s no laughing matter when you are ruining the islands chances of economic recovery through tourism.
You forget it’s a big world out there and Majorca is only a tiny island. You should be trying to encourage visitors not put them off.

Ian Chapman