Dear Sir, I WROTE two weeks ago that the headline of Friday 10th August: “Government Crackdown over Property Rental Swindle” alternates regularly with its twin “Government Crackdown over Illegal Holiday Apartments”.

I didn't expect it so soon, but in the edition of Thursday, 23rd August, appeared the headline on the “Home News” page: “Ministry has inspected over 1000 holiday lets”.

According to the Ministry, there are 5'000 flats being let out but only 30 percent (1'500) are legal. Of the remaining 3'500 illegals, some 2'400 requests for legalisation flooded in.

This represents a very commendable 69 percent of honest people trying to be responsible citizens. Unfortunately 71 percent were rejected.
Formerly the Ministry was locating illegals by checking real estate agents, tour operators, internet and specialist magazines. This labourious technique has only opened 50 files. At a single blow and with hardly any effort the Ministry has netted 1'700 suspects.

The illegals who did not fall for the Governments entreatments must be laughing up their sleeves.
The hotel association is more honest than normal admitting that it is does not want residential tourism to grow.
If they were even more honest they would say they don't want the competition at all.
That the various local governments support this shows how much they are in bed with the hoteliers.
Residential accommodation is exactly the high spend/year round tourist business the Baleares says it wants.
The owners have to buy or build their flats/houses/chalets, maintain them year round and pay their rates etc. They don't travel from the airport in busses of 60 people but have or hire a car.

Not being “all inclusive,” they probably eat out more.
I could go on but in brief their spend bears no comparison to what a typical hotel bed contributes.
Mike Lillico, Playa de Palma.


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