For those who have been living on Mars for the last few years, I will enlighten you. There is a very nice little sideline going on which involves renting out your home during the summer months to visiting tourists. It is a lucrative business and I would say that it is going from strength to strength as parts of the island become ever more popular, especially Palma. It is almost impossible to control despite the best efforts of the local authorities. Legislation after legislation has been introduced but rather unsuccessfully. The sideline has become a very important source of revenue for many property owners and in some instances it is a question of cash in hand.

Now, I sincerely believe that the majority of people who rent out their homes illegally would like to do so legally. So, the local authorities should introduce clear and simple legislation: that all homes that are being rented out meet the necessary standards and tax is paid on earnings. Imagine if the Spanish taxman was getting his share of the money which is being made on illegal holiday lets. There would be no need for a tourist tax. If homes could be rented out legally then the real estate sector would feel the benefits and once again the taxman would get his or her fair share.

The government will never be able to outlaw illegal holiday lets. So really what is needed is a compromise: that home owners agree to act within the law and that the local authorities make the whole process simple.