Tourist rental of rooms in properties is to be expressly prohibited in the Balearics. | Archive

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The holiday rentals' legislation will prohibit the renting out of individual rooms to tourists. The draft of the law, presently at the stage of receiving submissions, states that contracts for rooms are not permitted and that different contracts cannot be entered into for the same property, i.e. there cannot be various tourists sharing the property.

This type of offer is commonly found on the internet; indeed it might be said that it was the sharing of rooms rather than whole properties which gave Airbnb its initial impetus. The tourism ministry has not quantified the number of rooms that are being advertised, the control of which, says Pilar Carbonell (the director of tourism), will not be easy. "But we will be intensifying our efforts in order to bring more exhaustive control."

One of the reasons given for outlawing the rental of rooms is the government's intention to apply quality standards. The tourism ministry has stated that holiday rental authorisation will not be given "at any price", as there is a determination to increase overall standards.

The straightforward sharing of accommodation, in the sense of individuals swapping it, seems unlikely to be covered by the legislation. The ministry says that this forms part of "the collaborative economy and has no financial gain". Which is true enough, although the government's stance sounds somewhat contradictory when it is also insisting that it wishes to get all tourists to pay the tourist tax.