Palma's mayor, José Hila, is president of the municipalities' federation seeking national government involvement in rentals' legislation.

23-05-2005P. Lozano

The holiday rentals' association Aptur has asked the regional government not to block new licences while the rentals' legislation is being processed. Its president, Juan Estarellas, says that members of the association have been informed that they can register the application but that the actual licence will be subject to the new regulations.

He insists that until the new law is introduced, any property (e.g. a villa rather than apartment) which meets requirements of existing legislation should receive a licence.

Estarellas, meanwhile, has expressed his satisfaction with the attitude of the Council of Majorca's president, Miquel Ensenyat, who "firmly" supports the holiday apartment as a means of "democratising tourism" and distributing wealth across all economic sectors.

Meanwhile, the tourism committee of the Spanish federation of municipalities and provinces has added its voice to calls for the national government to introduce its own holiday rentals' legislation.

The committee, the current president of which is Palma's mayor, José Hila, met during the Fitur fair, and Hila will have a meeting with the national secretary of state for tourism, Matilde Asián, on 2 February in order to discuss the committee's views. Asián has herself indicated that she will be seeking to introduce legislation.

A working party of the committee was set up in November to gather information from municipalities regarding rentals, to seek ways of avoiding illegal supply and to look at how to involve the state and the regions in regulation. The mayors who are on the committee are particularly determined that there should be close monitoring of websites so that they do not offer illegal properties and that, as is the case with hotels, they register clients.

Hila believes that national and regional governments have to be involved in regulation. Municipalities, he observed, cannot deal with the issue by themselves as they have fewer resources to do so.

The federation is also concerned about the negative consequences of an underground economy and about the "serious impact" on the cost of regular renting and the co-existence of residents.

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