Tourism minister Biel Barceló.

07-04-2017Jaume Morey

The holiday rentals legislation draft, which should have been approved by the cabinet a week ago but wasn't because of the eruption of the contracts affair, has now been approved. One of its headlining elements is that town halls will be able to prohibit holiday rentals either completely or partially. This provision comes as something of a surprise, which was the case when Palma's deputy mayor for the model of the city, Antoni Noguera, proposed a total ban. Tourism minister Biel Barceló, while saying he supported Noguera, appeared to suggest that there would not be such total bans. It may be that the possibility of ban has Ibiza in mind more than Majorca. There is a great deal of resistance to permissive regulation in Ibiza, where the housing situation has become critical.

As is already the case, the island councils will be responsible for zoning areas in which rentals can be openly marketed as being for holiday/tourist purposes. (This is principally of course aimed at apartments but not exclusively.) Town halls can then come up with their own decisions. These will be binding if they prove to be more restrictive than envisaged by the councils, implying that decisions cannot be more permissive. There are nine zones in Majorca, one of them being Palma.

There is to be a period of eight months for this zoning to be finalised once the legislation is approved by parliament. During that time no new holiday rentals (and here one at present is talking houses or villas) will be permitted.

With regard to votes by communities to allow or not allow the open marketing of holiday apartment rentals, the legislation provides for a simple majority. This is something that has been well signalled previously. Barceló says that legal specialists at the University of the Balearic Islands have established that this voting can be done. There has been debate as to whether this provision invades national law.

A further provision is that there can be no holiday rentals in properties which are less than five years old. The legislation will also state that the government considers any rental of less than one month to be a holiday rental, unless there is proof to the contrary. The Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (tenancy act) does of course allow for rentals of short duration but with the provisos that they are not marketed for holiday/tourist purposes and that there are no services given.

Specifically with apartments, the legislation will mean that there have to be individual and official water meters as well as other supplies, i.e. gas and electricity.  This provision is to protect communities having to assume costs caused by holiday rentals.

Fines for infractions will be up to 40,000 euros. Barceló hopes that the legislation can be processed and approved by parliament within two months.

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Sara / Hace over 3 years

What about the single white female who wishes to rent a room in someone's house. Hotels are lonesome places, full of couples, and families. We also get penalised by a single persons supplement. Hoteliers win. Mallorca is missing out a phenomenal independent travelling market whom detest "All Inclusive Hotels".

+5-

palmadave / Hace over 3 years

'With regard to votes by communities to allow or not allow the open marketing of holiday apartment rentals, the legislation provides for a simple majority'

Six apartments in a building. Three owners for, three against.............then what? What happens when at the community AGM a new owner decides they do not want rentals making it 4 to 2 against? Absolute rubbish!

+-2-

Palmadave / Hace over 3 years

'With regard to votes by communities to allow or not allow the open marketing of holiday apartment rentals, the legislation provides for a simple majority'

Six apartments in a building. Three owners for, three against.............then what?

+-1-

Ron / Hace over 3 years

This pending outrageous law restricting civil liberties is pure dictatorship by this disastrous government coalition. It will bring them down - sooner hopefully rather than later. And once again the minister has passed on the problem, this time to the town halls. Saturation of tourists they say is caused by families renting their homes and trying to earn a little extra to make it through the month. No mention of course of the saturation caused by the hoteliers. A recent report in UH says that in Palma centre there are now some 30 'boutique' hotels. (An attractive trendy name - but just more hotels!) The ajuntament has said that there are another 40 in the pipeline waiting for permits. (This story of course could have been put out by them just to gauge public opinion - as was done last week by Noguera). The local businesses say they would like more of those hotels, because they attract the rich rather than the poorer type of tourist who wants to rent a house. I don't believe there are enough rich people who would want to come to Palma and pay the ridiculous room prices those hotels ask. But I suppose the hoteliers don't care if they rent the rooms at their prices or not - they will at least have obtained all the necessary permits for the future.

+10-