Large owners of holiday rental properties are defined as those with more than ten. | Patricia Lozano


The government wants to put a stop to the way in which owners of numerous properties to rent publicise these through intermediaries for holiday rental, such as Airbnb.

This isn't currently included in the bill approved by the cabinet, so it would need to be added as an amendment during the parliamentary process. The amendment is due to come from tourism minister Biel Barceló's Més party, which is working on its drafting.

Implicit to this amendment is an intention to define how many properties one owner can legally rent out, something which may well make its way into another item of legislation - the government's housing bill. The objective would be to put an end to there being a small number of owners who control a large part of the market.

The amendment will therefore stipulate that there are restrictions on owners who will have to abide by demands for social housing. The threshold for defining "large owners" is more than ten properties.

A study by the Exceltur alliance for touristic excellence has shown that two-thirds of owners in the Balearics have more than one property. As for marketing intermediaries, Airbnb acknowledges that it hosts owners with single properties and also these large owners.

The environmentalist group Terraferida, which has been publicising the extent of what it says are Airbnb-hosted rentals in the Balearics, claims that an Airbnb representative was recently in Majorca and met a group of people who are involved in holiday rentals. Terraferida further claims that the representative advised splitting up the properties so that it would not be so evident that they belonged to the same company or individual. As an example of this large ownership, Terraferida identified a "Bettina", who offers more than 700 properties in Majorca.