Andratx, popular for holiday homes. | s.mono


Yesterday was the final day for amendments to the government's holiday rentals' legislation to be presented by political parties.

Podemos are critical of the government's tourism policy and the minister Biel Barceló. They have registered various amendments, one of which is that in certain parts of the Balearics an "emergency" can be declared for housing. Such a declaration would mean a ban on holiday rentals where are housing problems, such as in the centre of Palma and in the whole of Ibiza. Podemos also want to ensure that any property with some form of planning infringement cannot be used for holiday rental purposes.

The government parties, PSOE and Més, have agreed their amendments - 43 in all. One of these would set a limit on the number of properties for holiday rental that an individual could "commercialise". This, according to one of the amendments, would mean a maximum of four properties per owner. There would also be a maximum number of days for the renting out of an "habitual" residence: either 60 or 75 days.

Damià Borràs of PSOE and Toni Reus of Més yesterday announced the amendments that the government parties have added. They stressed that none of them change principal aspects of the draft legislation. They are to do with reconciling demand for holiday rentals with housing needs and with avoiding "saturation" and speculation.

With regard to the zoning for rentals, Borràs said that this will be the responsibility of the island councils. There will not be any new registrations of holiday rentals until the councils have completed their zoning procedures. They will have up to eight months from the time that the law is approved. He pointed out that zoning criteria will have to be compatible with European and national laws. The government wants to be cautious with rentals but not make them impossible.

El Pi is presenting its amendments but isn't going as far as the Partido Popular. It will seek an amendment to the whole text of the legislation and so a complete redrafting.

Toni Reus said that the schedule is for the legislation to be approved by the end of June or start of July. Some of it would, therefore, come into effect this summer.