Hands up if you want holiday rentals. | Miquel Àngel Cañellas

The Balearic parliament has approved the government's holiday rentals' legislation, but the last-minute interventions of Podemos have meant that apartments are, by and large, still subject to the 2012 tourism law.

The Podemos member of parliament, Salvador Aguilera, had tweeted prior to the debate that Podemos would vote against apartment holiday rental, and so the wording of the legislation neither authorises this nor prohibits it.

Podemos had insisted on there being a declaration in the bill of "emergency housing" for Palma and Ibiza. The government wasn't willing to include this - it would in effect mean a ban on holiday rentals in Palma and the whole of Ibiza - because it would clash with Palma town hall and island council powers. The government also argued that zoning of areas for rental (by the town hall and island councils) would cover this "emergency".

However, the legislation does make provision for the holiday rental of an "habitual dwelling" for a maximum of sixty days a year. This applies to apartments and indeed to houses. But these habitual dwellings would still be subject to the zoning. If they fall outside a zone, then the provision won't apply.

Tourism minister Biel Barceló said that there is now a twelve-month moratorium on new licences for holiday rentals. Essentially, the island councils and town halls have been given four more months to determine the zones than had been previously envisaged.

Of other measures, the number of properties that one owner can market will be limited to three and the maximum fines for advertising an unlicensed holiday rental will be 40,000 euros (for an owner) and 400,000 euros for a website, such as Airbnb.  

Owners of holiday rentals (villas, houses) which are already licensed will be unaffected by the legislation, and they will include owners with properties which might eventually not be in zones for holiday rental.

The approval yesterday is certainly not the last word. There will now be "developments" of the legislation. An example is the age of a property that can be rented. Podemos want this to be increased to ten years; the government has stipulated five. There is also the possibility of something more definite emerging regarding apartments. Speaking after the debate and vote, Barceló alluded to there being later regulatory development.