Biel Barceló (centre) with Pilar Costa and Marc Pons at a press conference to explain the decree.

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The regional government yesterday approved the decree that amends the recent holiday rentals' legislation. The decree was necessary in order to deal with the legal limbo created by the opposition of Podemos to a specific article in the legislation: the commercialisation of apartments as tourist rental could neither be authorised nor prohibited.

The government has accepted the inclusion of the concept of housing emergency in the legislation. Podemos had insisted on this. In effect, it enables the total ban of apartment holiday rentals in Palma and on the island of Ibiza (with one small exception).

There may well be such a ban in Ibiza. In Palma, however, and despite the town hall itself having approved a ban that was called for by the federation of residents associations, it is possible that the town hall will follow the example of Amsterdam. This is that there can be the tourist rental of an "habitual residence" up to a maximum of sixty days per year.

The decree has to now gain parliament's ratification, which will be next month. Once there is verification, another obstacle created by the Podemos opposition will be overcome. Because of the legal limbo, it would have been very difficult for the government to issues fines for both owners and websites advertising unlicensed holiday rental accommodation.

The legislation also includes a requirement for all holiday rental accommodation advertised on the internet to include the appropriate licence registration number. If it doesn't, it will be considered to be illegal. In addition, any property to be let for under thirty days will be deemed to be a holiday rental and therefore subject to all the relevant provisions in the legislation. This is the government's way of closing the tenancy act loophole on short-term rentals that are in fact for holiday purposes.