Pablo Zubicaray, pictured here with Marian Muro, the Catalonia tourism director-general, during a conference in Palma. | Pere Bota


Representatives of the holiday rentals' sector met tourism minister Biel Barceló and tourism director-general Pilar Carbonell yesterday. They presented their "manifesto" for holiday rentals and made it clear that all legal channels are being explored to stop Balearic legislation.

Pablo Zubicaray, the president of the Fevitur Spanish federation of holiday rental associations, said that there are two avenues at present. One is for the Madrid government to appeal the Balearic legislation to the Constitutional Court. The second is to obtain the signatures of fifty members of Congress - likely to be from the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos - to enable the legislation to be placed before the Court. There is a deadline of 31 October for this to be done.

Zubicaray insisted that the Balearic law does not regulate the tourist use of rentals but prohibits it. "Complying with all the requirements will be almost impossible. We believe that it is a covert ban." He argued that the legislation only favours other types of accommodation and warned that businesses will be forced to close because of the falloff in rental activity. He expressed some confidence in there being "clarifications" regarding rental requirements in what will be another amendment of the tourism law that the Balearic government is working on. Among these clarifications, he identified the fact that the legislation introduced in the summer clashes with aspects of the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (tenancy act).

Carbonell said that she valued the exchange of views and that the purpose of the legislation is "to open the possibility of making properties legal", by which she meant apartments. She added that over the coming months there will be further meetings to deal with issues "that have problems of interpretation", such as permissions for rental from residents' communities. Carbonell explained that the draft of the second amendment of the tourism law is being prepared and that the ministry "will try to give an answer to questions" raised by the rentals' lobby.