Alcudia town hall has set up a specific space to deal with holiday rental certification. | Archive

Monday was the first day for owners to set in motion the process for obtaining licences for new holiday rentals. The moratorium on new licences, which was brought in last summer, was lifted because of the Council of Majorca's approval of rentals zoning on Friday last week and its initial approval of its PIAT plan for intervention in tourism areas.

The fine detail of the PIAT could take up to two years to be settled. In the meantime, the initial approval meant the release of 20,000 holiday rentals places (there will eventually be 30,000). Owners were therefore turning up at town halls on Monday to start the ball rolling.

The town halls do not issue the licences - the tourism ministry does - but they are the first port of call for obtaining a municipal certificate which verifies that a property is in a zone where rentals are allowed and that it meets certain other requirements, e.g. it must be at least five years old.

There wasn't a real rush of applications in most municipalities (Palma wasn't affected as the town hall hasn't officially published its zoning yet), but in Alcudia and Pollensa there were around 150 applications at both town halls. In Son Servera, there were only fifteen requests, and the town hall had certain queries that it wants the Council of Majorca to clear up.

In Alcudia, where a special space has been set up at the town hall to deal with requests, 40 certificates were handed out on Monday. Others will take a short time to process, as is the case in Santa Margalida, where the mayor, Joan Monjo, said that responses will be made within 48 hours.

Neither Capdepera nor Manacor was inundated; they both had to deal with around a dozen applications. In Andratx and Santanyi, one of the principal issues had to do with land classification (rural land) and whether or not properties qualified for holiday rentals places.