The apartment block in Palma where the rent is doubling. | Jaume Morey

The Bishopric of Majorca is in the process of revising the rental values of its properties and bringing them in line with the rest of the market.

Tenants have been advised over the past three months that when existing contracts expire there will be increases. One Palma resident, who rents a church property on the Paseo Marítimo, has been told that the monthly payment will almost double from 530 to 1,050 euros. The Bishopric says that the new price hasn't been finalised as there are some negotiations over the new contract. It adds that the present rent for the area in which the apartment is located is below the market price.

The tenant, who takes in 1,200 euros a month, has made a counteroffer of 50% of her monthly salary. She points out that during the five years she has been renting the apartment she has never missed a payment. Friends say that she finds it strange that there should be a threat to evict her if she doesn't abide with the new terms.

The church notes that the rental price includes community charges and says that it has made a further offer, which is currently being looked at by a lawyer.

The Bishopric has other types of property which it rents out, and the revenue it obtains from rentals goes towards social assistance and the maintenance of church heritage.