Tourists in Palma heading for the Intermodal Station. | Archive

While the tourism ministry has been making much of large fines issued to websites such as Airbnb for infringements of holiday rentals legislation, its inspectors have not been ignoring individual owners.

Last year, the ministry's inspection service took out 119 proceedings for illegal renting, i.e. not having a holiday rentals licence. The maximum fine for this is 40,000 euros, but the total amount that the ministry has demanded shows that lower fines have tended to be issued - around 1.5 million euros; the maximum in all cases would amount to 4.76 million.

The maximum fine for websites and businesses is 400,000 euros. Fines levied against Airbnb and others (300,000 euros) are a matter for the courts.

In all, the inspection service opened 200 proceedings in 2018. As well as the 119 for holiday rentals, these included 23 related to restaurants and the complementary sector, twelve for car-hire firms and eleven for over-occupancy of hotel rooms.