A person looking on a computer for a holiday home. | R.F.


Since Balearic holiday rentals legislation came into effect in July 2017, the tourism ministry has fined only four owners for offering illegal accommodation without the necessary licence. These owners have each been fined 20,001 euros. In all, 45 cases have been opened, so there are 41 which have yet to be resolved.

This information was provided by the tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, following a request from Josep Melià of El Pi. The fines refer only to Majorca, as the councils on the other islands are responsible for enforcing the legislation.

Melià also wanted information regarding new licences for holiday rentals. These started to become available last August. According to figures supplied by the tourism ministry, there had been 1,964 declarations by the middle of April - these declarations being those of responsibility for a tourism activity, a necessity for obtaining a licence. Of these, 1,478 were for apartments, 381 were for stand-alone properties, and the remaining 105 were for either apartments or houses which are in zones where holiday lets are limited to a maximum of two months a year.

El Pi is a party which favours more liberal regulation of holiday rentals, and for Melià the figures reflect the "failure" of the government's legislation. He observes that although apartment holiday renting had been prohibited, there was a great deal of it. Despite the need for owners to obtain authorisations from the tourism ministry, there are still apartments without licences being offered on websites such as Airbnb. The ministry has fined four individuals, when it says that there are thousands of supposedly irregular rentals places.

Melià believes that there continues to be a high level of legal insecurity regarding holiday rentals, while the ministry has issued only a few licences when compared with the interest that owners have in renting out their properties. He wants a simpler procedure and one with the accent on quality.