People who own tourist rentals in Mallorca have been sent a letter telling. | Ultima Hora

People who own tourist rentals in Mallorca have been sent a letter telling them that they will have to pay a new fee of 35 euros per month or 420 euros a year if they’re open for 12 months.

The letter from the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores or SGAA states:

“This entity has verified that in the business of which you are the owner works and services of the repertoire administered by the SGAE, the Association for the Management of Intellectual Rights and Society of Performers of Spain. "The licence for prior authorisation of the authors or owners of the works is required, in accordance with the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law, as well as the payment of the corresponding remuneration rights accrued by said public communication.”

It also informs owners that they have 7 days to contact an SGAE representative or face legal action and if both sides fail to reach an amicable settlement, the SGAE may claim for all court delays up to a maximum of 5 years from the first notification, plus the violation investigation costs.

Most holiday property owners say they’ve never heard from, or been visited by anyone from the SGAE and both Habtur and the Asociación Balear de Alquiler de Viviendas Vacacionales have questioned the reasoning behind the new charges.

“This type of letter began to be received in the middle of last season and is now being re-emphasised in the face of the imminent full opening of tourist establishments in the Balearic Islands,” said Asociación de Viviendas Vacacionales President, Miguel Cifre. “Holiday rentals are very different from hotels because our customers arrive fully equipped technologically."

The SGAE’s claim will affect more than 3,000 holiday home owners in Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands.