Some of the tenants in a communal area. | Emilio Queirolo


On November 21, a Palma police officer was arrested by the National Police for renting out storage rooms as living accommodation. A total of 73 units, no larger than 15 square metres, do not have habitability certificates. The tenants do not have rental contracts.

The activity is illegal and the officer faces a trial, charged with the fraudulent management of accommodation and with another charge of fraud. In addition, he is accused of a crime against moral integrity and a further one of having facilitated illegal immigration. The status of some tenants in Spain is "irregular". He is alleged to have registered twelve people fraudulently.

At liberty on charges, it has been reported that he is still charging rent. He denies this. But a group of tenants who live in units on Avda. Joan Miró say otherwise. They have stopped paying him rent. There are two reasons for this. The first is that they don't know if or when they will be kicked out once the case goes to court. The other is that he has seemingly increased rents and the price of bills that are paid in addition - doubled the payments, they claim.

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WhatsApp messages would appear to confirm this. For example, one tenant has been asked to pay 150 euros for electricity. "It makes no sense," he says. In all, he's been asked to pay more than 700 euros for December. "It's crazy."

There are tenants who believe that he is trying to force them out and this is because they went public in making statements to the media. In one instance, bizarre though it may sound, he apparently went with National Police officers to one of these units that is occupied by a woman with two children as he was seeking to evict them for non-payment of rent. As there was no rental contract, he couldn't evict them.

The officer insists no tenant on Avda. Joan Miró has paid him "for some time" and has denied having sent messages with financial amounts to certain tenants in recent days.