Illegal holiday lets are blamed for contributing to tourist overcrowding and to the housing crisis. | Daniel Espinosa


The Balearic government's administrative simplification decree, published on Tuesday, gives approval for the sealing-off of illegal holiday lets.

This provision in the decree will allow island councils and town halls to act against illegal lets; tourism inspectors will be empowered to seal off properties.

The government also wants local police forces to be involved in the inspection work. Vice-president Antoni Costa said on Tuesday that a decree amendment to this effect will be presented.

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Responding to the decree, Marc Pons of the opposition PSOE expressed doubts as to whether this will be possible. Only a court can order the sealing-off of a property.

Illegal holiday lets are just one issue covered in a wide-ranging decree by which 46 laws are being partially or substantially modified. These include laws for nature conservation, environmental impact study, waste and roads. Among other specifics is that island councils will be given the possibility of privatising ITV (MOT) inspections.

Pons said that the decree represents a return to the urban planning model of the 1980s and demonstrates government hypocrisy. While there is talk of setting limits, the decree approves development measures "like never before". "It's nonsense."

Costa insisted that administrative streamlining will not mean that there will be more lack of control - "quite the opposite." There are, he noted, sustainability measures regarding the water cycle, energy transition and more efficient management of tourism regulations.