In August, TOTN reported on the enforcement of the rental laws that has left owners of apartments (or any property without a valid rental permit) open to huge fines ranging between €20,000-€40,000; Internet platforms would face larger fines of up to €400,000. With a designated email service for neighbours to inform authorities and the first range of fines being made, the enforcement had the desired effect and many owners have removed their property from the rental market and thousands of holiday-makers have had their trips cancelled.
While the lack of long term rentals and rising property prices need to be addressed, the resulting chaos for property owners and businesses (both local and from overseas) has seen a huge backlash. Many people face losing livelihoods and many more are missing out on a holiday to a place they love and have been able to afford.
Jan Dexter of Parasol Properties has followed the activity closely and reports from the latest Foro Vacacional Meeting which was held in Alcudia two weeks ago.
There was some great advice and support from the leading members of the group, absent though was the Directora de Turismo who sent a substitute in her place while joining the talk via Skype. While the connection was not 100% reliable, what was totally clear from the Tourist Office authorities is that anyone who has been offering residential apartments to tourists for weekly rental is breaking the law and should consider themselves lucky that they haven’t been caught. She reminded everyone that holiday rental of apartments or any property with no license is an illegal activity and will be punished with fines. The Director also stressed that any type of publicity whether it’s online or physical “for rent” signs is committing a crime as it is prohibited to advertise.
However, the law is going to allow some apartment owners the opportunity to apply for a license, as long as they meet the long list of requirements and if the local Town Hall has confirmed they will accept holiday rentals in their municipality. In the new year, the Consell de Mallorca will confirm which areas will be able to apply for a license.
Regarding rentals for properties with a permit, villas, chalets, townhouses there must not be any infringement of the local by-laws, the property must have a valid cedula de habilidad which clearly shows how many places there are on offer. For example, a three-bedroomed villa offers 6 places, not 8.
While useful, the meeting came with frustrations. There was very little change to the information already out there, rather a call for patience and the acceptance that for 2018, many properties will not have a license to rent. It was pointed out that a license system and a regulation of the actual system was requested not a ban and such heavy restrictions. Disappoointment was also expressed at how it had taken two and a half years to reach this stage, leaving some to speculate that the best bet would be a change of government rather than wait for another 2 or 3 years for reforms to the law to be considered, agreed and applied.
Other issues discussed were fines for those offering one property compared to those offering 1,000, where the latter would receive a much larger fine. The price of the license was laso discussed and members of the audience pointed out that all tourist places should not be considered the same. For example a 5-star hotel should not be considered the same as a 2-star apartment.
The frustrations are clear and the consequences for those who rely on this side of the local tourist industry are looking even clearer.
What you can do is head to your local tourist board and give them your thoughts in writing. You can also write to your local mayor to urge them to accept tourist rentals in residential properties. **If you do want to send a message, TOTN can compile them all and pass on to the council, email us here**
Thanks to Jan Dexter of
Parasol Property Mallorca.