The controversial topic of whether tourism is sustaining the island or playing a part in destroying it continues to be furiously debated. In July 2017 new tourism legislation was passed by the Balearic Regional Government in a bid to regulate the growing multitude of holiday rentals and ensure access to housing for residents. The following is an overview of the new regulations:
1-Properties cannot be listed on commercials platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway, real estate websites or social networks unless they have a tourism license. Landlords will receive a fine of up to €40,000 for illegal listings and sites a penalty of up to €400,000. Furthermore, an owner can not advertise more than three properties.
2-Apartments cannot obtain a tourism license and haven’t been able to since 1999. Any apartment being rented for less than 30 days is considered a holiday rental and must be proved otherwise. Detached and semi-detached properties will not be affected by the new law.
3-Non-tourists rentals can be advertised as normal on property search engines and must provide a contract which conforms to La Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos, or Tenancy Act.
4- A moratorium on new licenses has been set for 12 months while the government decides which zones will be allowed more holiday rentals. The local authority of each locality will have the capacity to decide whether an apartment can be rented legally or not.
Guillermo Castillo of Feeling Home remains positive. From the start, the accommodation agents chose to work only with licensed properties. He says, ‘property owners have nothing to worry about as long as they have their papers in order.’ He adds that he believes it’s unlikely legal registrations will be blocked for the entire year.
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