On the same day that Theresa May was triggering Article 50 of Brexit last week, the Town Hall of Palma on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, made a shock announcement to ban all tourist rental apartments in the city of Palma this summer sending holidaymakers who have booked their accommodation into a panic.
Property owners who flaunt the ban and honour the bookings they have taken from visitors to the island this summer risk being slapped with a £34,215 fine (€40,000).
Although the incoming Mayor of Palma announced last week plans to ban tourist rental apartments outright this summer in the city of Palma, it would appear he has jumped the gun since such a law isn’t even legally binding. It would have to be approved by the regional government of the Balearics (the Govern Balear), which covers Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
The Tourism Department of the “ Govern Balear” is currently in the process of drafting new regulations to tackle the holiday rental industry but these are not due to come into effect before the beginning of 2018, at the earliest.
Incredulously, the Town Hall of Palma has reiterated that it has every intention to carry out the ban on all short-stay apartment rentals in the city this summer, even if the regional law is not passed in time.
Currently, all holiday rental apartments in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera are unregulated. The ruling does not affect holiday rental villas which have a Tourist Licence registration number.
Last summer, over 6.5 million holidaymakers visited the Balearic Islands including over 1.3 million Brits flocking to the Mediterranean islands including the party island of Ibiza.
The purpose of this ban is to tackle the growing problem of spiralling long term rental prices and availability affecting local residents. However, figures from the Balearic Government appear to contradict this reason behind the summer holiday apartment ban.
Over two thirds (67%) of holidaymakers to the islands actually stay in hotels, not self-catering accommodation, which would suggest that they are not impacting on the long term rental accommodation shortage.
Furthermore, a recent study indicates that over 16,000 apartments sit empty and unrented, either to tourists or long term residents, which amounts to 9% of the total number of apartments in the city. Looking further afield, this figure improves dramatically to just 71,255 “empty nests” representing just 2.1% of the total number of apartments across the whole of the Balearic Islands.
Spain-Holiday.com is the leading holiday rental website dedicated to Spain. The company, with its headquarters in Malaga, have been reassuring concerned holidaymakers, over the past few days, that their accommodation booking is safe.