Tourists who have made bookings could well find that they are cancelled.

10-08-2017Archive

The law on rentals for tourists is already having an impact. Owners of apartments are starting to cancel bookings, fearing the fines of between 20,000 and 40,000 euros. Adverts for apartment accommodation on websites are being removed for the same reason. The Aptur holiday rentals association has advised its members to take down any advert which is for an illegal apartment and to do this immediately.

Owners are not the only ones who are worried and who are also uncertain of the situation. Their clients - tourists - share their worries and uncertainties. Aptur notes that clients will have paid for airline tickets and, in the majority of cases, also paid a deposit.

At this time of the summer, Aptur adds, it is difficult for tourists to find alternative accommodation. If it is a licensed rental, such as a villa or stand-alone house, it will cost much more than an apartment, assuming one is even available. For the moment, it doesn't seem as if the hoteliers are necessarily gaining extra business. The Majorca Hoteliers Federation says that it is too early to assess the impact of the legislation.

Aptur notes that it has been inundated with calls from owners who have apartments on websites such as Airbnb or HomeAway. The government now treats any property advertised on these sites and others as "tourist". As apartments do not have a tourism ministry licence for tourist rental (and never have had), they are automatically deemed to be illegal.

Overwhelmingly, it is apartments that are causing the anxieties. Any type of property that is advertised as a holiday rental without the appropriate licence is liable for a fine, which has always been the case. But apartments are the real target of the legislation. Under the 1999 tourism law they were excluded from categories of property which could be licensed. The 2012 tourism law reinforced this by prohibiting apartments from being marketed with terminology saying they were for tourists: adverts could not, therefore, include terms such as "tourist", "holiday" or "vacation".

A way round this was the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos, usually referred to in English as the tenancy act. A national law, it sets no minimum period on the length of a let. Perfectly legitimately, owners were using this law for apartment rentals. So long as they were not advertised as being "holiday", no services were being provided, and a lease contract was drawn up, they were within the law. In effect, the Balearic government's legislation, which considers any rental of fewer than 30 days to be for tourism purposes, has ended this. It will be very difficult for an owner to prove that a rental of less than a month is not touristic. And it is down to the owner to prove this.

Aptur's legal services are saying that although the tenancy act is a national law and doesn't define a minimum period, this does not prevent the Balearic government from fining a let that is for less than a month.

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Daily Bulletin / Hace 5 days

Ian, the law doesn't totally stop lets of less than a month. Owners would need to prove that a let of 30 days or under is not "tourist". Someone with a job contract that can be shown as evidence, one would think, should be proof.

+3-

Ian Gregory / Hace 5 days

This is terrible for these people. Ok yes they should have the right licences but to say a let if less than 30 days is classed as tourist is discrimination surely? I quite often work away from home and I have even worked out if the UK before, some if these jobs have been less than 30 days and yet I'm not on holiday, I'm working!!!

+2-

Holidaymaker / Hace 6 days

Well although I own an apt myself in Mallorca I have just booked myself 2 weeks in Croatia next year and am now considering selling my apartment ... not because of rental laws as I don't rent mine out its because going to mallorca at the moment is feeling more and more like gate crashing a party and you not welcolm ?

+13-

palmadave / Hace 7 days

I don,t understand the problem. Get a licence, quote the number in your ads etc and carry on as a tax paying small business.................unless of course you aparments are in a community block where other tax paying residents live.

+7-

V. / Hace 7 days

I corrected my own spelling typo and got a red mark for doing so! Lol!

+-7-

V. / Hace 7 days

Impuesto (typo!)

+-5-

V. / Hace 7 days

Liz: OK I thought you were referring to the Inpuesto de Patrimonio for residents.

Frank: It’s total assets of €700k excluding habitual residence up to €300k. That excludes the average person and only includes the wealthy. But the wealthy often don’t consider themselves to be wealthy…..

+3-

Liz / Hace 7 days

All property owners pay tax each year even if you only own a studio worth next to nothing, I'm talking about the non residents tax. Although I can foresee far fewer paying this tax in the future when we've all offloaded our properties at reduced prices.

+8-

Frank / Hace 8 days

Doesnt everyone pay wealth tax? It kicks in after €750k per person. So a couple owning a villa would pay it if it was worth more than €1.5m and as we all know that only buys a piddling little place somewhere tumbleweed like Alcudia.

+-1-

V. / Hace 8 days

Wealth tax that we all have to pay? Only if you're wealthy! I don't think we all enter into that category. Income tax is what the majority of us should be paying.

+5-