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Holiday lettings in Mallorca – legal or not?

May 19, 2013

Holiday lettings in Mallorca

The laws relating to holiday lettings have been a “grey area” for some time. A recent article in Spanish Insight clarifies the situation.

The situation regarding holiday rentals in Mallorca has been somewhat confused for many years. Technically a Touristic License is required to rent out either an apartment or an independent property, such as a villa or country house.

In practice it is difficult to obtain such a license, particularly for an apartment. Yet many properties are rented out, without issue, on the basis that they are not “commercial” holiday rentals.

Recent changes in the laws relating to tourism in the Balearics include further provisions dealing with holiday lettings. It appears the situation is largely unchanged. I.e. it is legal to rent an apartment provided it is not for “touristic” (holiday rentals), unless the property has the appropriate license.

In effect, this means that you should not have a problem renting your property out, provided you pay attention to the letter of the law and manage the letting accordingly – the key is in not presenting or managing the letting specifically for holiday use.

If all this seems rather confusing, it is worth reflecting on the background to this issue.

On one side, hotel owners lobby the government to outlaw or restrict holiday rentals. Their contention is that it is counter-productive to the tourist industry, although perhaps it is simply that they want less competition for their hotels.

On the other side, the holiday rental sector is a fundamentally important part of the tourism sector in Spain, as well as being a key supporting influence on property prices.

So the legislation tries to appease the hotel owners while allowing a route to property owners to rent out on a short-term basis.

There is an excellent article with further information on Spanish Property Insight: Tourist rental licenses in the Balearics explained.

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