Holiday rentals Mallorca – the new regulations 2018

Those wishing to rent out their property to tourists should first make sure that all requirements are met.

It was more or less a year ago when it all happened: The Balearic government passed a moratorium concerning holiday rental and for one year no further permits for holiday renting were to be issued – the numbers of tourists was rising too quickly, was given as the reason.

After a tough struggle there is now a political agreement and since the 30th July 2018 licenses can once again be applied for. The island government plans at first to allocate 20.000 beds for holiday guests, and in total this should become 30.000 with the rest following within the next two years (apart from this there will be 10.000 new tourist places allocated to hotels).

For owners in possesion of a licence nothing changes as protection of acquired rights applies.

Two Spanish local media, Ultima Hora and Diario Mallorca, reported extensively on the development of the law and its consequences. We have summarized the most important points for you:

Who is allowed to rent?

According to the law a new property will not be licensed during the first 5 years (after completion) but this does not depend on the duration of the ownership by the individual owner.

If a property is in the right area and older than 5 years, the buyer can apply for a license immediately. But still he must meet the very strict requirements of the provincial government and purchase each guest bed.

The good news for those already in possession of a licence is that nothing will change as this falls under the protection of acquired rights. The objects offered for rent are limited to three per owner.

What may be rented?

Detached houses, but also holiday apartments in residential buildings provided that the other owners agree and that the properties are located in one of the approved zones. No new country hotels or golf course projects will be approved by the island council.

What does the property need to offer?

The object to be rented needs a certificate of habitability (‘cédula de habitabilidad’) and an energy certificate (‘certificado energetico’) must be available. Social housing is categorically excluded. Another prerequisite is that for every four guest-beds there must be a bathroom, and in the case of a holiday apartment in a residential building the apartment must have its own electricity and water meter.

In areas in which holiday rentals are restricted the property must be the main residence of the owner. All these regulations, however, only apply to those objects which have not yet been issued with an official licence to rent.

In which locations can properties be rented out?

The zone plan referred to as PIAT is the central point of the framework of the touristic rental law: It distinctly differentiates between areas which are touristically at full capacity and those which could still tolerate guests where during the whole year rentals to holidaymakers are allowed. There are some areas where rentals are completely prohibited, for example holiday homes on the Playa de Palma or, more precisely, from Es Carnatge (Can Pastilla) as far as the border with Llucmajor in Arenal. The same applies to countryside protected areas and industrial and commercial areas.

Then there are various places considered to be ‘sensitive’ – these include around 31 places, for example certain sections of Deià, Pollença, Sóller, Ses Salines and also in general rural areas where renting is restricted. In sensitive and ‘saturated’ areas there is a 60-day rule which restricts the renting of certain objects to a maximum of 2 months per year. This is, for example, the coastlines close to Palma such as south-west Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponça and Peguera and south-east Arenal, Cala Blava and Son Verí Nou.

The town of Palma is excluded from the zoning plan and the town council has made its own rules. The rule is that the rental of apartments in residential buildings is forbidden but allowed with detached houses. The zoning plan with its different, colour-coded zones and the corresponding breakdown can be found at:

How can I get a licence?

The procedure is still very complicated. The holiday home must be situated in a zone where rental is possible according to the zoning plan. First a corresponding certificate must be applied for with the municipality responsible.

Should the object be an apartment in a residential complex/building an owners’ meeting must be held and must approve the rental.

Now a licence must be applied for at the tourist ministery of the Balearic government (Conselleria de Innovación, Investigación y Turismo). If this is approved a registration number is issued for the object in question. Now, the individual tourist places (guest beds) must be purchased and last but not least, a ‘DRIAT’ (declaration to start a tourist activity’) must be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism.

Only then it is possible to proceed. In order to check that all is taking its course there will be an app in the future which can be controlled by the tourist himself. With the ‘holiday rental check Mallorca’ the tourist can check via the registration number whether the rental is actually approved. Without a doubt the authorities will exercise more control.

What will it cost?

Anyone who has managed to acquire a registration number for a property must pay for each guest bed individually. One bed in a detached house costs 3.500 euros, and a bed in a holiday apartment 875 euros. In the case of the 60-day regulation a tourist place costs 291.67 euros. Payment in instalments is possible. The final question is:

What happens to the licence when I sell?

The licences have differing lengths of validity – new licences for holiday homes are permanent and can, therefore, be sold together with the property. With holiday apartments, however, which have received their first licence, these are valid for 5 years after which time they are cancelled. Since, however, the Balearic government intends to reduce the total number of holiday places in the mid-term, expired licences should not be reassigned. Currently, the total number of guest beds is limited to 430.000 in Mallorca, of which 115.000 are for holiday rentals and the remainder (315.000) for hotels.

The first license for holiday apartments is valid for 5 years.

(Sources: Mallorca Zeitung und Mallorca Magazin)