NEW legislation could prevent home owners from renting their properties to holidaymakers.
If passed by the Senate, it will become illegal for private homes to be let to tourists on a short term basis.
In a bid to help the struggling hotel sector, the government has voted to update the Urban Rental Law (LAU) which will hand regulation of the rental area to the regional authorities.
Hotel owners argue that the practice of independently renting properties to punters over the internet is undermining the tourist trade and creating unfair competition.
It is thought around over 20,000 properties would be affected should the law come into effect.
“While it is true there is a lot of clandestine renting, we are against this,” explains David Tornos, president of Asotur, an organisation that handles property rentals for tourists.
“We pay all our taxes and do things by the book, but the hotels think we are pirates. We just hope they don’t bring this law in and leave us alone.”
Lawyer Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, insists the new law could actually drive a lot more people into illegal renting.
He said: “Providing rentals are carried out legally there should not be a problem. But if this law becomes too restrictive it will drive more people into clandestine rentals.”