MALLORCA would be ‘shooting itself in the foot’ if it passed new controversial holiday rental laws, some local estate agents have claimed.
It comes after some 60% of holiday rental property owners said they would sell up if the new plan, which includes introducing a 60 day per year letting limit, becomes law.
The drastic proposal from Mallorca Council has divided the island into seven sections and each has different rules depending on several criteria and how ‘saturated’ they are.
‘Saturated’ referes to the percentage of its properties which are holiday rentals.
“Of course protected green areas need restrictions,” Amanda Butler of MJC Properties told the Olive Press, “but the island relies mostly on tourism and every year the government celebrates how many more visitors are coming here, so limiting their accommodation options in hotspots like Calvia or Palma is going to be like shooting itself in the foot.”
Alex Schmitz, from Only Mallorca, which has been on the island for 20 years, blasted the proposal as ‘discriminatory’.
“If you own a property you should be able to rent it how you wish,” he told the Olive Press, “It’s discriminatory to home owners who have properties in areas deemed ‘saturated’.
“The government is being pressured by the hotel industry.”
Under the proposal, popular areas could see strict limitations on holiday rentals and Palma, which is not included in the plan, is set to create its own.
Pollensa has the most tourist rentals with more than 12,000, followed by Alcudia with more than 10,000. Meanhwhile, inland towns will be made more available to tourist rentals in the hope that it will boost visitor numbers.
Areas in the Tramuntana mountain range, where environmental, historic and cultural protection are a top priority, will have the tightest restrictions.
Nils Farah, from Farah Homes, said the plan will disadvantage those who own houses in saturated areas and those who want to rent out their second homes, but added that there are positives.
“People with apartments will find it easier to rent them out as they will have the opportunity to apply for a licence, which is actually a good thing,” he said.
Minister of land and infrastructures, Mercedes Garrido, said the ‘the zoning seeks a fair distribution of the vacation rental business.’
She added that the aim is ‘to preserve the right to access decent housing for Mallorcans and residents’.
“Mallorca is a limited land with a fragile environment,” she said, “a balance has been sought to prevent the human footprint from deteriorating our environment”.
Town halls have until the end of February to try and amend the plan.