The municipal government of Palma de Mallorca surprised many this Tuesday with a controversial measure. The city council of the Balearic capital has decided to ban, as of next July, the tourist rental of holiday apartments. The city council, governed by PSOE, Més and Podem, has decided to promote this provision of its new Tourism Law so that, as of the summer of 2018, the residents’ right to housing is protected. The reason? The spectacular rise in rental prices in the city (of around 40% in recent years), influenced by the increase in the rental of tourist flats.
This decision will be a major blow to digital rental platforms, which have seen their business increase with the explosion of the collaborative economy. According to a study by the government team, almost half of the city’s holiday apartments are rented for seven or eight months, to the detriment of long-term residential rentals. In fact, Palma is, after Barcelona, the second city in Spain where the citizens pay more money for the rent.
However, the appearance of this type of holiday apartment has also meant savings for national and international tourists themselves, who have had new opportunities to rent at competitive prices. Now, guests who want to spend a few days in a rented apartment in Palma will not be able to do so in a flat, but instead in a single-family residence such as a house or a cottage, which is probably not the most cost-efficient option.
What is certain is that hotels and traditional tourist accommodations will benefit from the measure, and that this may be reflected in the Balearic economy, since a large part of the holiday apartments offered on these platforms are rented irregularly (to date, only 645 homes out of 11,000 are licensed to be rented to tourists, according to the Palma Town Hall).
The issue of vacation apartment rentals promises to remain very much alive. Do you agree with the measure? Will it affect your vacation this year?