Property owners who rent out their residences to tourists face even greater restrictions if hotel lobbyists have their way. A powerful group is insisting that a total ban on properties in residential buildings be enacted in a move that could affect thousands of legally obliging expatriates.
The Mallorcan Federation of Hoteliers has demanded that the renting of terraced houses to tourists be banned and that those who do lease properties cannot use them for any other purposes.
Behind the move is the notion that the rules governing renting be identical to the legal apparatus supervising hotels. The hoteliers suggest that detached houses, for example, which are currently legally rented to tourists should be dedicated solely and exclusively to the purpose of tourist rental.
They argue that they cannot change the use of their hotels and that they want to compete with tourist housing rentals on equal ground saying that it makes no sense to change from a residential house to a tourist rental property depending on the season of the year.
Hoteliers also want restrictions on terraced houses which at the moment can be legally rented to tourists.
Balearic President Francina Armengol and vice-president and councillor for Tourism Biel Barcelo emphasised the idea that the solution can only come out of a social debate involving various parties including neighbourhood groups, business representatives, political leaders and specialists in urban planning and tourism.