Balearic Tourism Law: The reform passes

Update: On 8 August, the Balearic Parliament approved Law 6/2017 which will activate new rules established by the government. this means that from this week, local authorities could take legal action against landlords and rental camps who are not complying with the new law. some sanctions have already been given, as well as an adaptation period of 15 days for online platforms.

The last 18th of July, the Balearic Parliament passed the reform of the Tourism Law from 2012, a year later than authorities announced. This regulation was born with the aim of limiting the role of holiday rentals in the Balearic Islands and aims to stop fraud around this industry.

Ibiza -Eivissa - Dalt Vila

Until now, holiday rentals were limited to detached and semi-detached-houses. Holiday rental apartments were able to use a loophole in the Urban Rental Law from 1994 (LAU in Spanish) to allow for short-term renting, thus avoiding the strict requirements from the current Balearic holiday rental law.

Among other measures, the new law now states that the rental period can only be up to 60 days a year. Also, licence applications have been frozen for the next 12 months until the local governments decide which areas holiday rentals will be permitted.

These measures have generated criticism from holiday rental associations as well as hotel groups as the reform of the tourism law appears to severely limit the freedom of the holiday housing sector on the islands.

As previously mentioned, local authorities will now have the power to act against illegal tourist accommodation, which has previously been a regional government matter. Francina Armengol said in Parliament that, despite a minority, illegal tourism smears the image of the Balearic Islands. The Govt intends to use this reform of the law to empower the local authorities to be able to act and deal with the issue locally.


The star concession to local municipal authorities is the freedom to establish zoning areas during the ban period, which would allow the rental of holiday homes within such areas. During the 12 months, it is intended that the municipalities will develop a tourism plan to determine which areas holiday homes will be permitted on the islands.

Among other updates, the new law establishes quality control and some minimum requirements that will, according to the Government, protect the consumer against fraud. Fines of up to € 40,000 are also expected for all owners who intend to act outside the new regulation. And online platforms will not escape punishment with a fine of up to  €400,000 if they fail to display the license number.

As has already been pointed out by the Holiday Rental Association in the Balearics (APTUR-Balear) and the Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca (FEHM), the new Law does not address the real problems regarding the control of illegal holiday rentals.

APTUR-Balear also argued that with the approval of the new measures, the possibility of holiday rental apartments are being left out.