How to apply for the tourist occupancy “plazas” in Mallorca

On 30th July 2018, the Tourist Board in Mallorca began offering for sale “plazas turísticas” to legalise holiday rentals on the island.   

A “plaza turística” could be defined as the “tourist occupancy” of tourist accommodation; the number of guests that the property can (legally) accommodate, as stipulated in the Licence of Occupation.

From this date, holiday rental home owners can request information and present the necessary documentation in order to legally rent out their properties.

The island has been mapped out in “tourist zones”, with rental restrictions imposed, based on the classification of each tourist zone.

In the most popular tourist destinations, holiday rentals will be restricted to a maximum of 60 days per year, with an extra requirement that properties may only be rented out during the peak season months of July and August for a maximum of 30 days.

An example of tourist zone restrictions are:

  • Playa de Palma were rentals are prohibited in apartments; rentals in villas is permitted for a maximum of 60 days per year – a maximum of a total of 30 days rented during July and August.
  • Villa rentals are permitted throughout the year in the city of Palma, except for zones that are considered “protected rustic areas” (suelo rústico protegido).
  • Holiday rentals are NOT permitted in coastal areas that have been designated “mature”.  These include Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponca, Peguera y s’Arenal de Llucmajor.

These restrictions only apply to properties applying for a holiday rental licence and does not affect those that have already obtained their licence prior to the approval of the tourist zones.

In order to purchase tourist occupancy licences for a holiday rental property, the property owner must present a statement of responsibility to initiative holiday rental activity - Declaración Responsable de Inicio de Actividad Turística (DRIAT) as well has have a certificate from the town hall that certifies that the property is located in a zone that permits holiday rental activity.

In the first 10 days after the plazas went on sale, 616 applications were made, accounting for 2,999 "plazas". Nearly 80% of them were for apartments. 14.1% (67) of the applications were for villas, accounting for 424 "plazas" and the remaining 6.3% (32 applications) were for main residences that would be rented for max. 60 days a year, which account for 189 "plazas". A maximum of 20,000 "plazas" are available for holiday rentals with a further 10,000 available for hotels.

Administrative Fees

The administrative fees to apply for licences varies according to municipality.  For example, in Sóller, it costs €50 to submit the application, whereas in Alcudia the rate is €70 and in Santa Margalida this increases to €100 per application.

Tourist Occupancy Licence Rates for Villas

For hotels, agritourism and villas the price per “plaza” is €3,500.  Stage payments can be made over 5 equal payments over the period of one year (€700 per fraction payment).  

The licence has no expiry date.  

For a 3-bedroom villa that sleeps 6 guests, the cost of the licence would be €3,500 x 6 = €21,000.

Tourist Occupancy Licence Rates for Apartments

For apartments, the cost per licence per tourist occupancy (plaza) is €875.  Stage payments can be made over 5 equal payments over one year (€175 per fraction payment).  

The licence is renewable every 5 years.  

A 2-bedroom apartment that sleeps 4 guests would cost €875 x 4 = €3,500

For homeowners who rent out their main residence for a maximum period of 2 months per year, the licence per occupancy costs €291.67. Stage payments can be made over 5 equal payments (of €58.33 per fraction payment) over a period of six months instead of one year (since it is assumed that most applicants will rent their property during July and August).

A 3-bedroom property that sleeps 6 guests would cost €291.67 x 6 = €1,750.02

How to Apply

The necessary steps to undertake in order to be able to legally rent out a property as holiday accommodation starts at the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) where the property is located, where the property owner must request a certificate stating that the property is located in an area that has been designated as a tourist zone, in accordance with the Consell de Mallorca and the Palma City Council.

To apply for the purchase of “plazas” – tourist occupancy licences, these are granted by the Consorcio de Mallorca, which is located in the Ministry of Tourism (Conselleria de Turismo).  You will need to present the original certificate as well as a photocopy of both the certificate from the Town Hall indicating the location of the property within a tourist zone, and certificate of Licence of First Occupation (Cédula de habitabilidad de la vivienda) which will indicate the maximum legal occupancy capacity of the property.

At the Consorcio, you will also have to submit the filled-out document to apply to purchase the “plazas turisticas” as well as the direct debit of the payment for administrative fees incurred for submission, which varies depending on the municipality, as indicated above.  Both documents are available to download from the Consorcio website.

The Consorcio is responsible for calculating the price to be paid for the legal rental of the property.  The calculation is based on the rates outlined above and the legal occupancy capacity of the property in accordance with the certificate of occupancy (Cédula de habitabilidad de la vivienda).

The property owner has to pay for the number of “plazas” legally permitted according to the certificate of occupancy, regardless of how many rooms/plazas they actually make available for rental in the property.   

For example, a property owner with a 4-bedroom property that can accommodate up to 8 people, that chooses to rent out his main residence during the summer months only, but shuts off access to one bedroom in order to store the family’s personal effects, will have to purchase licences for EIGHT “plazas”.

Once the purchase of the “plazas” has been authorised and the first payment (in the stage payment plan) has been made, all the documentation required to obtain the necessary licence for holiday rental activity can be presented.

Below is a list of the documents that must be presented to obtain the licence:

  1. Identity documents i.e. NIE, DNI

  2. Certificate from the municipality showing that the property is located in an area where holiday rental activity is permitted in accordance with the tourist zoning.

  3. Certificate accrediting the acquisition of tourist occupancy “plazas”, obtained from the Consortium of the Ministry of Tourism (El Consorcio del Conselleria de Turismo).

  4. For multi-family properties, such as apartments within an apartment block or community of owners, or properties subject to horizontal ownership (ETVPL), documentation proving that the community of owners allows holiday rentals.

  5. For the rental of main residence for a maximum of 60 days per year (ETV/60) current certificate of “empadronamiento” indicating the owner of the property as the resident of the property.

  6. Modernisation Plan (Annex 6 of Decree 20/2015) – self assessment document available to download on the Dirección General de Turismo website).

  7. Proof of payment of the corresponding administrative charge using the form Model 046 from the Agencia Tributaria website.

Failure to obtain the necessary documentation and licences to carry out holiday rental activities could lead to fines or sanctions.

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