Politicians and the “Airbnb model.”

By | Category: Travel rumblings
poster advertising Mallorca

is the property you rent in Mallorca properly registered? If not the ban from July 1st may affect you

A constant complaint about Airbnb and other private accommodation marketing sites is that, by default, they cause local rents to rise.

Having made it much easier for flat owners to make money from their accommodation, the development of the Airbnb type model has also encouraged investors to buy up property and make it available for rental. Across the world from the Caribbean to Spain and Greece, locals have protested and complained about how expensive it is becoming for locals to rent in their hometowns.

Now Palma on the island of Mallorca, and a very popular destination for British holidaymakers, is to ban flat owners from renting their apartments to travellers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a measure. The council doesn’t seem to have widened the ban to include villas and houses because one of the local English language newspapers, the Majorca Daily Bulletin says that “holiday rentals will be permitted in stand-alone properties (and presumably semi-detached ones as well) anywhere in the city except on rustic land, around the airport and on industrial estates.”

The ban will be introduced from July 1st.

Another reason for the ban, according to the government, is that the number of non-licensed apartments on offer to tourists increased by 50% between 2015 and 2017.Non-licenced premises pay no government taxes so the government is also losing potential revenue. The government also says that rents in Palma have reportedly increased 40% since 2013.

If you have booked a holiday via Airbnb, booking.com or one of the other private accommodation booking sites for dates after July 1st in Mallorca, check if the holiday let will be impacted.

Residents seem to be happy with the local council’s decision. Investors aren’t and the local hotel association, Habtur, says that owners will be financially impacted as will be restaurants and shops, presumably based on the idea that fewer tourists will go to Palma.

The question for flat owners elsewhere is whether other places will follow Palma’s lead. Barcelona may be next and possibly Venice. In one way it is objectionable stopping those who live in their own flats to make a little money by renting them out. The objection surely should be to buy-to-let owners who have seen an investment opportunity and jumped on the bandwagon and thus caused property values to rise. But the rules in Palma will hit both.

Maybe the Mallorcan government doesn’t mind as it is also likely to deter some tourists and for those areas like Palma claiming to have too many tourists that will please voters. The Spanish prime minister,  Mariano Rajoy, has accused the goverment on the island of demonising tourism and claiming that they don’t understand how modern tourism works. If that is the case, it isn’t just the Mallorcan government that doesn’t understand the “Airbnb model”

Surely politicians can devise a plan that curtails the abusers of the system rather than legitinate householders?

Tags: , , , , ,