Majorca to ban Airbnb to return housing to local residents

Published on : Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MajorcaAirbnb, the online rentals marketplace, criticised plans of the incoming mayor of Palma, Antoni Noguera, to outlaw holiday apartment rentals within the municipality.

 

Airbnb said that renting out apartments as holiday lets “offers the middle class a very important extra income of revenue” and expressed its intention of working with Palma town hall to find a better solution to the problem of a lack of fair-priced rental properties in Palma.

 

Airbnb said in a statement that, if the town hall goes ahead with the ban, it will affect thousands of families in the municipality.

 

Antoni Noguera, currently the city’s second in command, had said that he will attempt to impose harsh restrictions on apartment rentals, such as Airbnb flats, in an effort to return housing to local residents.

 

He has since met with Airbnb and said that he will impose limit on renters, as is used in Amsterdam, where owners can only let out their room for 60 days of the year.

 

The city and island as a whole is increasingly coming under pressure from an expanding tourism sector with critics lamenting a lack of action to protect the region from unchecked growth.

 

Local campaign group Terraferida, which opposes the “growth or death” model it says is applied to Majorca, claims that Airbnb had 14,858 properties on the Balaeric island last month, accommodating some 109,00 people, a figure it says is double the same period last year – Airbnb says it has 5,000 listings in Palma. Last spring an apparent resentment of visitors bubbled to the surface, with graffiti appearing in the capital stating: “Tourist go home.”

 

The current mayor Jose Hila said that the possible zoning of rentals would limit holiday apartments in certain areas, such as the city centre.

 

The Balearics government is understood to be developing a tourism law to cover its islands, which could override any decision made by authorities in Palma.

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