In July 2018 the local government released a new set of laws regarding renting out property to tourists in Mallorca. Since then we’ve been figuring out exactly what this means for home owners, potential buyers and other people interested in property investment in Mallorca. Here is what you need to know about Mallorca’s new holiday rental licences.
For continuously updated information on rental licences, please see our FAQ on the subject.
It is now again possible to apply for holiday rental licences in Mallorca.
Yes, this means that many people will be able to rent out their property through Airbnb or other rentals webpages like our own to tourists.
This blog post delves deep into the new laws, especially the differences between licensing types, and the new zoning of Mallorca. In short, we touch upon three different licences, the ETV, the ETVPL and the ETV60, before looking at the division of Mallorca into 12 zones, for each of which a specific set of licensing rules apply.
As you may recall, the whole process was recently paused as the government reviewed the rental market laws. Thus, this development will undoubtedly come as some relief for a lot of homeowners, potential buyers and property investors. Especially those who don’t plan on living on the island all year round.
Another positive is that some apartments will be able to apply for a licence. Earlier, again, there was a scare that licensing going forward would be a club for only self-standing homes, thus denying many apartment owners a rental income.
This means that many people will be able to rent out their property through Airbnb or rentals webpages like our own.
Then there is the positive that all old rental licences are still legitimate. So homeowners that already have a holiday rental licence can safely keep using that.
The downside – from a homeowner’s perspective – is that not all homes can get a rental licence. Some areas are simply considered not apt for touristic rental business. This is, of course, due to a large part of Mallorca being protected land and the fact that the regional government wishes to better control the number of tourists in Mallorca and the other Balearic islands.
More about the limitations later. For now, let’s focus on the positives: how to get the brand new Mallorca holiday rental licences – and which one to get.
There are two main things to know about the new laws on rental licences:
Let’s go through both points and unfold them in detail. Afterwards, we will touch upon some standard rules that apply for all types of licence, no matter where you live.
There are now three different types of rental licences that you can apply for in Mallorca to be able to legitimately rent out your home to tourists.
Each licence type has its own cost and applies to different home types. Which one to go for also depends on which zone your home is located in, as all three licence types – especially the ETV and the ETVPL – are only eligible in certain zones.
Below, we describe all three types in detail.
The ETV licence is the most extensive – and expensive – of the three rental licence types. It is also known as the “ETH365_uni”. First of all, it allows for year-round rentals business (implied by the “365”), but more notably this licence is the only one you don’t have to renew, it allows for indefinite touristic rentals business.
The ETV licence is the most extensive – and expensive – of the three rental licence types.
This licence type seems to be thought as a long-term investment since the price is set at €3500/guest space. What do we mean by “guest space”? That the price of the licence depends on the number of bedrooms; so an ETV licence for a romantic 1-bedroom cottage would cost 7,000 euros (as it has a guest space of 2), while an ETV licence for a 6-bedroom mansion on a mountain top would cost 77,000 euros (as it would sleep up to 12 people).
Furthermore, this licence is only eligible for homes that are self-standing (implied by “uni” in the name). Thus, apartment and most condominium owners are not able to get an ETV rental licence. More about their options in the description of the ETVPL below.
If you are looking to invest massively in real estate for rental purposes, note that a limit of three ETV licences is set for each homeowner.
As with the ETV licence, the ETVPL is a year-round licence, but it has to be renewed every five years. It is also known as an “ETH365_pluri”.
The big difference isn’t the renewal though, it’s the price. The ETVPL costs €875/guest space; 1/4 of the price of the ETV licence.
The “PL” stands for “plurifamiliar” which indicates that this is a licence for homes in buildings with more than one home in it. It’s not that simple though; the definition of “plurifamiliar” isn’t just that you share a wall, but that you share a space or a feature with a neighbour.
Ask yourself: Does my property share a feature like gym, a pool, or – as will be the rule of thumb for most apartments – a staircase with other property owners? If yes, you need to apply for the ETVPL licence or the ETV60_pluri (see below). If your home is definitely self-standing, you can not apply for an ETVPL licence.
Obviously, this will most likely be a grey area, so if you own an apartment or a condominium that shares bricks with neighbours we strongly suggest that you contact a legal advisor. If you don’t know where to start, we know some great experts in the field that we are happy to set you up with.
Another important detail about this licence is that you need the permission of the other homeowners in the building/vicinity – they need to accept that you plan to commercialise your home as a holiday rental. It remains to be seen if this means getting written consent by every homeowner, from the closest neighbours only or from a board of owners. Again, legal advice is the way to go.
This ETV60 actually covers two licences, one for self-standing homes and one for plurifamiliar homes (“ETV60_uni” and “ETV60_pluri”), but they are treated almost identically.
The ETV60 licences are holiday rental licences that – as the name suggests – allow for a maximum of 60 days of rental business per year. These 60 days has to be 2 whole months, they don’t have to be connected and only one of the two can be July or August. In other words, you have to select one or two months in your calendar year that you plan to rent out your home. And it has to be in exactly that period of time. You can’t rent out your home, say, from the 10th June to the 10th August.
The ETV60 licences are holiday rental licences that – as the name suggests – allow for a maximum of 60 days of rental business per year.
This licence costs €291,67/guest space, the price equaling 1/3 of the ETVPL and 1/12 of the ETV licence prices.
Like the ETVPL, ETV60 licences have to be renewed every five years, and if your home is not self-standing, you need the acceptance of the other homeowners.
Okay, so we’ve established that you can either apply for a licence for the whole year (the ETV and the ETVPL) or for 60 days per year (the ETV60). And we’ve learned that the type of licence you need to apply for depends if your home is indeed an 100% private property (the ETV or ETV60) or if you indeed share spaces with neighbours and/or other people (the ETVPL or ETV60).
But each of the licences are limited to certain zones on the island – and indeed in some zones none of the licences are permitted.
To go through all of the zones on the island – with their separate limitations – is a huge task. So, as we at Charles Marlow excel in knowledge on real estate and holiday rentals in the North West Coast of Mallorca, we will only delve into the zoning in this area.
Again, don’t hesitate to call or email us if you need a legal advisor’s opinion on rental licences for other areas – we are happy to put you in touch with the best there are. And we can help you understand which zone your home is located in.
The entire North West Coast is UNESCO-protected land. Therefore, the area is a big focus point for the government in its attempt to control mass tourism to the island. Below you can see the zoning of the area and a colour scheme that shows which zone each colour represents. The four colours most notable in the Tramuntana areas are:
This includes villages like Deia, Valldemossa, Soller and Fornalutx and minor hamlets like Llucalcari. In other areas the following villages are also marked as Z3: Alcudia, Banyalbufar, Cala Deia, Pollenca, Santanyí, Biniaraix, Port des Canonges, Port de Valldemossa and a few more.
This zone covers villages all over the island that aren’t consider too saturated by tourists, including mountain villages like Esporles and Bunyola.
This zone covers the vast majority of the mountains, including indeed most areas in between the above villages. In other words, the zoning varies greatly between village centre and rural land – even within the same municipality.
This zone is spread across the island-wide and is called “other touristic coastal areas”. It includes a specific zone (Z2.3) for Port de Soller.
So, what does this zoning mean in terms of which licences you can get? Let’s look at a table which connects the licence types and the zoning:
The table shows the two types of ETV60 holiday rental licences (first two columns), the ETV (third column) and the ETVPL (last column).
For all the Zone 3 villages – the ones marked as purple – only 60-day licences are available. Thus, year-round holiday rental licences are not available in these areas.
For the light blue zone of Z4.1 and the orange zone of Z2.3 (places like Port de Soller, Esporles and Bunyola) you can apply for all four licences.
For all the Zone 3 villages marked as purple – like Deia, Valldemossa, Soller and Fornalutx – only the 60-day licences are available. Year-round holiday rental licences are not available in these areas.
Finally, in the SRC, the green zone covering almost the entire rural area of the Tramuntana except for village cores is not eligible for holiday rental licences of any kind. In other words, within the same municipality some homes can get a 60-day licence, while other homes are not eligible at all.
There might be loop holes (talk to an expert), but for now it is safe to say that it will be difficult to obtain a licence if your home is placed in the Tramuntana mountains outside the main villages.
Some points to remember apply for all new licences. You should get an updated energy certificate and living certificate (the cédula) – as a few other papers need to be in order.
Also, there seems to be a general rule that the home must have been used for residential living for at least five years prior to the application. Now, we have been told that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the current homeowner must’ve lived there for five years. But newly build houses might find it difficult to get a licence, so look for legal advice if you are constructing a new home that you wish the get a holiday rental licence for.
Finally, all of the information in this blog post explains the zoning for holiday rental licences – which implies tourists that are visiting short-term (mostly). If you wish to rent out your place to tenants staying for longer than one month, this isn’t considered a short-term holiday rental and you may fall under a different category and a different law, Law of Urban Rental.
Probably not. We suggest you seek legal advice, and it’s always a good idea to go to your local town hall and discuss your options and the zoning too.
Another thing to keep in mind is that tourism and rental licences are hot political subjects in Mallorca and have been for some years, so the information presented here will get outdated at some point. To get up to date advice we recommend getting in touch with one of our specialists.
Again, we also advise that you check our rental licence FAQ from time to time which we will keep updating.
If you have any questions regarding rental licences topic that isn’t covered in the FAQ, please get in touch.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t hesitate to browse our current rental listings for a last-minute 2018 getaway. The main season may be over, but the island is warm and gracious and the sunsets are meditative as always.
This article does not constitute legal advice and is intended as a basic guide and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for taking professional legal advice suited to your particular circumstances. We recommend always consulting a professional for guidance before taking action.