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FAQ: Valuable knowledge on touristic rental licenses on Mallorca and the Balearic Islands


FAQ: Valuable knowledge on touristic rental licenses on Mallorca and the Balearic Islands

The Balearic government is increasingly strict on controlling the number of tourists on the islands, so with the Tramuntana Mountains already being a UNESCO heritage site it has become harder for many Mallorca homes to obtain rental licenses.

Are you thinking of renting out your property on Mallorca? Or are you considering buying a property to rent it out sometimes? Then you need to make sure you have a touristic rental license. Here are all the facts we have about rental licenses.

The zoning on the west coast of Mallorca, July 2018.
The zoning on the west coast of Mallorca, July 2018. The village cores of Deia, Valldemossa, Soller, Biniaraix and Fornalutx are purple (including other villages and minor hamlets like Port de Valldemossa, Cala Deia and Llucalcari), but the vast majority of protected land between the villages is green which indicates that rental licenses will be hard to obtain. In other words, the zoning can vary between village centre and rural land within the same municipality.

First things first: What is a touristic rental license?

A touristic rental license is what you need to rent out a home to tourists in Mallorca (or indeed all Balearic islands). That’s the short version, but as you will see below, it’s not always a seamless process to actually get the license.

The touristic license covers everything from rentals advertised places like our rental listings or Airbnb, tour operators and travel agencies to guests found through a friend of a friend. As long as the house is used as a paid holiday rental for a continuous period of up to one month, it needs a touristic rental license.

Are all touristic rental licenses the same?

No, there are different types.

First of all, you will find houses for sale with old rental licenses that are still legitimate. Then, if you apply for a license now, as of July 2018, there are three different types: the ETV, the ETVPL and the ETV60. They will be explained in detail later, but generally ETV is a year-round license for self-standing homes, ETVPL is year-round license for apartments and some kinds of condominiums, and ETV60 is a 60-day/year license for all home types.

Some semi-attached homes are eligible for the ETV even though there is a close neighbour attached. The definition of the “plurifamiliar” (“PL”) home is somewhat vague at this point – the main factor seems to be if more than one home share an access (staircases for example) or other elements, like a shared pool. If your home is attached to a neighbour, you should ask a professional gestor or legal advisor which license is eligible for you.

What if I want to rent out long-term?

If you rent your villa to someone for a period longer than one month, it is not a touristic license you need. Rentals for longer than one month are considered long-term, and this type of rental is regulated by the Law of Urban Rental. You will need to search elsewhere on information on this kind of rental business.

Long-term rental caveat

There is an important caveat, however. If you want to offer the property on a touristic website and/or you include the services of cleaning, bed linen and towels, it is considered touristic and you will still need the touristic license.

Can all properties in Mallorca get rental licenses?

No, as Mallorca is experiencing an increase in popularity amongst international tourists and have a lot of UNESCO-protected land, some areas are not considered apt for touristic rentals. They are the green areas on the map supplied by the local government (you can see a part of it on the top of this page).

In general, the current government is trying to “clean up” the Balearic in more than one sense, with property illegalities and vastly uncontrolled tourism some of the main concerns. There are a few exceptions, so in general the best idea it to get your rental gestor to contact your local town hall. For some homes, they’d have to assess each home case by case.

What happens if I rent out my home without the proper license?

It is strictly illegal to rent out your home without a license and you could be fined between €20,000 – €40,000 if you do so. Owners and agencies will both be fined.

What about taxes in connection to the touristic rentals?

Once you have a touristic rental license, you pay tax on any revenue to the Spanish tax authority. Tourist tax is paid to the regional Balearic tax authority. Properties with touristic rental licenses receive a plaque that you are expected to display.

You could be fined up to up to €400,000 if you don’t adhere to the terms of the license so we advice all our clients to use professional gestores that can help you. Don’t hesitate to ask us – we are happy to point you in the direction of a trusted expert.

How many homes can I have rental licenses for?

Again, this depends on which of the three above-mentioned licenses we are talking about. But as a general rule, you may own up to 3 homes with rental licenses.

Getting the new 2018 rental licenses in Mallorca

Okay, so to the main point: You have a home in Mallorca and would like to rent it out. So how do you get it?

First of all, the paperwork and the zoning is complicated legal stuff, so we strongly advice that you seek advice with a legal expert. We mention this at various points, because you risk loosing time and money if you don’t make sure your home is eligible for touristic rentals before you apply.

Maybe your local lawyer can help. If not, we are happy to share our expert contacts with you.

Below is a list of what you should consider before starting.

1. Update all necessary paperwork

Depending on which license you are aiming for, you need to get quite a bit of paperwork done in order to file your application and hopefully obtain a rental license. We suggest you always have freshly updated occupancy (cédula de habitabilidad) and energy efficiency certificates.

Once that’s done, if your house is legally built, the rest of the paperwork should be easy to obtain.

2. Mallorca’s 2018 zoning law – which zone are you in?

Full map which shows how Mallorca in July 2018 was divided into zones with different rental license options applying for each separate zone. Click to view in full size.
Color coding of Mallorca zoning July 2018
The 12 zones and their color coding: Palma (white, special ruleset), saturated touristic zones (red, Z1.1, Z1.2), other touristic zones, not deemed too saturated (orange, Z2.1, Z2.2, Z2.3 – including Port de Soller), vulnerable inland areas (purple, Z3, including Deia, Soller, Valldemossa and Fornalutx), other inland areas, not deemed too vulnerable (blue, Z4.1, Z4.2, Z4.3, including Esporles, Banyalbufar, Bunyola etc.), normal rustic lands (yellow), protected rustic lands (green), excluded zones (black).

The location of your home is the utmost important factor. The local government has divided the island into 12 different zones, and for each zone different rules apply and different licenses are available – or unavailable.

The Z3 includes the most popular – and therefore vulnerable – of all the UNESCO protected villages in the Tramuntana mountain range: Deia, Valldemossa, Soller, Biniaraix, Fornalutx etc.

As you can see on this map, which shows the original zoning proposition from the local government, the Z3 was originally singled out as having “major touristic pressure” which means rental licenses in Z3 are more limited and harder to obtain now.

3. What license can I get in my zone?

You know in which zone your villa is placed, but what does this mean? The below table is the answer to that question:

Table of rental license options depending on zones, Mallorca, 2018.
Table of rental license options depending on zones, Mallorca, 2018. This clearly shows that properties in the rural areas in the UNESCO protected areas of Mallorca (“Suelo rústico protegido”) are not eligible for any of the touristic rental licenses. Z2.1 (including Port de Soller) and Z4.1 (including Esporles and Banyalbufar) are eligible for all license types, while village homes in major attraction villages along the west coast of Mallorca (the Z3, including Deia, Soller, Fornalutx and Valldemossa) are eligible for only 60 day/year licenses.

The four columns are 60 days/year for selfstanding homes, 60 days/year for attached homes (these two are called ETV60 licenses), year-round license for selstanding (ETV) and the same for attached homes/apartments (ETVPL).

Regardless of the type of property, if you own a home in Deia (including Cala Deia, Llucalcari and S’Empeltada), Soller (including l’Horta and Biniaraix), Fornalutx or Valldemossa (including the port, George Sand and s’Arxiduc), it is only eligible for a ETV60 license. This also is the case for Port des Canonge, Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Orient, Pollenca, Alcudia and a few more areas on the island (all zone Z3).

On the other hand, if you own any kind of home in other Tramuntana villages like Esporles, Bunyola, Lluc, Álaro, Galilea, Puigpunyent, Andratx, Calviá etc., you are eligible for all three types of licenses (Z4.1).

The same goes for Port de Soller (Z2.1).

Lastly, if you have a Tramuntana home in the gorgeous landscapes between these many mountain villages, but outside what the local town hall considers the limits of the urbanisation, you are not eligible for any rental license. That is the green area of the map in the top of this page.

4. What does a rental license cost?

It depends on your property. 

The price is calculated from the amount of people that can stay in the home – popularly known as the number it “sleeps”.

For year-round licenses the price is 3500 euros/guest space in self-standing homes (ETV) and 875 euros/guest space in an attached house or an apartment (ETVPL). For 60 day/year licenses (ETV60) the price is always 291,67 euros/guest space.

That means that a license for a two-bedroom home that sleeps 4 people costs between €1.164 and €14.000 – depending on the zone and the type of license applied for.

5. What if my property already has a rental license – am I affected by the new zoning laws?

No. Any official license, whether old or new, is legitimate.

6. Does the touristic license come with obligations?

Yes, it does – it’s not enough to just hand over the key to a new tenant or tourist every week. Touristic rental licenses oblige you to offer more than just accommodation, including housekeeping services like providing bed linen, towels and cleaning.

It is also important to remember, as stated above, that you are not allowed to provide these features if you don’t have a rental license. These features are interpreted by the Balearic government as being touristic.

7. My home is an apartment or a semi-detached home with shared spaces. Is there anything special I need to do?

Yes. If you are applying for rental license for a shared building/semi-detached home, there are a few things to be aware of:

Special permission from your neighbours

You need to get permission from the board of the building/community you live in. If you don’t present this, your application for a touristic license will be turned down.

5 year limit

You can only get a license for 5 years. Then it has to be renewed.

I think I am eligible for a 60 days/year license. Is there anything special I need to know?

Yes, a few things are special for the ETV60 license:

  • All ETV60 licenses are for a 5 year period, then they have to be renewed – no matter which type of home it is for.
  • The 60 days have to be distributed as two full months, which don’t have to be connected though. Maybe you would like to rent out you home one month in winter and one in summer? Fine, do December and July. Or two in summer where prices are highest, then do June and July or August. Only exception is that you are not allowed to do July and August together – it’s one or the other. And, as stated above, you can’t do 2 weeks in June, 2 weeks in July, etc. Nor are you allowed to do dates like June 15 – August 15. Whole months only.

As stated, this isn’t easy to go about – although for most home owners it shouldn’t be too difficult with a bit of professional help to get the paperwork in order. So don’t tremble – if you really want a rental license and believe you and your precious home are eligible, you will get it.

We constantly try to update this FAQ with the help of local authorities and our trusted experts

Latest update is from September 2018 after new zoning laws were revealed from the local government. For now, we don’t expect imminent changes. But in May 2019 there will be local elections which can change everything. Depending on the outcome, government restrictions may decrease or increase.

If you have a property on the West Coast and you’d like to know more about Charles Marlow’s rental service, please read here, call +34 971 636 427 or email We also advice you to keep an eye on our Facebook page and our blog where we will post news about the rental market in Mallorca.

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. 

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