Holiday lets in Majorca – here’s how to let legally to holidaymakers

Since the reform of the tourism regulations, everyone is talking about holiday letting in Majorca. No wonder given that such lettings offer owners attractive additional income during the times when they are not using the property themselves. But what about holiday apartments? Can they be legally let too? And does the owner become a tour operator if he offers his finca to let on the Internet?

On 26th April Porta Mallorquina invited guests to a Brunch with speakers talking on the subject of holiday letting.

On 26th April Porta Mallorquina invited guests to a Brunch with speakers talking on the subject of holiday letting.

These and other urgent questions were answered on 26th April by solicitors Guillermo Dezcallar Enseñat and Javier Blas Guasp from the legal firm ILLESLEX at our info event and brunch at our estate agency in Pollensa.

Señor Dezcallar Enseñat, why is there so much confusion at the moment about holiday letting?

There is a dearth of information, and the hotel sector has a secret interest in not clarifying the difference between seasonal letting (regulated by the national Urban Rental Act) and holiday letting (regulated by Act 8/2012 for Tourism, autonomous legislation).

Who is allowed to let his property?

All owners have the right to let their property if they do this in compliance with the law, since rights of ownership may not be restricted.

Rechtsanwalt Guillermo Dezcallar Enseñat von der Kanzlei Illeslex.

Solicitor Guillermo Dezcallar Enseñat from the legal firm Illeslex.

Does this mean that anybody can legally let his property on a daily and/or weekly basis?

Yes, certainly, provided he observes the applicable law. The law in question is either the Urban Rental Act for seasonal lettings or the Balearic Tourism Act for holiday lettings.

What services is an owner who engages in seasonal letting allowed to provide?

Holiday services of any kind are prohibited. This includes: collection from the airport, periodic cleaning during the guests’ stay, laundry service for bed and table linen, replacement of household utensils, 24-hour telephone service, etc.

Do normal repairs to the property, the pool, etc., count as a holiday service?

No, they do not. These are purely repairs to the property.

Is it possible to apply for a holiday letting licence from the Ministry of Tourism for every property?

No. An application for a licence may only be made for the following properties:

  • Detached or semi-detached houses, or similar.
  • Dwellings with a maximum of 6 bedrooms and maximum 12 beds.
  • Dwellings with at least 1 bathroom for every 3 beds.
  • For short stays of 2 months at most.

What are the main differences between holiday letting and seasonal letting?

The differences are as follows:

The differences between saisonal letting and holiday let at a glance.

The differences between saisonal letting and holiday let at a glance.

Are real estate firms considered to be tourism channels?

They are not categorised as such, so real estate firms are allowed to mediate seasonal lettings. European operators such as Homeholidays, FEWO, Homeway, Owners Direct, etc. are not categorised as tourism channels either.

It is advisable to conclude a lease between the owner and the tenant?

Yes. A contract should always and in every case be concluded between the owner and the tenant. In the event of seasonal letting, two points should be noted in the contract:
a) that this is a seasonal letting, subject to the Urban Rental Act; and
b) that no holiday service will be provided during the tenant’s stay.

May owners rent their property to an agency to market it?

Sigrun Gründler from Porta Holiday, a Porta Mallorquina subsidiary, informed guests about the new letting and property management service.

Sigrun Gründler from Porta Holiday, a Porta Mallorquina subsidiary, informed guests about the new letting and property management service.

Yes, this is entirely legal but one must bear in mind the type of letting that the agency is offering. If it offers holiday letting, the property must have a holiday letting licence from the Ministry of Tourism. If it does not have this licence, only seasonal letting is permitted (without any direct or indirect tourism services being offered, as mentioned above). It is very important that a contract be concluded between the owner and the agency.

Can an owners’ association prohibit holiday letting?

Lettings in apartment buildings are not prohibited by the law. In practice, however, owners’ associations have often prohibited seasonal lettings. However, such a ban is illegal and is not legally enforceable because, as mentioned, the rights of ownership may not be restricted.

Is the owner required to provide proof of non-tourist use in the case of seasonal letting?

Art. 50.2 of the Tourism Act specifies that commercialisation for purposes of tourism exists where it cannot be proved that the contract is in compliance with the Urban Rental Act (seasonal letting). For this reason, the instructions shown in this document should be followed.

How is rental income taxed?

Rental income is taxed at a rate of 24.75% in the owner’s income tax declaration (IRPF). The tax must be paid on a quarterly basis if the tax declaration shows that tax is payable, or annually if no tax is due.

What expenses can be offset against income?

The main items are the annual amortisation of the property (2% per annum), as well as interest on mortgages and taxes such as property tax, waste disposal tax, and maintenance costs, etc.

Señor Dezcallar Enseñat, many thanks for talking to us and for your interesting explanations.

Do you still have questions about holiday letting? We look forward to hearing from you.

3 Comments
  1. Can a person who is renting a rustic finca sublet it to others (tourists)? Is there a minimum length for a seasonal let?

    Can a rustic finca divided into 3 be let to tourists or seasonal lets, especially if it is the middle of the 3?

    Any advice would be welcome

  2. We suggest that no subtenant is involved in holiday rentals. For further steps we recommend to ask a lawyer and to get in advance the permission of the owner.

    There is in principle no minimum length for a seasonal let and a seasonal let can be divided into different parts.

    Kind regards,

    Porta Mallorquina

  3. I would be grateful if you could tell me the best way to obtain a contract. Thank you.