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Draft Balearic Housing law targets owners of empty properties

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Palma de Mallorca

A draft law currently going through the Balearic regional legislative process aims to force “large holders of property” to make them available for rent.

One of the more contentious aspects of the bill is that it intends to force landlords who own ten or more empty properties to offer them for long-term rental, to help ease the housing shortage on the islands. The Insular Council of Ibiza is demanding it be reduced to five.

This draft law has run into a lot of opposition from different quarters, and I’ve been asked if it might affect second-home owners with holiday-homes in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. If they don’t use their properties, or do so only occasionally, might they be forced to offer them for long-term rent?

The answer is no. This is what Will Besga, head of legal firm Mallorca Law, has to say about the bill:

It is not yet in force, we don’t know the final text, and there will be appeals in courts.

The aim of the bill is to go against banks, who have large numbers of repossessed properties

Most expat or local holders are not large holders of property, and if there are any, in all likelihood they will have them as an investment and hence rented out

In two years we will have elections, and in all probability the opposition will win them, who will then proceed to repeal this, and many other laws.

This draft law, called the Llei d’Habitatge (del Govern Balear) in Catalan, is not to be confused with the Balearic draft Tourism law (Llei del Turisme), which is also going through the legislative process at the moment. The Tourism bill does have implications for foreign owners of property in the Balearics, but just like the Housing bill, the final text is not yet known, and if and when it does become law, it could be repealed in a few years time.

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