The authorities in Mallorca win another battle in their war against tourist rentals, which they argue help drive up the cost of housing in the Balearic capital, making it unaffordable for locals.
In April 2018 the city council of Palma de Mallorca introduced regulations to ban all tourist rental apartments in the city, leaving only a small number of detached homes in regulated zones available for rent by tourists on a short-stay basis.
The regulations came into force in July that year, but were contested in the regional courts by tourist-sector organisations like the holiday-rental association Habtur.
In September 2021, the High Court of Justice of the Balearics annulled the measure, forcing the regional government to take it to the Spanish Supreme Court, which sided with the Ayuntamiento, or City Hall, by upholding its zoning rules based on reports showing the impact of tourist lettings on local housing access.
As a result, holiday rental apartments in the whole of Palma City are confirmed as illegal. The only legal holiday rentals within the city limits are detached houses with tourist rental licences in certain areas.
José Hila, Mayor of Palma, said the Supreme Court’s endorsement of regulations that allow the city to ban tourist rentals will “set a precedent at a national level” that will be copied by other Spanish cities. He also praised the measure introduced by his Socialist party as “pioneering” at a European level. Palma was “the only city at that time to be so bold about regulating vacation rentals.”