The Government of the Balearic Islands initiates the processing of the Proposed Draft Law for the modification of Law 8/2012, of July 19th, on tourism in the Balearic Islands, concerning the commercialization of tourist stays.
On December 9th , 2016, the Government has published a text or draft in the framework of the study tasks prior to the start of the processing of the Draft for the modification of the Tourism Law of the Balearic Islands.
In any case, it must be borne in mind that we find ourselves beforehand a preparatory text which, in its later evolution until becoming Law, may undergo many modifications, but which nevertheless serves as a basis for knowing what the main lines of action of the Government in the modification of Law 8/2012, of July 19th, on tourism in the Balearic Islands will be.
The main objectives that the new regulation pursues are basically three:
1) ESTABLISH A REAL ROOF OF TOURIST PLACES IN GENERAL, to try to avoid the tourist saturation.
2) IMPROVE THE CURRENT REGULATION AND REGULATE THE TOURIST RENTAL IN MULTI-FAMILY BUILDINGS, trying in this way to put order in the tourist rental.
3) GUARANTEE ACCESS TO HOUSING, trying to solve the problem of reducing the supply of rental apartments for residents, as well as the increase in rents.
Taking these objectives into account, we will briefly outline the main novelties that the text contains and, if they are accepted in the law that is ultimately approved, would mean a major change in the tourism model to the existing moment in the Balearic Islands, fundamentally in relation to the commercialization of tourist stays in houses.
Such developments are as follows:
1) The intention is to make effective the principle of “exchange of places” with the purpose of establishing a real roof of tourist places. To this end, exceptions to the existing exchange of places, with the exception of Menorca, will be abolished, where there will be a transitional period during which the Island Council will establish its own roof of places and its own exchange of tourist places. Therefore, anyone who wants to open a tourist establishment or market tourist stays in a dwelling will have to buy places by going to the corresponding island exchange, as long as there are places available. The places may also be acquired from tourist accommodation or dwellings that are discharged, provided they have previously purchased the places.
2) Plans for intervention in tourist areas (PIAT) and, where appropriate, island territorial plans (PTIs) will be of fundamental importance as they will be able to establish the maximum overall population density, delineate areas and areas of tourism and protection, and set necessary requirements, as well as any relevant exceptions. The PIAT and, where applicable, the PTIs, will determine the maximum limit for island of tourist places in tourist accommodation and the maximum limit of places in residential housing likely to be commercialized touristically.
3) City hotels, inland tourism establishments, and hostels, as well as hostels and tourist refuges according to what is determined by regulation, will be exempt from the “tourist ratio”.
4) The commercialization of tourist stays in houses located in multi-family buildings will be allowed.
5) New minimum requirements, both legal, as urban, sustainability, energy efficiency and tourism quality are introduced, which are to be met by the dwellings.
6) It will not be possible to commercialize tourist houses that have not presented DRIAT or that in spite of having presented it they do not fulfil the established requirements.
7) The pages and web platforms of commercialization of tourist stays can only announce registered housing. Websites that do not comply with this requirement may be sanctioned.
8) The presentation of the DRIAT that refers to tourist stays in residential dwellings subject to the horizontal property regime will enable for the exercise of the activity for a term of 5 years from the said presentation in the Tourism Administration. After this period, tourism marketing may continue only if all legal or regulatory requirements, for a period of up to 5 years, continue to be met, and under the terms that are established.
9) It will be mandatory to have a valid occupancy certificate or similar qualifying title. No more places may be marketed than permitted by the occupancy certificate or similar title.
10) Only new DRIATS may be presented, when these declarations refer to residential homes located in areas declared expressly approved by the Insular Councils or by the Town Hall of Palma. To these effects to the DRIAT must be accompanied an accredited municipal certificate.
11) The “Consells Insulars”, following a report from the town halls, will delimit the areas suitable for the commercialization of tourist stays in residential housing. Only new commercialization will be allowed in these areas, whether one-family or multi-family dwellings.
12) It is not possible to commercialize tourist stays in houses that have a record of urban development infraction or houses that are excluded of the valid regional development registration.
13) The houses will be required to have their own water meter provided they receive the water from a public water supply network.
14) It will be obligatory the previous obtaining of the certificate of energy efficiency.
15) It will only be allowed to commercialize tourist stays in multi-family dwellings subject to horizontal ownership, in the event it is not prohibited by the statutes or the constitutive title or, where appropriate, when there is express authorization from the community.
16) Residential dwellings that are under official protection regime may not be marketed.
17) The marketer of tourist stays must send to the Police the information regarding the stay of the people staying in the dwellings.
18) The express obligation to respect and comply with basic standards of coexistence, as well as public order and, where appropriate, internal system of the community of owners, as well as the obligation to expressly inform those customers or users is introduced.
19) The formalization of contracts by rooms will not be allowed.
20) Only the commercialization of tourist stays in constructions or buildings that have a minimum age of 10 years will be allowed.
21) New commercialization of tourist stays will be prohibited in dwellings located on protected on rural land, unless otherwise stated in the PIAT or the PTI.
22) There must be at least one bathroom for each 4 places.
23) Owners of tourist establishments or marketers, with the express consent of the owner, must communicate, in the terms that are established in the Law, the temporary or definitive discharge of their activity, which must be registered in the corresponding registry, all in the terms, with the exceptions and effects that are determined by law or regulation.
24) In multi-family dwellings the tourist places will be acquired for periods of 5 years renewable.
25) New offenses are defined and the drafting of existing ones modified.
26) The amount of sanctions provided for the illegal offer will be increased considerably, with penalties of between 20.001 and 40.000 Euros being considered where the infringement refers to non-compliance with the regulatory requirements for the exercise of the activity in relation to the marketing of tourist stays in housing for residential use, and also regulating the accessory sanction of temporary suspension of the activity.
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