The Touristic Law 8/2012, of the Balearic Islands, plans the possibility of touristic marketing of housing, normally destined for residential use, even though in quite restrictive terms. Its regulation is basically found in the Articles 49 a 52 (Chapter IV del Title III) and the main characteristics of this regulation are the following:
1) Only single family homes or semi-detached homes can be destined to touristic marketing:
-A single family home is one, which is the only one allowed per plot. Nonetheless, the law foresees the possibility that prior the processing of the corresponding file, suppositions that there is more than one housing per plot are accepted, whenever the circumstances indicate so.
-Semi-detached homes are homes located in the same plot, subject to the Joint Ownership Regime or when there are homes, attached to the separating wall on different plots.
As a consequence, the properties belonging to apartment buildings remain excluded from the possibility of touristic marketing. Moreover, the law expressly excludes the independent homes, which are located in apartment buildings or semi-detached homes, subject to the Joint Ownership Regime.
2) In order for the single family homes to be destined to the touristic marketing, they cannot have more than six bedrooms and a maximum of twelve beds. Moreover, they must have minimum one bathroom for every three beds, having to adjust to the urban standards that apply.
3) The touristic marketing must be alternated with the own and residential use of the property and the touristic stays must be short-term. For this reason, the stays are expected not to be for periods of time longer than two months.
4) The rooms marketed for tourists have to consist of a temporary cession of the right to enjoy wholly the property. The law expressly prohibits drafting contracts for rooms or having in the same property and at the same time users, who have initiated different contracts.
5) The touristic marketing of these properties must be carried out by a marketing company for touristic stays in private houses, which can be the owner himself or through operators or any of the commercial touristic channels. Accordingly, touristic rooms in private houses, which have not submitted the declaration of start of touristic activities in the competent authority, cannot be marketed.
6) Apart from the generally imposed obligations to all the touristic companies, the companies marketing rooms in semi-detached homes must ensure minimum services, that the law expressly determines and, which are a) periodic cleaning of the house; b) bed linen, linen, general house furnishings and their replacement; c) maintenance of the facilities; d) customer service in working hours; e) telephone service to the tourist or user of the touristic service during 24 hours.
7) The Law establishes a surprising presumption, consisting of the fact that it will be understood as marketing of touristic rooms in private houses, whenever it cannot be certified, according to the applicable regulations, that the contracting is done according to the regulations on urban or rustic rent or any other special law. In such cases, in our view, if the corresponding declaration of start of touristic activities has not been submitted, we would be facing a clandestine activity, and the authorities can, as a consequence, use their inspection and sanctioning powers.
8) Finally, the Law determines that the requirements, conditions, limits and content of the activity of marketing of touristic rooms, can be devised in accordance with the law, as well as the compulsory fact for private houses, which are marketed for tourists and must be subject to quality plans, their regularity and procedures.
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