The Ibiza housing crisis took another turn yesterday after it was announced that Balearic Government Inspectors will take part in an extensive campaign against illegal tourist rentals in houses and apartments in Ibiza and Formentera over the summer months.
Viviana de Sans, Vice President of the Island Council (Consell), said at a meeting of the Bureau of Housing Rights that the campaign will mirror that of last summer against illegal workers. “The inspectors from all of the islands will come to Ibiza and act together to make a clean sweep, a campaign of high impact” explained the Vice President who is confident that the fines imposed will serve to discourage owners, agencies and intermediaries to hire homes illegally during the tourist season.
“The results of this campaign and the fines imposed will serve as a marker” said de Sans “the idea is for people to assess the possible consequences of renting illegally during the summer and to raise their interest in renting all year round”. The Vice President said that there would be fines ranging from 4,000 to 400,000 euros and “this is what should discourage owners (from renting illegally)”. Sra de Sans also stressed the need for a “social debate” so people “will be ashamed to confess that tourists rent your apartment”. The Vice President warned that the “social alarm about high rental prices (on the island) encouraged many owners to rent their homes illegally”.
Sra de Sans also said that the Island Council (Consell) “will drive” contact between Government Inspectors and the Platform for those affected by rentals with a “hotline” to enable this group to communicate complaints”. Inspectors cannot meet with an association but if the Consell calls them you have contact,” said De Sans, who insisted that the Consell de Ibiza is currently “not competent in housing issues”.
The spokesman of this platform, Luis Gonzaga, also present at the meeting, stressed that the allegations made since last season have taken some effect “one intermediary has been sanctioned for accumulating a large portfolio of housing that was destined for irregular use but as of today no other case has reached us”
Gonzaga encouraged people to continue to denounce rental abuses and report them to the Guardia Civil and Hacienda (Tax Office), especially agents and intermediaries “because if they disappear then it will be easier to rent these homes”.
In addition, he said that inspections and prosecution of illegal rentals will ultimately favour a shift towards “lower annual rental prices instead of unlawful use”. However he insisted once again that during the summer “there is a lack of personnel for inspections and police to address all cases on the island.”
Source: Diario de Ibiza