Autumn Begins in Mallorca

With the end of the long hot summer, comes a new rhythm of life. Gone are the indoor siestas to avoid the midday heat, gone are the early evening trips to the beach. It’s back to school, work picks up again, and activities arise for the next cycle. Mallorca living is all about the seasons.

First, in September, we have the Urban Down Pollensa, where a bunch of crazy mountain bikers drop down the Calvario Hill at terrific speed with some hair-raising jumps along the way. The full day sees children and adults train in the morning while the serious competition kicks off in the afternoon.

Another annual event is the Pujada a Lluc. Not so much adrenaline rush, more a mass meander up from whatever town you live in (or from Inca via the shuttle bus, if you live really far out) to Lluc. This overnight hike is all about community, getting together with your townsfolk and joining surrounding towns on a cool September night. The pujada is growing in popularity year-on-year.

Perhaps an overnight schlep over some distance (and gradience) is not that appealing, but now that it is cooler, take up one of the guided walks in Pollensa. During September and October there are guided walks to Cala Boquer in Puerto Pollensa (Mondays), Coves Blanques in Cala Sant Vicente (Thursdays) and a cultural guide to the Old Town of Pollensa (Fridays). Do all three of these and your knowledge of this beautiful town, and its coastlines will be firmly established.

Hikes can easily become gentle walks and what better way to do this than by taking in the local wildlife? Mallorca is home to a rich bird population. Birdwatchers arrive on the island in their thousands to find the rare and indigenous birds that live or pass through the Balearics. The North of Mallorca is home to a wide array of species thanks to the landscape of sandy and rocky coastline, cliff faces, wetlands, grassland, scrubland and forests, and it is this diversity that makes it such a great home (temporary or permanent) for birds. The area is also located along a main migration route, so it’s no surprise that wildlife lovers come follow the nature trail here too.

If your fitness levels demand something more challenging, then Mallorca has it all. There are dozens of events to keep your holiday a healthy one. For example, the Viking 859 are two swim/run events in Alcudia and Pollensa. There is also the AlcudiaMar Aquathlon either short and long events. Muro has its own sprint triathlon in October as well. For something less watery, Pollensa’s popular run for Alzheimer’s is an annual event. The 7km run takes in the Calvario Steps and is a challenge for the most seasoned runners. But perhaps the biggest challenge is the 5000 Skyrunning event along the Tramuntana, from Soller to Pollensa and the Palma Marathon in October.

For the after party, there are jazz concerts in Alcudia throughout September. There are also classical concerts at the Auditori d’Alcudia and at the Claustre in Pollensa. Check the local town programmes for more details.

If you are more about the cultural side, autumn is the season for Firas (or fairs) and every year, Alcudia is the first to hold theirs. In recent years, themes have included medieval and Roman, and the Fira is a chance for local farmers to show off their livestock, local artesans to show and sell their wares and local trades to demonstrate what they do. The markets—including food, artesan, trade, plants and garden and more—and activities from local bands and dance groups make these fairs a great slice of Mallorcan culture. Pollensa’s is in November as are the smaller towns fairs.

For full-on fiestas, Campanet has its Sant Miquel Fiesta at the end of September. It’s a week-long programme of events. The highlights are community dinners, a health fair, music and dance and plenty more beside.

In October the Festes de Verges is an excuse to eat tonnes of bunyols (little Mallorcan donuts) and then of course comes Halloween. All Souls day on 1st November is a long-standing tradition but Halloween dress-ups and trick or treating is new to Mallorca. In response, the Nit Fosca in Pollensa is becoming a regular occurrence on the autumn agenda. Children from across Pollensa dress up in Halloween style and the party at the Claustre has a timetable of varying degrees of scariness. The later event is for bigger kids who think they can handle it.

The North of Mallorca is so much more than sun, sand and sea. It’s just as exciting in the cooler months.

 

 

Markets: Shop Like a Local

The main markets in the north of Mallorca are in Pollença Old Town every Sunday morning, in the port every Wednesday morning and in Alcudia every Tuesday and Sunday morning. In Puerto Alcudia, there is a fruit and vegetable market every Friday morning. In general, markets are open from 8 or 9 in the morning until 2 pm.

TIP 1. If you want to shop them like a local, get there early. Parking gets tricky, and once you’re walking around, the narrow streets get jam-packed. In the heat, this is not the best experience. Arriving before 10 am can make all the difference. Once you’ve bought your fruit and veg, have a look at the artisanal stalls, you’ll be ready for a coffee and a chance to sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

TIP 2. Once you’re ready to buy your fresh produce—bag-for-life in hand—have a little walk around first. The price per kilo of the same produce can vary from stall to stall, so do a recce. Think about what’s on your list and look out for it on your round of the market. Make a note of the lowest prices and go back to that stall. Note, you don’t have to buy everything at the same stall.

TIP 3. Most stallholders own their fincas where the produce is grown. Talk to the market seller. He or she will be delighted to tell you more about it and, if it’s something you’re not familiar with, how to eat or cook it. Ask them where it is grown, whether they grew it themselves, it’s all quite interesting, and you’ll come away having discovered something new.

TIP 4. As it comes from their fincas, many stallholders specialise in one thing in particular. If you see a stall selling only tomatoes, head there. It is likely they are the best tomatoes in the market and s/he will have products derived from them. For example, sundried tomatoes, tomato chutney. Likewise, a citrus stall, the seller will have brought the best oranges and lemons available. If that is the only thing available on the stall then his/her livelihood depends on it, they’re going to be good. Also, look out for the smaller stalls, this is likely to be the more traditional stall where the seller is trading their excess crops from their own finca. Worth searching out for the friendly chat, if nothing else.

TIP 5. Once you’ve had a good look round, you will have an idea of what’s in season. You might want to amend your shopping list. If you wanted cherries but there are more strawberries around, take them instead. The chances are they will be better and cheaper. Once fruits and veg start going out of season, the price can jump. Likewise, if it is in season, look for the larger quantities, for example, the 2kg wooden boxes or punnets. It may seem a lot but the prices will be better (just make sure you’ve sussed it on your recce first).

One piece of advice is not to touch and press everything as you check for quality and ripeness, unsurprisingly the sellers don’t like it. If you’re friendly to the stallholder, you will be repaid with the same and s/he will likely offer you a sample. S/he will also bag things up for you and give you the best they have. Lastly, don’t be intimidated by the market, most speak enough English to be able to serve you. Add the odd Spanish word from you (dos kilos por favor); then the whole exchange will be a much more fun experience.

La Patrona 2018, the best festival in Pollensa

‘La Patrona’ – the Patron, is a week of celebrations takes place throughout July / August. The main event is on 2nd August with a mock battle between Moors and Christians to commemorate the fight by the people of Pollensa against 1,500 Moors led by the nasty pirate Dragut that took place on May the 30th, 1550. On that day Pollensa received the most severe pirate attack in their history. The battle was won due to the help from the now local hero Joan Mas, who went out into the town’s main street to warn every one of the danger and ran heroically into battle against his adversaries. This now famous mock battle was incorporated into the holiday programme in the middle of the 19th Century to recreate a historical fact that is very much in the heart of the people of Pollensa. This created a very colourful, lively and epic celebration that counts on the participation of the whole town, the Christians dressed in white and Dragut’s followers in multi colours.

This is a sacred event and so don’t expect the town to be operating to it’s best during this time. Expect shops and bars to be closed around that week, recovering from all the partying

 

Wed, Aug 1, 2018

  • La Patrona Children’s Show Parade and the Big Party.
  • 7.00pm, A show, Tipi Tipi Top, for the little ones at the Plaza Vella (there will be ice cream).
  • 8.00pm, Parade by the Tropa del Solda and the Municipal Band along the streets of the town.
  • 11.00pm, Mitica Revetlla at the Plaza Major on until early hours when the band will take the party along the memorial parade, the Alborada at 5 am.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

La Patrona The Alborada

  • 5.00am, the sombre and emotionally stirring Alborada will be performed by the band along various streets in Pollensa, Cala Sant Vicenc and Puerto Pollensa, finishing at the Seniors Residential Home.
  • 11.00am: The Cossiers dance in the Church and at 12.15 in the Plaza Major
  • 12.45pm: the institutional act is followed by an aperitif for all on the patio of the Town Hall
  • 5.00pm: parade from the Tropa del Solda and the arrival of the Moros into the Plaza Major
  • 5.30pm: procession with the image of la patrona.
  • 7.00pm: The Mock Battle begins at the Plaça Almoina
  • 9.30pm: the Tedeum at the main Church, followed by the Alborada and a stirring rendition of Visca Pollensa in the Plaça Major
  • 11.00pm: fireworks at the Vinyeta del Pont Roma

Guide to obtain a new renting license for villas and apartments in Mallorca

What is the DRIAT?

This declaration statement is a form you need to fill in to apply for a license. In full, it is the Declaració Responsable d’Inici d’Activitat Turística. The process of submitting this applies from the moment the zoning of the Consell de Mallorca and Ajuntament de Palma comes into force.

Definitions

a. Housing in a single-family building. In other words villas and townhouses that don’t share a space.

b. Housing in a multi-family building where there is shared access or facilities. In other words apartments with communities or houses that occupy some kind of shared ground.

These definitions help determine if the property can be commercialized, whether they are subject to the Horizontal Property law, and if it is subject to a five-year renewal.

Horizontal Property

As far as apartments (or properties that have some kind of communal element) are concerned, an agreement at a Community Owners’ meeting must be obtained. This means the majority of property owners within the building accept tourist rentals and this agreement must be registered at the Land Registry.

Main Residence or Year-Round Rental

You must go to the respective town hall to obtain a certificate confirming that the property in question is located in an applicable zone. This certificate will also specify what kind of tourism rental can be carried out: two months if this is your main residence, or year-round if not. Please note that you have 60 consecutive days but not both July and August. You could still choose June-July or August-September.

If the property is your main residence, you must also present the Certificado de Empadronamiento. The rental periods must be whole months and you must indicate which months you intend to rent. Any changes in the rental months must be communicated in the month of January.

Requirements

The home must meet these requirements:

  • Minimum age of five years at the time of application, during which its use has been private residential.
  • Cédula de habitabilidad (certificate of occupancy or the equivalent from the local council).
  • Energy certificate with an F qualification for buildings built prior to December 31, 2007 or D for subsequent buildings.
  • Individual water meter registered with the water supply company (unless it is not connected to mains water supply).
  • The home is not, and has not been, subjected to any kind of official protection (council housing).
  • At least one bathroom for every four places of occupancy.
  • The property must meet the minimum score of 70 in the list of requirements on Annex 6, a checklist document which you can get from your Spanish legal adviser.
  • An owner can have a maximum of three properties registered for tourism rentals.

Procedure, Stage 1, Consorci Borsa d’Allotjaments Turístics (CBAT)

Head to the CBAT (calle de Montenegro, 5, Palma) to purchase the tourist places (the total number of places, or beds, is already set on the certificate of occupancy or cédula de habitabilidad)

The beds have different prices depending on whether it is:

  • A house in a single-family building (ETV) costs €3,500 per place of occupancy.
  • A home in a multi-family building or subject to the horizontal property law (ETVPL) costs €875 per place.
  • A house in a single-family or multi-family building, which is listed as a Principal Residence and therefore rented for 2 months per year (ETV60) costs €291.67 per place.

Procedure, Stage 2, Form Submission and Accompanying Documents

You must submit your DRIAT form to the Direcció General de Turisme together with the following documentation:

Single-Family Building ETV

a. Formal document of the owner (copy of ID, NIE..).

b. Payment of the administrative fee (expected to be around €300)

c. Power of attorney (if applicable).

d. The completed checklist (Annex 6 of Decree 20/2015, of April 17)  with a minimum of 70 points.

e. Certificate from Local Council stating the applicable zone and the type of rental (indefinite or 2 months for principal residence).

f. Proof of purchase of tourist places at the CBAT.

g. Only in the exceptional cases of Single-Family homes being subject to horizontal property law (those that share plot or property elements with others), the statutes that state the Community Owners’ acceptance of tourist rentals (see point b below).

Multi-Family Building or Subdivided Property ETVPL

a. All previous documents as in Single-Family Building.

b. Título constitutivo or statutes from Community Owners’ Meeting that correspond to the horizontal property law and expressly permit tourist rental

Single- and Multi-Family Buildings for 2 Months per year

a. All previous documents as in Single-Family Building.

b. Títol constitutiu or statutes from Community Owners’ Meeting that correspond to the horizontal property law and expressly permit tourist rental

c. Certificate of registration (certificat d’empadronament) from the council indicating that the owner lives in the property.

Other Points

  • The tourist rental license will allow rentals for days or weeks for a maximum period of one month. In the cases of homes marketed under the Principal Residence Mode (ETV60) the owner’s coexistence with the clients is allowed. You cannot formalize contracts for rooms or match users who have entered into different contracts. Unless this is the Principal Residence (ETV60) and the owner is in the house when guests stay.
  • Tourist services must be offered. This means regular cleaning, bedding and towels, a supply of general household items, upkeep of the house, service during working hours.
  • All regulatory requirements related to business activity, including labour legislation if you have hired staff, and taxes have to be met.
  • You must send details of staying guests to the Guardia Civil or Policía Nacional.
  • Guests need to abide by the rules of the community and owners/representatives are responsible in clearly setting these out and obtaining the guests’ signed acknowledgement.
  • The license number of the property must be permanently published in all rental marketing. It must also be provided to the client at the beginning of the stay.
  • You must have an insurance policy in place that covers third-party liability for holiday rentals.
  • The houses located in the areas of fire risk prevention (check this with the local council) have to take the measures referred to in point 19 of Article 50 of Law 8/2012
  • Tourist Rentals in apartment blocks or homes subject to horizontal property laws, or in Principal Residence homes, is for a maximum of five years. The license can be renewed at the same cost.
  • If a building community decides to stop allowing holiday rentals, registered apartments will have to cease their activity within a year.

 

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice but merely conveys general information related to tax and legal issues. If you are a property owner concerned about any of the information in this blog post, it is advisable that you speak with your Spanish tax advisor or accountant.

Sunscreen Yellowing, How to Live with Sunscreen

A crisp white t-shirt on sun-kissed skin, a brand new swimsuit for your days in the sun, a light and airy summer dress on your honey-coloured cherubs, it’s all part of the holiday daydream. In reality, by the end of the two weeks, that white t-shirt, the brand new costume, the cute summer dress, they are all looking yellow and downright mucky. The culprit? It’s sunscreen, or to be precise its active ingredient, Avobenzone.

Avobenzone is used to stop the UVA rays and these are the ones that cause premature aging and skin cancer. Other chemicals in sunscreen are more concerned with UVB rays and protecting you from sunburn.

Prevention

So, the first thing to do if you want to stop this pesky yellow staining is stop using Avobenzone-based sunscreen all together. You may consider this a crazy idea, but UVA Rays can be stopped by other chemicals that are in fact kinder to your skin. But that’s a whole other story. If it’s too late and your investment in sunscreen has been in the Avobenzone kind, worry not. You can prevent yellow staining by slathering it on before you get dressed. Apply to your skin and only put your clothes on once it’s all absorbed. For some, however, the urge to get out onto the beach can be too much. Waiting for sunscreen to do its thing is 10 minutes too long and if the cream does get to your threads then it’s time to talk about cure.

Cure

Bicarbonate soda, the home favourite and the saver of many things from teeth to silver jewellery, can help in your fight against the yellow. Sprinkle onto the stain and rub it in with and a bar of soap and leave for 30 minutes. Brush off the powder and wash in a washing machine. For bigger stains, Bar Keepers Friend, the traditional cleaning product launched in 1882, will help get rid of the biggest of sunscreen crimes. Just avoid using bleach based products as it will make the stain worse – deeper in colour and more stuck than ever before. But overall, whether you (or your clothes) fall victim to the yellow or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Wear sunscreen.

New tax form introduced to control holiday rental income

Hacienda, the Spanish tax authority, has recently published new legislation that will oblige all intermediaries in the rental of tourist accommodation, such us companies like Prestige Villas or holiday portals, to produce periodic statements identifying the owners of the properties being advertised and the amounts for which the rentals are offered to bring into the open all the undeclared tourist rentals by submitting the new Form 179.

Owners who rent their houses in Spain are required to declare rental income through Form 100 or Form 210 depending if the owner is a tax resident in Spain or not.

Form 179 will enter into force in July 2018, and those required to file this return will be required to provide information for the entire 2018 period, including the first two quarters of the year.

This new form must be filed on a quarterly basis during the month following the end of each quarter, as is the case with the quarterly IVA (VAT) declaration. I.e.: the first quarter will be presented in April and the second quarter in July.

In summary, every owner who has rented their property in Spain and do not declare the income, according to the new law from 2018, Hacienda, with the information received through Form 179, will know all the necessary details to claim the taxes for rental incomes to prepare and file the corresponding fine.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice but merely conveys general information related to tax and legal issues. If you are a property owner concerned about any of the information in this blog post, it is advisable that you speak with your Spanish tax advisor or accountant.

Moving to Mallorca – What Next?

So, you have bought your property in Mallorca, and the dream is about to become a reality. Exciting stuff! So what should come first?

Admin

The best advice is to get this done at the beginning. Use a local ‘gestoria’ and lawyer to advise you on the process and, if possible, to actually do it for you. The Oficina de Extranjería (Immigration Office) is not the most exciting place in the world – in fact, this is definitely not the Mallorca you were dreaming of – but to get what you need, you have to be there physically. If you are moving here full-time, a residencia card is obligatory, and if you are coming from the UK with Brexit looming, it’s best to get it done.

Tax is also something to think about, as a non-resident you are liable to pay a non-resident income tax, if you are renting your property then you need to declare your income. See our Tax Guide here.

At a more local level, signing on to the Padrón at your Town Hall is a happier item on your to-do list. Take your passport, NIE (or Residencia card if you already have it), the deeds to your property and a recent utility bill, and you will receive a ‘Certificado de Empadronamiento’. Along with being registered and able to vote in local elections, the best of all is an entitlement to discounted travel around Spain. Flights to the mainland can be reduced by 50%, inter-island travel by 75%. You can get the ‘Certificado de Viaje’ once you’re on the Padrón and it is well worth the bother!

Language

If you’re getting mixed up with your “buenos días” and “bon dia”, your “gracias” and “gràcies”, then you know of the language complexities in your new home. While many live in Mallorca without learning a single word of Spanish or Catalan, those that do can definitely notice a difference in their daily life. Neighbours become friends, shopkeepers know you by name, the people in your preferred coffee bar will know what you want before you’ve sat down; in general, people open up to you.

There are language schools in the north, and there are private teachers who offer one-to-one sessions and conversation classes. Also, as English is essential to islanders, many are keen to learn from you. Language exchanges are frequent and these involve nothing more than sitting having a coffee and chatting in two languages, picking up vocabulary and phrases along the way.

For children, the younger they are, the easier it will be for them to learn. With sponge-like brains, their capacity to pick up a new language will thrill and astound you. In a local school, the children can receive extra help, but nothing works better than playing with new friends.

Social Life

Depending on where you are living, you will find it relatively easy to find new friends. Foreign residents tend to converge naturally as they frequent the same bars and restaurants. But once the novelty wears off, there are plenty of ways to integrate and meet people from the whole community.

Sports Centres in the north have swimming classes and regular municipal-run activity for many sports including general fitness. There are also private groups that meet every week including football, rugby, netball, athletics and more. Trail running in the Tramuntana is popular, and many meet at the weekends and compete in local races. Language classes will help you join in fully, but even if your grasp of the language is weak, a willingness to learn is often repaid with patience and help.

If sport is not your thing, there are plenty of local groups and organisations that hold regular meetings and events. Whether it’s charity appeals or wine appreciation, bridge or art classes, there’s plenty of activity, and a quick look on Facebook or asking around will point you in the right direction.

Life in Mallorca is relaxed, it can be cold and quiet in the winter, lively and bright in the summer, but each season rewards with its stunning landscape and inimitable charm. There’s so much more to it than the beach and living here (for long holidays or long-term) means it is all there for the taking.

Holiday rental license prices revealed

The Board of Tourist Accommodation Exchange (CBAT) will approve the pricing to buy holiday bed licenses in the Balearics on the 26th June.

To set minimums, the CBAT has determined prices for each sector which include 875 Euros per place of occupancy for apartments, 3,500 Euros for villas and townhouses and 291,67 Euros for those who choose to rent their home for up to 60 days. There will be the possibility to split this payment into five yearly instalments.

All licenses require the habitability certificate to determine the maximum occupancy which cannot be surpassed.

Owners will have the option to renew the licenses every five years and additionally if they wish they can sell them back since they acquire them in usufruct.

Both hoteliers and homeowners will have to start paying the new prices once they are in force. Holiday homeowners will be able to buy these places from the moment in which the tourist zoning in Mallorca is approved.

The total number of places that the CBAT currently controls is 42,000 and the funds collected will be invested to improve tourist infrastructure. An investment of 9 million Euros is expected for this year.

When to apply for a renting license and how much it will cost

For the past year, we’ve been writing about the current situation regarding renting licenses for holiday villas and apartments on our blog. Specifically, we’ve discussed the legal requirements, the zoning project. Today we are back with an update that helps shed some light on some of the points that need more clarification: when and how much will licenses cost.

Provisional date

The Mallorca Council has prepared a new zoning proposal after the feedback received from the different municipalities of the island, and now the Environmental Commission of the Balearics has a month to finalise their report. This report is expected to be approved in the parliament session on the 27th July, but then a period of 45 days will be open to receive feedback and meet up with several associations pushing the final application date to the end of September. In the case of the capital, Palma, it looks like it might take a few weeks more until the 1st August, as their zoning proposal was introduced at a later date.

Cost

The determined prices for each sector which include €875 per place of occupancy for apartments, €3.500 for townhouses and villas and €291,67 for those who choose to rent their home for up to 60 days. Find out more about the pricing here.

5 Tips for Selling your Home

There’s no doubt of the desirability of owning property in Mallorca, so selling one should be a piece of cake, right? Well, if you are serious about selling it and doing so quickly, then not really.

The island is awash with beautiful properties. Many potential buyers will have stayed in some during their holidays, some may have decided to buy based on their experience of their luxury holiday home in Mallorca. Your property needs to live up to that dream; the buyers’ expectations.

Think about the character of your property, nine times out of ten, that is what buyers want. So walking into a home that you have lived in for the past ten years which is full of things that make up your daily life is not going to conjure their vision of life in Mallorca. Perhaps your property has been rented for a while and wear and tear is showing through. A cluttered house in a sad state does not shout “Mallorca Living”.

Tip 1: Have a good old clear out

It’s time-consuming and a pain, sometimes emotionally draining even, but you have to do it anyway so why not get started and improve the overall image of your property? A wide open space shows potential while a crammed and busy space just feels small.

Tip 2: Blank canvas & presentation 

Once you have this job out of the way, let us get cracking with the photo shoot. This is the first opportunity to give that perfect first impression. While you may have got rid of clutter, for the photos, take away personal items. Think about your home becoming a blank canvas for someone to come in and make their own.

Open up all the doors, windows and shutters and shed some light on the subject. Make it light and airy, inviting and attractive. We will do our best to highlight the character of your home and be sure to capture each and every part.

Tip 3: Cleanliness

With the above steps carried out, it’ll soon be time for viewings. Potential buyers are intrigued by the photos, now make this a reality. This is another first impression opportunity and it has to look good from the beginning, ie from the garden gate or front door. It should smell good too. Get rid of any rubbish, recycling and perhaps skip the fish dinner the night before. Neutralise your home, have fresh bed linen on the beds, mop the floors, put your old shoes away, wash the pet bedding and move rubbish/recycling bins out of the way.

Tip 4: Get everything working seamlessly 

At the viewing, let your Estate Agent do the selling, try and stay away so that potential buyers will feel comfortable enough to have a good look around. And be sure that when they do, your buyers don’t find any annoying things like a broken step, a door that won’t shut. Fix all these small jobs, it will make a difference.

Tip 5: Price

Lastly, it’s important to note, no one will bother to look if the price is wrong. Listen to your Estate Agent and look at similar properties that have just been sold in the area. You may be selling a Mallorcan dream, but it has to be at the right price.

Take a look at our range of properties for sale in North Mallorca.