Understanding the New Rustic Land Law in Mallorca


In May 2024, the Official State Gazette published Decree Law 3/2024, introducing an extraordinary mechanism for the legalisation of illegal constructions on rustic land in Mallorca. This measure allows for the regularisation of prescribed buildings, even if they do not comply with urban planning parameters. This procedure, valid for three years, requires interventions to reduce light pollution, improve energy and water efficiency, and prohibits tourist rentals of legalised properties.

Recent Legislative Change

On 28 May 2024, the Official State Gazette (BOE) published Decree Law 3/2024 on urgent measures for the simplification and rationalisation of administrative procedures by the public administrations of the Balearic Islands. This ambitious decree affects various administrative fields, making total or partial modifications to around 50 laws and decree-laws.

Legal and Economic Implications

The new extraordinary legalisation mechanism for constructions on rustic land allows for the legalisation of any prescribed work, even if it does not meet urban planning parameters. This procedure is similar to that approved in 2014 with the entry into force of the Balearic Land Use and Planning Law, following a similar scheme: it is an extraordinary regularisation, valid only for three years, and the cost of legalisation increases each year.

Specific Provisions and Requirements

This extraordinary legalisation mechanism includes two important novelties:

Importance of Fully Legalising a Property

Fully legalising a property is crucial because a partially or totally illegal property cannot undergo “any type of work” in the part that is out of order, according to Article 129 of the Urban Planning Law of the Balearic Islands. This means that any necessary future work, such as repairing a pool or fixing a leaking roof, cannot be carried out legally, which will revive the infraction and the possibility of sanction and demolition order. Legalisation ensures the possibility of carrying out all kinds of maintenance and repair work on the dwelling in the future.

Properties That Can Be Legalised

The extraordinary legalisation procedure can be applied to those buildings, constructions, installations, and uses existing on rustic land that, upon the entry into force of this decree-law, are no longer subject to urban planning legality restoration measures. This includes:

These buildings can be legalised for a maximum period of three years without applying the general urban planning conditions and parameters. This three-year period will start to count, for each of the Balearic Islands, from the moment of the plenary agreement approving the application of this procedure.

Legalisation Procedure

To initiate the procedure, it is necessary to submit an application for an extraordinary legalisation licence, accompanied by a project drafted by an architect. To carry out the legalisation, it will be necessary to undertake works on the property aimed at:

Once the licence application is submitted, the City Council has a period of 6 months to resolve it, with silence being negative, without prejudice to the obligation to resolve and notify expressly. Therefore, although the law determines that there is a 6-month period to resolve, in practice, the municipalities can take longer without this modifying the costs or understanding that it is no longer possible to legalise due to the three-year period having elapsed.

As it is a licence linked to the realisation of certain works, a municipal end-of-work report will be necessary to certify that the corresponding adaptation works have been carried out, without which it will be understood that the property remains illegal.

Legalisation Costs

It is difficult to provide an exact estimate, as there are many factors to consider, from the area to be legalised, the corresponding municipality (since the rates and ICIO are different), to the planned environmental improvement works. The main costs you will face if you want to legalise your home include:

Legalising the property will not be cheap, but from a legal point of view, it is highly recommended due to the legal certainty and revaluation obtained. Regarding this economic provision, the following discounts apply (only applicable to tax residents in Spain), depending on their total taxable base:

Restrictions on Tourist Rental

The extraordinary legalisation resolution of a property must include the prohibition of using it for tourist stays. This condition must be registered in the Property Registry within three months, along with the new construction declaration deed, if applicable.

The legalisation of constructions on rustic land according to the new Decree Law 3/2024 represents a significant opportunity for property owners to regularise their properties and ensure the possibility of carrying out maintenance and improvement work in the future. Lamas Lawyers, with over 30 years of experience and specialists in real estate law, are at your disposal to offer comprehensive legal and technical advice in multiple languages. Do not hesitate to contact us for personalised assistance and to resolve any queries regarding this new legalisation procedure.


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