Buying a rural property in the countryside in Mallorca

Building, restoring and refurbishing a country home in Mallorca


A countryhome, old on the outside and new on the inside, or perhaps new throughout, surrounded by beautiful farm land, fruit trees, no neighbours and yet, near enough to the local village and yes, near enough to the airport and the beaches of the nearest coast.

Does that sound enticing? 

For hundreds of years, and until fairly recently, people built houses all over the Mallorcan countryside without any building permits or restrictions whatsoever. But limited space and high demand has forced the government to set down strict rules as to what and where and how much you can build or alter existing buildings on what is called rustic land.

New builds and total reforms in the Mallorca countryside

If you want to buy and refurbish or build a new property in the countryside in Mallorca there are regulations to take into account. In therory the Regional Balearic Government prohibits new building or extensions on rustic land. Different zoning rules apply to the separate areas, and there are new laws all the time.

5 points to understand the law on building on rustic land


In order to build on rustic land after this date, there are 5 points to take into account:

1 - Protection and Conservation of Rustic Land

The aim of this new law is to lower construction pressure on rustic land, and contain the growth of the suburbs for the sustainable rehabilitation of the land and help its recovery. Rustic space is limited. 

2 - Reclassified areas

This law affects development land and intends to re-qualify it as rustic land. 

3 - RPA areas

Building a single-family house in an area qualified as RPA (Risk Prevention Areas) will be more difficult. If all or some of the plot is RPA, the house cannot be built in that area.

4 - Modification of the Urban Parameters

Article 5 of the rule limits occupation to 2% but opens the door to the possibility of reducing these parameters through territorial planning. Swimming pools may have a maximum surface area of 35m2.

5 - Landscape integration

For new builds and comprehensive refurbs, the technical project must include measures for the integration of the building into the landscape.

NOTE: If you already have your permit in hand or have presented your project to the Town Hall and have all the documentation, this new regulation does not apply.

The different zones of Mallorca

And how this can affect your holiday rentals

As many property buyers plan to eventually capitalise on their new build or reformation project and let their houses out as holiday rentals, it is important to understand how the zoning laws can affect your chances of getting a licence. And how much this depends on the area (or zone) your property is located in.


As the map above shows:

Red Zones are "saturated" coastal areas and resort towns. Maximum allowance: sixty days in owners' main residence.

Purple Zones are towns and villages with high levels of tourism pressure. Maximum allowance: sixty days in owners' main residence.

Orange Zones are coastal areas that are not "saturated". Maximum allowance: these can have rentals all year round.

Blue Zones are in the interior of the island. Maximum allowance: these can have rentals all year round.

Yellow Zones: for much of the interior. Maximum allowance: apartment rental will be confined to sixty days but houses (villas) can be rented out all year.

Green Zones: are protected areas. Maximum allowancenew licences for rentals will not be possible.

Grey Zones are basically industrial estates. Maximum allowanceThere can be no renting on these.

White Zone is Palma, which is to be treated separately.