The Government launches measures to curb evictions for rent

The Government launches measures to curb evictions for rent

© @ Julian Rojas
Pedro Sanchez, Carmen Calvo and Pablo Iglesias in the Congress.

The Coalition government It has decided to launch social impact measures to relaunch the image of unity after a week of tension between the two partners. La Moncloa has announced that “the coalition government program signed between PSOE and United We will be expanded with a new commitment”, focused on curbing evictions, especially those for rent. “At the same time that we agreed to extend the moratorium on mortgage evictions, this Government has decided to take measures to curb another social scourge that our country suffers: evictions for non-payment of rent. Within the framework of the already planned reform of the urban leasing law, we will take the necessary measures to avoid this type of evictions, especially those that occur in areas of stressed rental market and by large holders of housing that are dedicated to the real estate market ”, Says the Executive.

The Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda (the former Ministry of Development, which is the responsibility of Housing) recently announced a legal reform to enable controls on rental prices. This reform, which was already included in the government pact between PSOE and United We, goes through defining what is a stressed rental area and empowering autonomous communities (which have transferred most of the competences in Housing) or Town Halls to set limits at prices in those areas. The department headed by Jose Luis Abalos had not revealed until now by what instruments the new regulations would be adopted (it could be done with a reform of the Urban Leasing Law, with the new Housing Law that the Government wants to take to Congress this year or through decree) but after the release of La Moncloa everything indicates that it will be addressed in the LAU, which is the rule that regulates rental agreements and establishes, in its current wording, that the price is freely agreed by the parties. The reform announced by Abalos was planned for “before summer”, So that would also be the deadline for this new measure to be launched.

In view of what was communicated by the Government on Monday, the definition of stressed areas will not only serve to limit rental prices, but would involve the measure of preventing certain owners from evicting tenants in those areas. The Executive has specified that these are “large holders of housing,” which will force that concept to be specified, which currently varies from one autonomous region to another (and even in some there is no such definition). The definition if it is expected to exist in the future housing law, planned as soon as the end of the year, and according to sources of the Executive in the same will be defined as large holders to the owners of 10 or more homes.

The Government is mainly looking for impact measures against vulture funds that have thousands of homes in Spain and that generate a lot of scandal, especially among movements very close to United We can as the Platform Affected by the Mortgage (PAH), of which They come from one of its leaders. In a thread on Twitter, Vice President Pablo Iglesias has said he recently met with members of that platform. “The movement for the right to housing was very critical and pressed for commitments to be put on the table”, said Iglesias, who has specified that the moratorium on mortgage evictions and the new measures that will be applied to those of non-payment of rent are the “first facts” and has promised to “continue working.” He also thanked “good coordination” to Vice Presidents Carmen Calvo and Nadia Calvino and Minister Abalos.

The complexity to define the new measure has caused it to be postponed to the reform in which rent limits will be established. What the Council of Ministers will do on Tuesday is to approve the moratorium on evictions for mortgage default of people at risk of exclusion, a measure that was approved for the first time in 2013 and was already extended in 2017. The new moratorium will be four years, so it will last until 2024. After tensions between United We and the vice president, Carmen Calvo, for the law of sexual equality, both formations convened an urgent meeting of the coordinating commission and there it was agreed to try to avoid repeating situations such as last week. In this regard, and given the obvious dispute between Calvo and Pablo Iglesias, leader of United Podemos, it is especially significant that La Moncloa expressly states that “Vice President Carmen Calvo and Vice President Pablo Iglesias have worked hand in hand to make this new point join the government agreement between PSOE and United We Can ”.

Although United We insisted that the central problem was with Calvo, the vice president’s environment assured that she was not going to lose any of her powers, that she would continue to coordinate the Government and that there was no conflict with Iglesias, in fact they continued talking with normal after tensions by the law of sexual freedom, said sources of vice presidency. Both seem to have sealed a truce that implies this statement admitting that the reform It has been worked jointly by the two vice presidents, which implies recognizing Calvos role as coordinator of the Government, something basic in the agreement.

The issue of rent has been central to the discussions between the PSOE and Unidos Podemos in recent months. The tension between the positions of Iglesias and those of Nadia Calvino, the economic vice president, are evident. Now they seem to have reached an agreement but the details will have to be known. “Likewise, the second vice-presidency has worked with the third vice-presidency to extend the term of the moratorium on mortgage evictions and so that more vulnerable people can take advantage of it,” the agreement adds.

Evictions down

Last year, the courts ordered 54,006 evictions in Spain, according to statistics published Monday by the General Council of the Judiciary. The figure is 9.5% lower than in 2018. But there are still imbalances inside. The first is that almost seven out of ten were tenants. In absolute figures, the launches of rental persons were 36,467, compared to 14,193 for mortgage defaults (those that are missing up to the total, are charged to other reasons).

And besides being less, evictions resulting from foreclosures are also being reduced more quickly. With respect to 2018, this type of launch decreased by 25.1%. Meanwhile, those of tenants barely made a meager 2.2%. However, it is a significant decrease since two years of increases were added.


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