Spain’s government eyes rent controls in new housing bill

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Spain’s left-wing ruling coalition said on Tuesday it wants to curb rising housing costs by imposing rent increases limits on landlords owning 10 or more residential properties.

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Leaders of opposition parties and business organizations have criticized the proposal by the government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez as unfair interference in the free market.

Government ministers approved the draft rent control law during the weekly cabinet meeting. The government said vulnerable families and young adults in the country’s largest cities would be the main beneficiaries of the proposed law.


Low wages and a 35% youth unemployment rate – the eurozone’s highest – mean that many Spaniards cannot afford to live on their own. They leave the family home at a median age of 30, compared to the EU average of 26.4.

The most controversial provision in the bill will set a price hike limit for landlords with multiple residential properties, a move aimed at large real estate companies and investment funds. The government has yet to publish the draft, so details about the cap were not immediately available.

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But officials said the bill also includes a tax exemption of up to 90% for landlords with less than nine properties who decide to reduce their rents.

The prime minister announced that as part of a separate initiative, the government plans to help adults 18-34 by giving them a 250-euro ($290) monthly bonus with their rent for up to two years if they pay 1,977 euros. (2,291) less. ) per month.

The proposed law would set aside 30% of all public housing as rental units, and significantly increase local taxes on vacant residential properties, rather than making them available for people to buy at a lower price.

Regulating the housing market was the main obstacle that prevented Sanchez’s socialists from agreeing a national budget for 2022 with the coalition government’s junior partner, the anti-austerity United We Can Party.

Both sides said on Tuesday that lawmakers are expected to pass the annual spending plan on Thursday. The vote in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament, is regarded as a test of the strength of the government.

To pass the budget, Sánchez’s minority government needs the votes of lawmakers from outside the coalition, including separatist parties from Catalonia and the Basque Country.


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