Spanish opposition digs in its heels over new housing law

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Housing law strongly opposed by opposition parties in Spain

MADRID – The Popular Party is strongly against the new housing law and will appeal it at the Constitutional Court. The Conservative PP says the autonomous communities it controls will not apply the new law.

The law, still in the draft phase, provides for price regulation of large landlords. They would have to lower rents based on the benchmark index for all contracts in stressed market areas. Small landlords would have to freeze the rents though a tax advantage encourages them to reduce rents.

“Suicidal interventionism”

The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, announced they will bring the proposed housing law before the Constitutional Court. Furthermore, they will not apply it in their autonomous communities. According to Casado, this is “suicidal interventionism”; the new law shows that Spain has “the most radical government in the European Union”.

In an interview on Telecinco, Casado indicated this intervention in the rental market launches a “message of legal uncertainty”.  He also said a government cannot “intervene” in freedom and private property.

Casado warned the government’s measures will result in people not putting their homes for rent; and there will ultimately be fewer houses. He added it is not about providing aid but about providing legal certainty, bringing investors to Spain and ensuring that young people have jobs so they can access the rental market.

For this reason, he announced the PP will bring the government’s decision to “intervene” in the rental market before the Constitutional Court. “Sánchez is being held hostage by his radical partners and it is a shame that Spain has the most radical government in the EU,” Casado said. He noted his party has also brought the Catalan rent law to the Tribunal Constitucional.

Remain calm

Under the agreement announced by the government on Tuesday, the autonomous communities must request the government to declare areas with a tense rental market; in other words, where price regulation will be applied to the owners of more than ten houses.

As early as Tuesday, the PP and corporate representative CEOE criticised the law as an attack on private property. Now the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has assured that the owners can remain calm about the housing law because “in no case is there radical interventionism”. The minister said she was convinced investment funds will continue to enter Spain.

Cogesa Expats

Andalucia and Murcia reject the rent limitation

The Junta de Andalucía, ruled by PP and Ciudadanos, rejected the future housing law this Wednesday.

For the Andalucian government, the measures will have the “opposite” effect of the effect they are aiming for. So said the Andalusian Development Minister Marifran Carazo, who believes the application of these measures in other countries has led to “the withdrawal of investments and increases” in rents and is therefore not a solution. She described this as “interventionist” and stated she opposed the limitation of rent.

According to the minister, the Andalucian government is working in exactly the opposite direction. That is, in the promotion of new protected rental housing at an affordable price – with the participation of municipalities and private developers.

‘Expropriation Act’

The President of the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, described the draft as “an expropriation law” that the region will not apply. The regional president believes the law is “far from the liberal policies” of his regional government. Therefore, mechanisms will be sought not to violate the law in Murcia.

“The regional government is committed to the freedom of the people, to free competition, to the market economy. Because everyone works, pays little tax and can do what they want with what they have earned with the sweat of their faces,” he explained.

No increase in IBI in Madrid and León

The mayor of Madrid and the national spokesman for the PP, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has guaranteed IBI will not rise in the capital. That despite the surcharge of up to 150% for vacant properties under consideration by the law.

The mayor of León, the socialist José Antonio Diez, also ruled out an increase in IBI on Wednesday.

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