Ley Vivienda: Spain’s new housing law summarised

The Ley de Vivienda is a brand-new housing law, the first of its kind in Spain, created by the current government. It is Podemos candidate Alejandra Jacinto who pushed for this law and who is hoping, if voted for, to have the powers to enforce it in the Comunidad de Madrid.

Here is a summary of the top changes the law will make in Madrid, but only if we win a left-wing majority.

  • Rent Regulation. All rents in ‘stressed areas’ (areas where rent exceeds more than 30% of household income or where rent has increased by more than 3% above CPI in the last five years) will be regulated. Both large and small landlords will be included, as well as properties already on the market, and new contracts.
  • Prohibit the increase of rents via new expenses (e.g. rubbish charges, façade upgrades, interior or communal renovations) as this can lead to tenants being forced to pay higher rents.
  • Protection against evictions, which includes mandatory access to out-of-court settlement procedures for vulnerable people (disabled, elderly, children, poor, victims of domestic violence).
  • Elimination of CPI (Consumer Price Index) being a reference point for contract renewals.
  • Increase social housing by expropriating homes from Sareb and implementing the obligation to reserve 30% of new developments for social housing.
  • Prohibit the ability to reclassify or sell subsidised housing.
  • The ‘Empty Housing Tax’: municipalities will be able to effectively fine landlords for leaving housing empty instead of letting or selling it to residents.

In summary, the Ley de Vivienda will give tenants more rights, ensure more social housing and reduce rents. However, the Housing Law, which is a national law, is only possible in Madrid if the regional government agrees to it. If Ayuso wins the election, she will not enforce the law. However, if a left-majority wins (Podemos + Más Madrid + PSOE), the law will be enforced.

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