Spain’s New Government Proposes an Action Plan to Alleviate the Rental Market

18 June 2018 – El Confidencial

The rental market is, without doubt, the issue that Pedro Sánchez, the new President of Spain, and José Luis Ábanols, the new Minister for Development, will have to face in light of the price boom being experienced in certain areas of the country. According to sources close to the PSOE, the new Executive is going to focus its housing policy on: facilitating access to rental homes for young and older people; and curbing the rise in house prices, leaving to one side those measures destined to buying a home (…). For this, the new Executive is going to need support from other parliamentary groups, including Podemos, which is amongst its main allies, with very similar proposals to those put forward by the socialists to tackle the rental problem.

In terms of the State Housing Plan for 2018-2021 approved in March, when the Government was still under the mandate of the PP, the same sources confirm that the agreements with the autonomous regions have not yet been signed and, therefore, its execution is still pending (…).

Rental prices are the most pressing issue of the day. During Mariano Rajoy’s mandate, not only was it in the background, but also several draft bills presented to the Congress to tackle the boom in rental prices were defeated. The first one that failed to pass Congress’s filter was the Platform for those Affected by Mortgages (PAH), whilst proposals put forward by the PSOE were also initially vetoed by the PP, although the veto was not only not ratified, it was also lifted last Friday and so it will return to parliamentary debate, where a consensus with the other political parties will be needed to push it ahead.

The socialists propose restoring the duration of five-year rental contracts, limiting rental price rises – in the case of renewals – to the evolution of CPI, as well as introducing significant tax relief for those who decide to rent their homes below certain thresholds or by limiting the deposits required. All of these proposals are susceptible to being supported by the political parties that supported Pedro Sánchez’s no-confidence motion, in particular, Podemos (…).

Limiting rentals

(…). In its proposal, the PSOE is committed to offering tax incentives to those landlords who let out their flats on the basis of a public price reference system, depending on the area in which their property is located. Such a system would have to be fixed by the town halls. All landlords who respect those limits could benefit from a 60% deduction on their income tax returns (…).

To facilitate access to rental housing for young people, the PSOE proposes that if a home is let to a young person aged between 18 and 30 on a low income, then the tax treatment available to the landlord would be even more favourable, with deductions of 100% (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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