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Spanish government announces urgent measures over housing needs 

The Spanish Government has approved urgent measures to improve access to housing and favour affordable rent.

The Royal Decree on urgent measures to improve access to housing and promote affordable rental, approved by the Council of Ministers, includes amen-dments to five laws that affect the sector and that will improve the conditions of lease agreements for tenants and curb evictions.

Among other measures, it increases from three to five years the minimum legal term in which the tenant can stay in the leased house, while the term of tacit extension is raised from one to three years when the landlord or the tenant does not express their will of not renewing the contract. Addi-tional guarantees are also limited to the deposit, up to a maximum of two months, except in the case of long-term contracts.

The Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, considered it an “absolute necessity” to put an end to the current situation of the rental market, which, with a high price increase and more and more contractual de-mands, makes it difficult “to maintain a horizon in these houses “and” is a drama that affects the life project of the people, especially the young people”.

Sr. Ábalos has also expressed his concern about the five per cent annual increase in evictions executed for rent defaults, as opposed to the decrease in foreclosures. For this reason, he explained, the eviction procedure is reformed to offer more protection to vulnerable households and so that, in coordination with social services, “a housing alternative for those affected” can be achieved.

Regarding tourist apart-ments, the minister has indicated that “the possibility opens up that, by qualified majority of three fifths of the owners in the neighbouring communities, agreements can be adopted that limit or condition the exercise of this activity”.

Other reforms contained in the Royal Decree are aimed at stimulating the realisation of works to eliminate physical barriers in buildings and to improve accessibility. In the fiscal area, the regulation of the Real Property Tax is modified to favor the rental market and the exemption of Property Transfer Tax and Documented Legal Acts is established in the subscription of housing leases for stable and permanent use.

The Minister of Public Works has announced that the Executive will continue to approve housing regulations, such as a new State Law or the 20,000 rental or assignment in use plan with rents and limited prices. “In addition to as a right, we can claim the social function of housing, which for the sensitivity of this Govern-ment is something more than a market element or simply the exercise of private property,” he said.