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EXPLAINED: What you need to know about Spain’s new law to protect tenants from eviction

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about Spain's new law to protect tenants from eviction
Members of the anti-eviction entity Platform of People Affected by Mortgage (PAH) protest against mortgage debt. Photo: AFP
Spain is to bring in a new law to stop evictions if tenants cannot pay rents, particularly in areas where the real estate market has seen a sharp price rise in recent years.

Why is the government bringing in a new law to protect renters?

Prices of rental property have rise by 54 percent in the past six years, according to Idealista, a property website.

In Madrid and Barcelona and other city centres the real estate market the cost of renting has boomed as  vulture funds have bought up properties. Owners have also put up prices as tourist rental sites like Airbnb have moved in. 

After Spain emerged from a deep economic crisis, the total number of evictions fell between 2013 and last year from 67,199 to 54,006 last year, according to figures from the General Judicial Council.

However, the proportion of those who were evicted who were tenants increased from 57 percent in 2013 to 67.5 in 2019.

The left-wing coalition of the Spanish Socialists Workers' Party and the far-left Unidas Podemos (UP) promised to introduce measures to protect tenants in its manifesto before last year's election.


Photo: AFP

What will the law do?

The Urban Lease Law, which is expected to come into force in the summer, will limit rental prices in areas where there has been a steep rise in prices.

Pablo Iglesias, the second deputy prime minister and leader of UP, who has worked on the new law said it would protect vulnerable families.

“These are the first measures which will help families who are not guaranteed the constitutional right to a home,” he said.

Will the new law also protect home owners?

The legislation will provide protection for vulnerable property owners who cannot pay back their mortgages.

The government is expected to publish an index of rental prices which might be the first step towards establish rent controls.

How do I know if I qualify for protection? 

So far the draft law is still at its early stages so details of who will qualify for protection are as yet unknown. 

By Graham Keeley

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