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PROPERTY

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

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.

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

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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PROPERTY

How does Spain’s new website to find cheap homes up for auction work?

Spain’s Tax Agency has created a new web page where you can find great bargains on properties sold at auction. Here’s what you need to know.

How does Spain's new website to find cheap homes up for auction work?

If you’re looking for a property to buy in Spain, one option you may want to consider is buying a home at auction, where you will often pay below the market value.

In Spain, the Agencia Tributaria or Tax Agency owns many properties, most of which have been repossessed or seized due to outstanding debt.

Many of these properties are put up for auction, enabling you to get some great bargains. Up until now, it has been difficult to find out when these auctions are held and the details of the homes being sold, but recently the Agencia Tributaria launched a new web page providing all this information.

The page provides details on all the properties in all the different provinces across the country and is dedicated to the sale of homes, garages, plots of land and commercial spaces with prices from just €20,000. You can access the site here

When you get to the page, simply click on the province that you’re interested in and you’ll find a list of all the properties to be sold at auction there, including photos, information on the size and number of rooms, a description, and a guide price.

The site will also give you financial information such as the minimum bid amount, the auction value and an appraisal of the property.

When you find some properties that you’re interested in, you can go and log-in with your [email protected] PIN to save them to your favourites list and receive notifications to your phone about the date of the auction.

READ ALSO: How to save lots of time on official matters through Spain’s online [email protected] system

According to property giant Idealista in order to place a bid, you must pay 5 percent of the starting price and when the auction is over, if you are the highest bidder, you will have to pay the remaining amount within a particular time frame. You can pay this in cash or through a mortgage. 

Be aware that you may also have to pay several fees, as well as the price of the property such as the Patrimonial Transfer Tax and Tax on Documented Legal Acts. 

If you register on the Auction Portal with your digital certificate or a username and password, you will also be able to see the bids that have already been made on the home, as well as the cadastral reference. You may also be able to place provisional bids ahead of time.

For those who are unsure of how the auction process works in Spain or are nervous about going to their first auction, the Tax Agency website also details all the auction and bidding procedures. For any other information that you can’t find online, you can call 91 598 63 34.

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