SPAIN is to bring in rent controls to stop landlords of multiple properties hiking prices and hitting low income families as housing becomes more unaffordable.
And owners of property portfolios where homes lay empty will also be hit with extra tax to try and force them to rent rather than sit on them hoping for capital gains.
The new housing bill due to take effect in the second half of 2022 is aimed at people or businesses that own 10 or more properties.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said after a Cabinet meeting: “It was urgent to combat the abusive rise in prices, to fight the growing inequality and degradation that was taking place.
“It’s a way out of the labyrinth where many people find themselves because they can’t pay for the house they want to buy or find a home to rent at reasonable prices.”
The bill will limit how much landlords with multiple residential properties can increase rents, with extra taxes for people who leave properties empty and may force developers to set aside low-cost housing as part of their plans.
In the past five years average rents in Spain have risen 40%, according to fotocasa property website.
The government will use a reference price index to curb rent increases in areas where prices have risen the fastest and priced low-income families out.
Whether the new legislation will have any effect is debatable. It will be up to regional governments to enforce any law, and the opposition PP, which controls several autonomous communities including Madrid, has said it will not do so.