This is how the housing law approved by the Government will affect you this Tuesday




Almost a year after the negotiations between PSOE and United Podemos began, the housing law reaches the Council of Ministers. A first and important step for a regulation whose processing in the Courts will be delayed, according to the calculations of the Government itself, until the third quarter of 2022. And once the law is definitively approved, there will be a period of 18 months until its application is complete. .

The housing law has main new features, price controls and tax penalties for empty flats. In addition, it has managed to agree for the first time in a long time with owners and tenants: neither of them approve of the reform. The former believe that it will scare away investments; the second, that it will not facilitate access to housing for low-income and young people. These are the keys to the controversial law.

Who is affected by the rent controls?

Only those homeowners who are businesses and have more than ten homes will be affected by the price caps. In addition, these will not be implemented throughout the territory, but in areas classified as te
. The communities will be the ones that will request the Government that denomination of stressed area, a qualification that will be extended for three years, extendable.

It will be in these stressed areas where the owners established as legal entities that have more than ten homes will have to charge as rent a maximum price that will be determined by an index that will be elaborated in the future. In some cases they will have to lower rents, while in others they will not be able to raise them.

Will the rest of the owners be able to raise prices in stressed areas?

Yes, as long as they meet a series of conditions. The Government requires that the owner has carried out reforms, improvements related to energy efficiency in the house
, or sign a new ten-year lease with the new tenants.
In these cases they may raise the rent, although only a maximum of 10% compared to the previous contract.

In the rest of the territory, that is, in those areas that are not stressed, landlords will be able to freely set rental prices with their tenants.

What about the contracts that are about to expire in these areas?

Contracts located within stressed zones will be automatically renewed when they come to an end. Both those of small owners and those of funds and banks. The extraordinary extension will be for three additional years and the tenant during this period will continue to pay the same rent, as long as any of the circumstances (reforms or ten-year contracts) described above do not occur.

How will a zone be determined to be stressed?

The Government will ask the communities for two requirements. For starters, in these locations the median rent (or mortgage) plus supplies will have to ‘eat’ more than 30% of median household income. In addition, it must be proven that in the last five years the rent
the regional CPI has risen by more than 5 points.

Of course, only the communities that so wish will request the category of stressed area and, therefore, will apply these controls to rents. It will be a voluntary measure. The PP has already warned that in its regions there will be no limits to prices.

When will price controls be applied?

There are still years. The law will not come into force until next year, and when it does, the government will offer a moratorium of up to 18 months to large property owners. That is, the price controls will not be in effect until late 2023 or early 2024.

I have a house on the beach. Are they going to charge me more taxes for it?

The law establishes a surcharge of the Real Estate Tax (IBI) of up to 150%. But the tax penalty only affects very specific homes. To begin with, they must be flats owned by owners with more than four homes and that have been uninhabited for more than two years. Likewise, only the municipalities that so wish will apply this surcharge to the IBI.

In addition, the owner can get rid of the tax penalty if he justifies that that house is empty for any reason. For instance, for reasons such as temporary transfer for work or training reasons, the change of address due to a dependency situation or health or social emergency reasons, properties destined for second residence housing uses with a maximum of 4 years of continuous unemployment, properties subject to work or rehabilitation actions … in short, Punishing the owner will be avoided when he is conditioned by circumstances that prevent the effective occupation of the property.

Nor will the IBI surcharge be applied to properties that are the subject of litigation or have any pending cause.
judicial resolution
or administrative that prevents the use and disposition of the house. Or in the case of properties for sale, with a maximum of one year in this situation, or for rent, with a maximum of six months in this situation.

And in the case of second homes, the surcharge will only be applied if they have been unoccupied for more than four years.

What about homeowners tax credits?

As a rule, they go down. Specifically, the Executive will limit the current reduction that landlords have from 60% of personal income tax to 50%.

Of course, the Government, foresees specific cases in which this reduction rises. If homes are rented to young people in stressed areas, there will be reductions of 70%, just like if a protected home is rented. In addition, if renovations or rehabilitation tasks have been carried out in the home in the last two years, the reduction will rise to 60% again.

What is incentivized affordable housing?

It is a figure that creates the new law. The definition includes those homes in private hands to which the Administration offers a series of benefits (tax, urban …) in exchange for allocating them to reduced rents. They will be aimed at groups with low incomes. The price that these rentals will have is not yet known, since that will be in the hands of the Administrations.

How does the law affect me if I buy a house?

The norm establishes that 30% of promotions must be allocated to Official Protection Housing (VPO). In addition, buyers of new construction homes will benefit from the new rule, because the law is very strict with developers.

To begin with, the developer must return to the buyer the advance he makes, including taxes and legal interest, if construction does not start or finish within the agreed terms of the contract. In addition, there will be a bank guarantee or insurance to protect deliveries on behalf of buyers.

In addition, you will have to give the buyer a document that certifies the guarantee of the amounts that have been advanced. If the works are delayed or not started, the buyer may request a refund of the guarantee within a maximum period of 30 days.

If construction has not started or the house has not been delivered, the purchaser may choose between rescission of the contract with refund of the amounts paid on account, including taxes and interest, or granting the developer an extension, which will be recorded in an additional clause of the contract granted, specifying the new period with the date of completion of the construction and delivery of the house.

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