Eduard Mendiluce, CEO of Anticipa and Aliseda, firms participated by Blackstone questions the reform the current Spanish government is posing, on the Urban Rental Law, a reform that basically impacts in the length of contracts and the update of rents.
He criticizes the proposed two types of length: One lasting 3-5 years if the owner is a natural person or 3-7 years if the landlord is a firm. He considers that “a discriminatory distinction and has the only objective of penalizing institutional investors, with no benefit in this measure reaching most citizen”.
He also mentions the idea the government has to limit rents by law. In his opinion, it may have the opposite effect to what desired, and erode the target they pursue, to facilitate access to homes to low-income groups. The adverse effects that Mendiluce mentions on limiting rents (that didn’t work in Paris or Berlin before) were:
1) Drop of the offer of homes to rent, and increase in prices as a consequence.
2) Owners would be more strict, picking more solvent tenants, which will be a problem for families with families with fewer resources.
3) The price of rents will rise at first to mitigate the freezing effect on rents during the mandatory rent period.
4) A scenario of rents without the chance of updating of rents at market price will make owners pick selling the house, putting prices on the rise.
5) If the landlord cannot recover what it spent on improvements, reforms and home upkeeping, as the annual raise of the rent would limit itself to the CPI, the landlord would not invest in those.
6) No incentive to promote houses to rent.
Mr. Mendiluce ensures only 3% of all the homes to rent is currently managed by professionals (firms or institutional investors), so the rest (97%) is in the hands of private owners. In opposition, in Europe the professional market owns 30% of rents. Lastly, he underlines that in Spain, the public offer of social housing only involves 1.5% of the total offer, a figure that escalates up to 15% in our vicinity. “Spain has a lot of margin to improve in that aspect”, he added.
Source: Idealista. Translation by Miguel Vinuesa Magnet.
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