As we at Casamona International move into 2019, we reflect on the past year and bring our customers up to date on new law changes implemented for this coming year.
2018 was a tumultuous year in the real estate world here in Barcelona. There were certainly highs as national property prices rose an average of 7% from the previous year and this is expected to continue through into 2019. This marks continued progress for the market which has grown 40% since 2013. However, in Catalonia continued political instability has been reflected in market stability too as large companies move from the city. Furthermore, nationally the supply has not risen by the same margins and prices are consequently rising. Prospective tenants, thus, are finding it ever harder to find affordable long-term accommodation. Consequently, new measures are being introduced for this new year to protect renters.
Changes to Real Estate Law
The first of these legal changes increases the minimum period a tenant can stay in a property for. Up until now, this had been fixed at 3 years. However, the new law stipulates that this minimum period will now be 5 years for all new contracts. If the landlord of a property is a company, then this will be even higher at 7 years.
Furthermore, automatic contract extensions have also been increased. Now, if neither tenant or owner expresses a wish to terminate the contract by its end date, it automatically extends for 3 years. The previous extension period was just 1 year.
When it comes to a tenant’s deposit, too, measures have been taken to protect them. The government has taken a decision to cap the amount to two month’s rent unless the contract be long-term. This is aimed at reducing the expense of being a renter. It is thought that it will also particularly help those just starting on the property ladder.
Another important law change regards the proliferation of so-called ‘tourist apartments’ in major Spanish cities. The high-number of these apartments has become particularly contentious in Barcelona over the last few years. To avoid frequent short term tourist-rentals, residents of a building or community can vote to block such leases. These rental agreements could previously only be stopped by a unanimous communal decision. However, this number has been lowered so that now only a 75% majority not in favour is required.
If you have any questions regarding how the changes could affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.