The new Housing Law

It will come into effect on May 26, 2023

The Housing Law, which will come into effect on May 26, 2023, has recently been published in the Official Gazette of the State (DOE). Despite the criticisms received, this law introduces significant regulations regarding mortgage foreclosures, taxation on vacant properties, rent update limits, and fiscal incentives for homeowners. Additionally, it creates a new reference index that will replace the Consumer Price Index (CPI). One of the most controversial aspects is the figure of the major property owner and the transfer of the creation of tense rental areas to the Autonomous Communities, which will imply control over the rental market.

This legislation becomes the first state law that regulates the right to housing since the approval of the Constitution. It establishes competence rules for application by the Autonomous Communities, which have full jurisdiction over housing matters.

The purpose of the Law for the Right to Housing is to comply with Article 47 of the Spanish Constitution, which recognizes the right of all citizens to enjoy decent and adequate housing. It also imposes on public authorities the obligation to promote the necessary conditions to guarantee equality in the exercise of rights and the fulfillment of constitutional duties, as well as to establish the relevant rules to enforce this right.

Until now, housing policies have primarily been developed through Housing Plans, which have focused on promoting homeownership and increasing housing production. However, the new law seeks to change this perspective and address housing access needs more equitably. The current public rental housing stock is insufficient to meet the needs of individuals and households with greater economic difficulties in accessing the market.

The law pursues several fundamental objectives:

  • Establishing basic regulation of the rights and duties of citizens in relation to housing, applicable to both property owners and tenants throughout the national territory.
  • Facilitating access to decent and adequate housing for those individuals facing difficulties in accessing housing under market conditions. Special attention is given to young people and vulnerable groups, and efforts are made to promote an affordable housing supply adapted to the realities of urban and rural environments.
  • Ensuring functionality, safety, accessibility, and habitability of housing, ensuring the dignity and health of the people who inhabit them.
  • Defining the fundamental aspects of state planning and programming in housing matters, with the aim of promoting the exercise of constitutional rights across the territory.
  • Regulating the basic legal framework of public housing estates, ensuring their development, protection, and efficiency in serving the sectors of the population facing the greatest access difficulties.
  • Encouraging the development of housing typologies suitable for different forms of coexistence, adapting to the current dynamics and demands of households.
  • Enhancing protection in the processes of buying and renting housing, establishing minimum information requirements to ensure security and guarantees in the process.

In summary, the Law for the Right to Housing seeks to regulate and protect access to decent and adequate housing, establishing clear rights and duties for citizens. It also aims to promote the supply of affordable housing, ensure the functionality and safety of housing, and improve protection in buying and rental operations.

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