New incentives for landlords

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CATALONIA: The project has been pioneered by the local government as rents in the region reached a record high last year.

LANDLORDS who offer their tenants fair rents will be offered tax breaks and other subsidies as a reward under a new scheme aimed at lowering prices and ending the scourge of abusive rents. The project has been pioneered by the Catalonian government as rents in the region reached a record high last year. 

High demand and a lack of rent control had led to predatory pricing whereby landlords take advantage of struggling tenants and booming foreign and touristic demand, especially in Barcelona. Rent control schemes have made a major impact in Germany and other places, but are relatively unheard of in Spain. 

Instead the government hopes to act indirectly, offering incentives for landlords whose prices don’t exceed a new local price index. On the other hand those who do demand higher prices will be forced to admit this is the case on official documents. 

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The real test, however, is how Catalonia can compete with accommodation sharing platforms like Airbnb which encourage homeowners to rent out their homes to tourists for a handsome price, far beyond that affordable by local families. 

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