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.
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.