In this article, we have summarised some of the basic information that has so far been communicated by the Government regarding: rent, mortgages, utility bills, bin taxes and IBI (Property taxes).
Energy, water and gas are considered basic necessities so the guidelines on these services have been made clearer than in other fiscal areas. The Spanish Government has stated that cutting off access to these vital necessities is strictly prohibited. If you have been left without a job or are earning significantly less during this crisis you are not obliged to pay your bills. However, this does not excuse you from payment rather it postpones your payment to a later, more convenient date. Similarly, any mortgage payments do not have to be payed immediately if you find yourself in a vulnerable financial situation, but they will have to be repaid at a later date.
Rent payments have not been specified upon and this remains a dangerous grey area. Overall, the Government has encouraged residents to establish a “chain of solidarity” between landlords and tenants. In other words, they expect an agreement to be reached between landlords and tenants without interference from the state. Unions disagree with this method as they say issues like rent should not be left to blind faith. The Government has recommended that those who have not reached a conclusion with their landlord and cannot pay their rent should go to social services to ask for financial help, as each autonomous community has been granted 300 million euros to help with social issues.
Bins and IBI (Property tax) payments are hard to generalise as they fall under municipal jurisdiction, however, they are likely to follow the repayment protocol of utility bills and mortgage payments. For example, Alicante has decided to delay the bin and IBI payments, whilst, Sevilla has reduced bin taxes for businesses who have been forced to close and postponed IBI payments. To enquire more contact your local town hall.