OCU warns of the worrying situation of the rental price in Madrid and Barcelona07 feb 2017
More and more frequently, articles are alerted on the exorbitant prices of rents in the big cities, Madrid and Barcelona mainly. This escalation in prices began two years ago and is unstoppable for now.
Despite the paradox of 3.4 million empty homes in Spain and areas with depopulation risk, the increase in demand for rental housing in large cities has led to price increases of around 16%, according to one Real estate portal and 27% in Cataluña.
For OCU we are facing a very dangerous situation that directly affects the accessibility to housing, given the disproportion between the current rental price and the payment capacity of millions of households. In the current context the access to a home is closing to those people who, faced with low wages, job instability and/or lack of savings, are also not able to buy.
OCU believes that the regulation should seek a balance between the interest of the owner and the security or protection of the tenant, as is logical the first seeks safety and the second seeks stability. And it considers that access to housing for the most vulnerable households and groups (without income or with very low incomes, households with all members unemployed, etc.) should be treated in a specific way, with public actions through policies such as "Social rent".
OCU considers that the public park of rental housing must be increased, approve temporary assistance and provide for measures of rehousing of homes that lose their home, etc. The Administration must leave in support of the people at risk of exclusion, with all the means at its disposal.
But in turn, OCU advocates regulating the rental market and reforming the LAU to make it run as smoothly as possible. It must guarantee access to the housing of the vast majority of the population and not generate imbalances that will ultimately multiply the cases of vulnerability.
OCU demands a series of improvements in the rental market in Spain such as:
Facilitate the signing of contracts for longer and more stable periods, where income is also subject to slight variations and a priori predictable.
Increase the security of owners in case of default, so they can recover their home with agility or excessive costs.
Without abandoning vulnerable households, which will have to take over social housing policy, not individual owners.