How the new index regulate rents in Barcelona?

29/02/2024 12:39 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda has published the details of the new rental price reference index, which will be applied uniformly throughout the country from 16 March 2024, following its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE). The new reference system is a basic tool for the development of the State Housing Law and makes it possible to establish a range that determines the minimum and maximum price of each house.

Compliance with this index is mandatory for all buildings of owners of multiple properties – owners with five or more flats – located in stressed market areas. It also serves as a reference for the rest of the region. It also applies to new dwellings in these stressed areas that enter the rental market after being out of it for at least five years.

Autonomous Communities are responsible for declaring stressed market areas, and so far only Catalonia has taken this step. In this case, 140 municipalities are affected, including the city of Barcelona.

What are the implications for Barcelona as a stressed market area?

In terms of rent regulation in the city of Barcelona, the new index benefits around 200,000 households and is expected to provide long-term stability and legal and economic security for both tenants and owners.

The maximum prices vary according to the neighbourhood in which the census section is located. Thus, the cheapest maximum rent is an average of 478 euros in a census section of the Torre Baró neighbourhood, while the most expensive is an average of 3,020 euros in a census section of the Pedralbes neighbourhood. The map of census sections can be found here.

Once a stressed market area has been declared, the owner is obliged to renew the rental contract under the same initial conditions. The tenant must request the renewal, which can be done annually for a maximum of three years.

Contracts signed before the entry into force of the new law continue to be governed by the law applicable to them. This does not prevent the two parties from agreeing on the application of the new regime.

Methodology of the new index

In order to determine the range of maximum and minimum prices, the Ministry takes into account the following characteristics:

  • Income tax return data
  • Census section
  • Location of the dwelling
  • Floor space of the dwelling
  • Condition of the dwelling
  • Whether it has a lift or not
  • Whether it has a parking space or not
  • Year of construction
  • Whether it is furnished or not
  • Height of the home
  • Energy certification
  • Whether it has communal areas or not
  • If it has a pool or not
  • If it has a concierge or not
  • If it has special views

The Ministry has set this range so there is room for negotiation between the owner and the tenant, since if there was only one indicator, the price of lower quality homes could increase. The Ministry has also defended the fact that the range is below private offers and property portals.

The rental price reference system can be found on the website for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda.

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