First fine for discrimination on the basis of origin in housing accessDisciplinary proceedings have opened against the Idealista portal and The New House Barcelona estate agents. A fine of 90,001 euros has been issued for an advert establishing the requirement for the buyer to be Spanish.
The Spanish Constitution recognises the right of people not to be discriminated against on the basis of origin, which is why depriving an entire group’s access to a basic asset such as housing is not protected under the principle of freedom of contract.
Published in June, the fined advertisement was reported by a citizen to the Office for Non-Discrimination (OND), which is the municipal service that offers free counselling, guidance and legal advice to people who have experienced discrimination in the city. There had been a total of 145 cases by August.
The right to housing, a priority
These disciplinary proceedings were opened under the framework the municipal strategy against mobbing and discrimination in housing. This was the aim under which 134 disciplinary proceedings of the following types were launched:
- For keeping a dwelling permanently vacant.
- For property mobbing or discrimination in the use of a dwelling.
- For allocating an officially protected dwelling to a use other than that of usual residence.
- For renting out a property without a permit.
- For not registering a vacant dwelling with the Register of Vacant Dwellings and Occupied Dwellings Unfit for Habitation.
In addition, 155 detected cases are currently being assessed.