According to numerous reports, sources close to the coalition government confirm that the possibility of suspension of rent is being studied for those people who have become vulnerable due to this economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, regardless of who their landlord is. This means that all those who cannot afford to pay the rent for their houses due to the loss of their job, an ERTE or a reduction in working hours will be able to be accommodated. This measure will also include the self-employed and SMEs that are suffering a substantial drop in their income.
It is proposed to establish an extendable moratorium period of two months and compensation to owners. The suspension of the payment of home rentals will be extended to the payment of premises and offices in the case of self-employed persons and SMEs, who, as mentioned before, have a significant loss of income.
For lessors, gradual financial compensation would be offered, which could range from 100% of the amount in the case of a two-property owner, to just 5% for large holders or those with more than eight rented properties.
The initiative includes the duration of said suspension of the payment of the rent: during the next two months, extendable to the following month once the state of alarm ends. In addition, all those contracts that end during the validity of the alarm status may be automatically extended for three months.
It remains to be specified how the vulnerability situation can be proven, although it is intended to facilitate access through the presentation of documents or with a responsible statement. Another point from which the initiative starts is that abusive rent increases will be prevented in the six months following the implementation of this measure
Within the package of economic measures approved by the Government is included the moratorium on the payment of mortgages, but not that of rents, something criticized by unions and different associations. However, Nadia Calviño asks for one more week to study the measures on minimum income and rents. The economic vice presidency and the Ministry of Finance requested more time to study the proposals that were discussed at a meeting on Monday and design them avoiding “side effects.” Its objective, as these last departments transferred, is that the measures put in place are well designed to respond effectively to social needs and without generating other possible side effects.Aid for rent can also be used for housing, beyond the premises and offices of SMEs and the self-employed, but it will be necessary to distinguish between small owners and large holders of housing who, at a time like this, have to settle the shoulder so no one is left behind.
As reported on March 24 in the newspaper El Confidencial and regarding the creation of a minimum vital income, the Government intends to allocate it to those people who have not been able to avail themselves of the first package of social measures approved last Tuesday. Therefore, it would not have a universal character and, moreover, its duration would be temporary, depending on the duration of the effects of the economic crisis as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. It would be, according to Executive sources, a form of minimum income “to protect those who have no income or have seen their incomes reduced.” This proposal is counting on allies of a transversal spectrum, which ranges from the third sector and social groups to the vice president of the ECB Luis de Guindos, who has defended a “minimum emergency income”.
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