Catalonia approves the Decree-Law 6/2024, of 24th April, aimed to regulate seasonal and residential leases

The Decree- Law nº6/2024 of 24th April on urgent housing measures has been approved by Generalitat of Catalunya (Spain). The Decree, which was published in the Official Journal of Catalonian government (DOGC) on April 25th, entered into force on April 26th, 2024.

The aforementioned Decree-Law is composed of 12 articles that modify and add provisions both to Law 18/2007, of 28th December, “on the right to housing”, and to Law 13/1996, of 29th July, “on the registration and deposit of guarantees for urban property rental contracts” and amends the f Law 24/1991, “on housing”, and finally to Decree-Law 1/2015, of 24th March, “on extraordinary and urgent measures for the mobilization of housing resulting from foreclosures.”

In particular, attached hereto the list of the changes introduced:

The first 5 articles of the Decree-Law refer to amendments and additions to Law 18/2007, of 28th December, on the right to housing:

  • Article 1 adds a second paragraph to Article 15, stating that the Administration of the Generalitat may exercise the pre-emption right in the transfer of dwellings located in areas classified as “tensioned residential market”.
  • Articles 2 to 4 modify the provisions of the law regarding the minimum information requirements the rental offer should meet, the items that the rental contract should contain, as well the rights of tenants.

Specifically, articles 3 and 4 stipulate that the rental offer and the rental contract, which may be formalized, must contain at least: i) the rental price according to duly justified indexes, ii) the price of the last rent of the rental contract in force during the last 5 years, and iii) the status of the owner as “Large Property Owner”, if he is one, without prejudice to the other information provided for by civil law.

It also includes the right of lessees to receive, upon formalization of the contract, the document proving the price index system, as well as the certificate of habitability or the energy efficiency certificate.

  • Article 5 adds a new article to Law 18/2007 on the Right to Housing, article 66 bis, which provides for the application of the rules on the rental of housing, as regards the deposit and the determination of the rent, its updating, the collection and the assumption of expenses, to all those rental contracts concluded on a temporary basis for professional activities, work, studies, medical care or assistance, or other similar activities, which until now, could be regulated as rental contracts for uses other than housing.

This Decree-Law does not refer to those tenancies in which an activity other than housing is carried out on the property and which, as such, are considered to be tenancies for purposes other than housing, but rather to those which are intended to meet the tenant’s

housing needs but which, due to the coincidence of certain causes, have a temporary duration shorter than that of tenancies for permanent housing.

The situation is different in the case of leases for leisure, holiday or recreational purposes, which are considered to be for purposes other than housing, and consequently only contracts for such purposes are considered to be short term rentals.

Therefore, the Decree states that contracts must expressly state the reason or purpose for which the tenant needs a dwelling and formalize the contract, otherwise it will be considered that the dwelling is for permanent housing purposes and therefore subject to the specific regulations. In other words, if the purpose of the contract is not specified, it will be considered as permanent housing.

Finally, it also affects the leases of apartments by rooms, to establish that the physical or contractual fragmentation does not distort its true nature or avoid the application of the measures applicable to it, so that if the room is used as the tenant’s home, the protective regime of the legislation on urban leases will also be applicable.

  • Next, articles 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 add to and modify the type of infringements provided for in articles 123, 124 and 125 of Law 18/2007 “on the right to housing”, which correspond to the obligations included in the Decree-Law. These amendments can be summarized as follows:
  • Very serious infringements: i) fixing a rent in a housing rental contract that exceeds the maximum allowed limit, if the difference in income exceeds 30%, and ii) fraudulent and improper use in qualifying the real purpose of the contract with the aim to avoid the application of the corresponding regulatory provision, provided that there is a final judgment.
  • Serious infringements in the field of rental: i) fixing a rent in a residential rental contract that exceeds the maximum allowed limit, when the difference in rents is between 10% and 30%, ii) failing to state in the contract its object or purpose, and iii) charging the real estate management and contract formalization costs to the lessee.

It is also considered a serious offence the refusal to comply with the request on personal data to the administration, to obstruct or not facilitate the functions of information, control and inspection, or to fail to comply with the obligation to provide the data that must be entered in the register of vacant or unlawfully occupied dwellings and in the register of Large Property Owners.

  • In the field of leasing, minor infringements are setting a rent in a rental contract that exceeds the maximum allowed limit, if the difference in rent does not exceed 10%. Also, failure to provide the minimum information required by this Decree-Law in the rental offer and/or in the signed contract shall also be considered a minor offence.
    • Article 11 amends Section 1 of Article 7 of Law 13/1996, on the Registration and Deposit of Guarantees for Urban Property Rental Contracts and on the Amendment

of Law 24/1991, on Housing, regarding the destination of the amounts of the guarantees modifying the percentage of available resources that the Catalan Land Institute must maintain.

  • Article 12 modifies and adds a new section 2 to Article 2 of Decree-Law 1/2015, of 24th March, on extraordinary and urgent measures for the mobilizations of housing as a result of foreclosure proceedings, regarding the right of first refusal and pre- emption right.

Finally, the additional provision stipulates that the content of all housing rental advertisements published prior to the entry into force of the Decree-Law must be adapted to the provisions of the new Decree within a maximum period of 5 days.

Información compartida por nuestro compañero y abogado Xavier Peguero

Cataluña aprueba el Decreto Ley 6/2024, de 24 de abril, destinado a regular los arrendamientos de temporada y de habitación.

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